I’m pleased to report that the Core Committee of the POD Network has responded to the call in academia (and society as a whole) for authentic reflection and action regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion by laying the groundwork to engage in an in-depth review of our own organization and processes.

I hope your semester has gotten off to a strong start and your work is going smoothly, despite the continuing challenges of COVID and the resultant uncertainties.

I’m pleased to report that the Core Committee of the POD Network has responded to the call in academia (and society as a whole) for authentic reflection and action regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion by laying the groundwork to engage in an in-depth review of our own organization and processes. Our goal is to identify actions we can take to make the POD Network a more inclusive, anti-racist, and equity-minded organization.

Last spring, an ad hoc committee composed of representatives from multiple committees and special interest groups drafted and issued a request for proposals (RFP) to secure a consultant to conduct an audit of our established policies and practices, including our internal- and external-facing activities and structures, to identify past and ongoing inequities and harmful practices, to make recommendations for change, and to help us create an action plan for moving forward.

We sought recommendations from you, our members, for individuals and organizations we might consider, and received 16 suggestions. We sent the RFP to all 16 firms and to the membership at large and received 9 proposals; our team reviewed all submissions and selected three finalists.

We interviewed the three finalists, checked references, and recommended to the Core Committee that we retain Think Again Training & Consulting (“Think Again”), the group that best met the criteria of the RFP.

Think Again supports individuals, organizations and communities that wish to enact social justice principles in their life and work. Through a deliberative assessment process, Think Again will:

  • Identify our specific strengths, needs, and opportunities for positive change;
  • Conduct a data and document review, and;
  • Interact with our membership using surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

When the assessment process is complete, Think Again will provide us with a report that includes recommendations for next steps, and work with us to create an action plan with clear strategies and tangible outcomes.

Think Again has already begun reviewing POD’s data, documents, and processes. As we move on to the next steps, we need your help!

The Core Committee invites your active participation in this year-long effort. There will be multiple ways to get involved, with different degrees of time commitments:

  • Respond to the member survey
  • Participate in a focus group
  • Participate in a structured interview 
  • Volunteer to be part of the steering committee

At the conference, I will share more details on how you can get involved.

welcome your feedback on this initiative and will provide regular updates on the insights Think Again shares, the recommendations they offer, and the plans we develop.

Please email me at president@podnetwork.org with your ideas!

Tremendous thanks are due to the members of the ad hoc committee, who developed and conducted such a thoughtful and reflective process: Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe, Heather Dwyer, Denise Leonard, Gloria Niles, Natalie Parker, and Toni Weiss.

Thank you for your continued interest in and support of this work.

Fran Glazer
President, POD Network