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BeSpeak Solutions, Inc., began working with NCCEH earlier this year to to guide them through the complex processes required to prioritize their commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Our signature program provides ongoing engagement, support, and resources to help the agency deepen its commitment embracing best practices in DEI. Our multi-faceted, multi-layered approach involves building community, identifying implicit bias, putting theory into action, analyzing progress, advertising accomplishments, and aligning itself for continued growth. We focus heavily on engaging persons through narrative dialogue and objective assessment at all levels of the organization. Once NCCEH has completed the process, they will have a theoretical and practical framework they can return to for many years to come. Because transformation of any kind happens over time, we encourage organizations to embrace a long-term view with internal benchmark SMART [Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely] goals along the way.  Our most recent accomplishment includes crafting a new mission statement for the agency.  Executive Director Ryan J. Fehrman highlighted our work in his November 3, 2021 Director's Message:

Dear Friends,

 

The foundation of any successful nonprofit is the mission. It clarifies the how, the why, and the what of the work being done and acts as a touchstone in times of uncertainty. It should be a reflection and extension of the agency’s values. Values that are both driven and demonstrated by the board and staff. Over the course of 2021, NCCEH has been working closely with Dr. Latonya Agard of BeSpeak Solutions to engage the staff around a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) process that includes updating our values, mission, and vision. It has been a tremendous opportunity to create a shared understanding of who we are, what we do, and why we do it and Dr. Agard has been a welcome addition to our team as we navigate these important issues.

 

Creating a mission from scratch with a group of smart and very opinionated people isn’t always the easiest task. Wordsmithing is real y’all. But nine possible mission statements were reduced to two, and after feedback and comments from the full group, the two proposed statements were modified, and a clear favorite emerged. At its meeting on Oct. 22nd, the NCCEH board of directors unanimously approved the new statement which reads as follows: “NCCEH upholds human dignity by pursuing justice and engaging innovative partnerships to end homelessness in North Carolina.” In our group discussions, there was a clear consensus that we see housing as a human right, that our work entails a social justice mindset, and that partnership and collaboration are the best means to achieve our larger goal of ending homelessness.

 

A good mission statement should challenge us to live up to our ideals. NCCEH is already in conversation about how we can honor our mission and how to proceed when challenged by the forces of injustice and bigotry that persist to this day. NCCEH and you, our members and partners, are doing hard work during some of the most challenging times this country has ever faced. Keep up the good work. I truly believe that better days are ahead and that together, we can end homelessness in North Carolina.

 

Best Wishes, 

 

Ryan J. Fehrman