In September, 2020, the Belizean Grove Executive Committee commissioned a task force to report on the core values of our current membership.
This was the first step of a larger project to review our governance structure and create a strong foundation for the next 20 years.
The task force was composed of Grovers from all three cohorts: some with many years in the Grove and some new members. This allowed them to approach the work with both historical context and fresh eyes.
The members of the task force were:
Karen van Bergen
Kate Sama (Co-Chair)
Mary Abraham (Co-Chair)
The task force asked Grovers to share stories of times when they experienced the Grove at its best.
They did this in the belief that the best of the Grove is what we want to amplify and build on. They then asked Grovers to identify the values embodied by their stories. This happened over 17 facilitated Values Conversations involving nearly 80 Grove sisters. These conversations yielded 521 uniquely expressed values and attributes, which they distilled into four core values (each with some specific attributes shown in the values graphic.)
The core values are:
Inclusivity & Fairness
The stories were tested against feedback gathered over the previous summer during our three Grove-wide conversations on race and values, as well as our member survey and the August Town Hall of 2020.
The task force then shared these results during a Grove-wide meeting on November 1 2020 and requested member feedback.
Using these inputs, the task force created a statement of values called the Belizean Grove Credo. This is a collective view and may not be exact for every individual member. But we hope you see yourself and your Grove sisters in it.
This Credo reflects who you said we are, and who you said we want to be together.
The Belizean Grove CREDO
Who We Are and The Values We Share
We are accomplished, engaged, and engaging women who believe in the transformational power of our unique and joyful sisterhood. Our community of trust is built on authenticity, intimacy, a willingness to “leave our armor at the door,” and members who value, seek, and celebrate differences of thought and life experience. We are an anti-racist organization: committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We approach one another with open minds, respect, and humility, and support each other with “radical generosity” in good times and in bad. We are curious and thrive on discovery, learning, and growth, and find inspiration through shared wisdom and fun. We empower each other to be our best selves.
Our gatherings are catalysts for our sisterhood, designed to be accessible to all members to promote the exchange of ideas, the honest discussion of issues, and the creation of lifelong connections. “Magic” regularly occurs as a result. Collectively and individually, we appreciate and respect those who host us, and are eager to engage with, learn from, and support them in meaningful ways. We pay it forward.
We each commit to live these values and together share the responsibility of maintaining the Grove’s values and standards.
Thank you all for participating in the many conversations we have had regarding our values.
These conversations have brought much clarity and will provide helpful guidance as we all plan for a strong future for the Grove.
The Executive Committee of the Belizean Grove
Mary Abraham, Yaisa Andrews-Zwilling, Diane Ashley, Elaine Eisenman,
Lynn Hubbard, Michelle Jordan, Elizabeth Noe, Susan Stautberg, Charlotte Whitmore