Downtown Holland seeks DEI consultant

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Downtown Holland Photo by iStock

The city of Holland’s Principal Shopping District is seeking an individual or a firm to serve as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant for downtown Holland.

The request for proposals can be found on the city of Holland’s website. Interested parties can also contact downtown@cityofholland.com directly to receive a link to the RFP. Proposals will be accepted through 5 p.m. July 1.

In 2018, the Principal Shopping District (PSD) established a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) subcommittee made up of volunteer board members and business representatives to begin to address the underrepresented communities that do not feel welcome in downtown Holland. Since that time, PSD staff have attended a variety of DEI training and workshops and to intentional outreach efforts with DEI organizations and events in the community.

With the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and pervasive racial injustice, the PSD has committed to taking the next step in ensuring that all feel invited, welcomed and engaged in downtown Holland by hiring an expert in the field of DEI to assist in the effort.

The PSD is currently seeking a qualified individual or firm with a track record of moving businesses and organizations forward in their efforts to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Responsibilities would include working with PSD staff and the DEI subcommittee on the following tasks:

  1. Defining strategic DEI goals for the organization and related benchmarking measures.
  2. Gathering data (through surveys and other means) to gauge current attitudes of underrepresented communities toward downtown Holland.
  3. Providing up-to-date data on both a local and regional level to make the business case for DEI to downtown Holland business owners.
  4. Providing training opportunities to the PSD board of directors and downtown Holland business owners on implicit bias, cultural intelligence and other relevant DEI matters.
  5. Meeting with downtown Holland property owners and other parties to establish a transparent path for increased minority business ownership in downtown Holland.
  6. Assisting in identifying potential funding sources for the PSD’s DEI donor fund to support this ongoing work.
  7. Continuing to build on current relationships between the organizations and community partners working in the field of DEI.
  8. Operationalizing the other strategic goals related to promoting downtown Holland within a DEI framework.

“With a volunteer board and a limited staff, we recognize that in order to make significant progress in our efforts to foster DEI in downtown Holland, it was time that we engage with an expert in the field,” said Kara de Alvare, Downtown Holland marketing coordinator. “We are eager to identify the right partner for our organization that will walk alongside us on our DEI journey and help us accomplish this important but sometimes difficult work.”

Funding for the DEI consultant will be provided by the PSD, the budget of which is made up of annual assessment funds paid by downtown Holland property owners and by the newly established downtown Holland DEI donor fund.

Donations to the DEI donor fund are used strictly to support downtown Holland’s DEI efforts and are not used to support other downtown Holland events or promotions. Individuals and businesses that are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the DEI donor fund should reach out at downtown@cityofholland.com for further details. All donors receive recognition from city council.

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