Why join the Culture Action Team?

There are six unique teams making up the Culture Action Team. Today, we are taking a look at why three individuals chose to volunteer, what their involvement has looked like so far, and their hopes for the future of culture change at Hope.

Andie Near, Processes and Policies Team

What drew me into the Culture Action Team was a desire to try and help Hope College grow with Grace and Understanding in order to live into a community of Belonging. I ended up signing onto the Policies and Procedures Committee, not because I am deft in the arts of policy-making, but rather because I enjoy process in general. I joined in the fall of 2021, and began by becoming acquainted with what the committee accomplished the previous academic year. Their substantial efforts established a solid foundation and direction of how to approach diversity and shift the culture towards a more inclusive sense of belonging. 

As a committee, we are examining ways to improve hiring, onboarding, promotion, and retention policies. However, what I am hoping to tackle this semester is our whistleblowing policy. As a college, we’ve been talking a lot about race and sex discrimination as well as universal access; whistleblowing is also crucial for OSHA, workplace safety, managerial and business practice abuses. This reaches virtually every aspect of college life. I want to demystify whistleblowing as being more than revealing some epic scandal like Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s statements regarding the harms caused by Facebook. Rather it is a culture of internal reporting that holds us accountable to—yes, the law, but also—Hope’s values. I believe a strong whistleblowing culture can give us as a people of Hope a louder voice for Belonging, Understanding, and Grace. 

Dina Martinez Matchinsky, Training Team

[I was drawn to the Culture Action Team by…] the fact that we need an improved culture and climate in our HOPE offices and community. I want to be a part of change. I want to help grow the culture and climate.  I want to be proactive and not just sit back and hope for change. I hope I can help staff process new ideas and be open to new thinking and acceptance. 

Henry Chen, Training Team

I believe truly in the vision of bringing in a change in the culture at Hope. I was first asked to join the Culture Task Force in the Fall of 2019 and through that we worked on the picture of a Hope College that has a focus of Belonging, Understanding, and Grace. This led to the formation of the Culture Action Team. I wanted to help broaden this vision and to help with steps to bring this to the wider Hope community. 

I joined the Training team because I am passionate about training as a form of investing for the outcome of change.  I am a part of many training teams and love the opportunity to assist in this process. CQ training has been done in conjunction with the vision of the CAT. It was offered in a “train the trainer” model and we hope it will continue to expand at Hope. CQ, Cultural Intelligence—including CQ Drive, Knowledge, Strategy, and Action—is a good program that has used outside consultants from the Cultural Intelligence Center to assist us. CQ also explores ten cultural value dimensions that are helpful for learning about yourself and interacting with others. I still feel like there are many other avenues that can be explored in training.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, where we will hear from members of the Recognition and Appreciation team and the Public Events team! If you have questions, suggestions, or would like to be more involved, simply email culture@hope.edu.

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