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H/Posts & Press Releases/Da Vinci Science Center selected to participate in Project Equity: Redesigning the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector

Da Vinci Science Center selected to participate in Project Equity: Redesigning the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector

Da Vinci Science Center is proud to participate in Project Equity: Redesigning the Lehigh Valley Nonprofit Sector, a new initiative from Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and Faces International.

The initiative brings together nonprofit stakeholders in the region to create a common vision, values, and strategies for redesigning an equitable and sustainable nonprofit sector.

“The underlying principle of Project Equity is the concept of ‘co-design’ which is when an organization and its stakeholders work together to design or rethink a service,” explained Megan Briggs, Director of Community Investments at Lehigh Valley Community Foundation. “We are inviting the people most affected by COVID-19 and systemic inequities into the problem-solving and decision-making space to co-design strategies to address how the nonprofit sector can rebuild in a way that focuses on equity and sustainability.”

“Da Vinci Science Center’s participation in this initiative will allow us to better understand how we are contributing to the systemic inequities and help us move forward with fellow nonprofits to affect change across the region,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of Da Vinci Science Center.

Project Equity will include four distinct phases that will ensure the initiative remains centered on equity and is a thorough and complete process. Consulting group TCC group will provide data and evaluation support for the initiative.

  • Phase One – Community-wide Launch
    The project begins with the creation of a “Design Team” made up of nonprofit and community representatives who will receive a grant to their respective organizations in recognition of their time.
     
  • Phase Two – Learn and Discover
    Design Team participants will engage in intensive dialogue about their experience in the nonprofit space. The team aims to understand what our community and nonprofit sector has experienced as the pandemic, racial injustice and an economic downturn converge.
     
  • Phase Three – Community Co-designing
    The Design Team will review data, answer key questions, and craft a common vision, values, and priorities for an equity-centered recovery and reimagining of the nonprofit sector.
     
  • Phase Four – Share and Act
    With a completed framework in hand, the information will be shared and distributed to all stakeholders within the Lehigh Valley.

“The outcome of Project Equity will enable the nonprofit sector to rethink how we are operating, imagine better alternatives, and co-create strategies to make those alternatives come to life.” Briggs explained further. “The project aims to center the community’s expertise and create a unified voice around the vision, values, and strategies in rebuilding from COVID-19. Through the process, we seek to build and deepen relationships and seed new partnerships.”

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