Park Board focuses on strengthening District’s organizational culture with hiring of DEI firm

Expressing a continued commitment toward strategically advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across the organization, the Elmhurst Park District Park Board approved at their January 10 meeting the hiring of Edquity-Minded Consulting, LLC to conduct a DEI organizational assessment.

The Park District’s focus on DEI stems from a strategic plan priority to strengthen organizational culture. Last year, the Park District formed an employee DEI Team with fourteen full-time and part-time employees and also gathered feedback from other parks and recreation agencies on their DEI initiatives. Based on the feedback and to effectively implement sustainable change, the DEI Team recommended conducting a DEI organizational assessment to pinpoint where to focus future efforts based on the highest priority identified needs, which is necessary for setting and implementing realistic and impactful DEI goals.

Similar to other long-range planning processes at the District, staff recommended hiring a professional service firm to conduct an independent assessment. The firm will guide the collection of quantitative and qualitative data, such as interviews, an employee survey and policy reviews, while also providing the expertise and objectivity necessary to assess DEI gaps and opportunities within the District. Utilizing the data collected, the firm will work with the District to identify DEI priorities and strategies and develop an action plan. 

The firm was selected utilizing a Request for Proposals (RFP) process, which involves outlining the project requirements in a RFP document and advertising its availability so that all firms have the opportunity to submit a proposal for the project.  Using the evaluation criteria outlined in the RFP, the DEI Firm Selection Team reviewed the six proposals received by the RFP deadline and invited four firms for interviews. Edquity-Minded Consulting, LLC was determined to be the best fit given their experience, understanding of the project’s goals, and ability to foster a high level of engagement during the process. The firm’s proposed not-to-exceed fee of $31,560 was also within the $35,000 budget approved by the Park Board for the project.

Edquity-Minded Consulting, LLC is based in Antioch, IL and was established in 2020 by Tamekia M. Scott, EdD. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Scott has worked with and for organizations across the United States to develop training opportunities, conduct organizational audits and program analysis, lead departmental organizational change and provide DEI support.

Progress on the assessment is expected to take place throughout 2022, with a final report and presentation expected in October 2022.