Q&A on the Carrot Community Committee (C3)

Published on July 27, 2021

Jenny Bergerson is a Customer Solutions Manager at Carrot Health and also current treasurer for the Carrot Community Committee (C3), a team created to put action behind Carrot Health’s core values. The goal of C3 is to find ways to engage with our community in meaningful ways and to provide our employees with opportunities to get involved in three key areas: volunteer efforts and contributions to selected partner organizations; educational opportunities for those who would most benefit from them; and promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We talked recently with Jenny about her experiences as a member of the committee.

Q:
Where is C3 currently focusing its efforts?

A:
C3 does a really great job in not just putting those values up on the website but actually putting action against them in order to make a positive impact to our community. We’re based in Minneapolis, so it could be in our direct community, but it can also broaden out to the communities that each of the employees are in, including Colorado and California. Currently, we are evaluating future partnership opportunities and volunteering events and executing against our DEI goals.

Q:
Who are the current partner organizations and what kind of help is C3 providing them?

A:
We currently have three active partnerships – EveryMeal, Northside Achievement Zone and Constellation Fund – and the contribution varies by partnership. We provide a monetary contribution, as well as consultative support, lending our expertise in data and predictive analytics to help organizations do the things that they’re looking to do.

Q:
What’s the process like for selecting partners?

A:
Typically, it’s committee members who are bringing forth partnership ideas, and we have an evaluation rubric that is completed: who that organization is, contribution type, goals of the engagement and any additional requirements and notes. We also look to get their most recent annual report to ensure our contribution is going towards making a true impact for that organization. From there, the committee votes on whether or not we want to move forward. We put a lot of thoughtfulness into who we decide to partner with, as you may expect from an analytics organization!

Q:
How does the broader Carrot team participate in C3 partnerships?

A:
Carrot employees are encouraged to participate through volunteer events like EveryMeal meal packing events. Engagement is typically high when we put out sign-up sheets. Additionally, one of our advisors on C3 is our HR lead, so she’s also championing other volunteering opportunities and getting people engaged outside our active C3 partnerships.

Q:
You’re part of C3’s DEI subgroup. Why is that work important to you?

A:
There are a lot of different reasons. I’m a person of color, and throughout my life I’ve had my share of being stereotyped and negatively perceived due to my race.

At a previous job, I had called a co-worker to resolve an issue. This was my first non-email interaction with this person, and the first statement made was, “I thought you’d have an accent.” I initially blew past it to get off the phone as quickly as possible. Later, I sat in my cube replaying the comment in my mind. Why was that their first comment? Is it because my last name is Ko? Do they treat others the same way? Should I talk to my manager or HR? The whole exchange bothered me immensely, but ultimately I decided not to do anything. I was early in my career, and I didn’t want to draw (what I deemed at the time) unnecessary attention to myself. Looking back, I wish I had.

As a Korean American woman in a primarily White community, this was not the first, nor the last, time I was judged based on my appearance, name and culture. With the ongoing violence against the Asian community and the rise of targeted racist attacks, I find myself once again vulnerable. Additionally, I am a mom to two young mixed raced toddlers. I am constantly concerned of the type of experiences they will have. What are people going to say about them? What are people going to say to them? How do we (my husband and I) keep them safe during this time and prepare them for these experiences as they grow?

I feel that we are just starting to get comfortable having these types of conversations, especially in the workplace, where historically a lot of organizations have shied away from those nitty gritty types of discussions. When I saw that there was an opening for C3, I jumped at the chance, and I feel really fortunate to be a part of it and be active in a committee that is taking true action. For me, personally, the C3 core value I hold most dear is the DEI portion and promoting DEI within our team.

Q:
Can you describe the internal initiatives the DEI subgroup is advancing at Carrot Health?

A:
We rolled out a survey in March to get a pulse of how people perceive Carrot from a DEI perspective: Where are there opportunities? What sort of topics are people interested in learning more about? How do we get to know each other and get comfortable having these really uncomfortable conversations at times? Based on the responses, we put together a two-phased approach for how we want to execute our goals. The first phase is a grassroots-type mobilization: the items that we can control internally, like sharing multicultural events and holidays and employee spotlights. The second phase is focused on providing DEI education and training based on the topics of interest from the March survey, like unconscious bias and different types of ally-ships.

Q:
What does success look like for C3?

A:
Ultimately, we go back to the C3 values to determine what success looks like. Are we identifying and providing volunteer, partnership and educational opportunities to our team and community? Are we promoting diversity, equity and inclusion within our company culture?

Lastly, we remain curious and encourage open communication. I’m proud of being a part of committee that puts action against the values and makes a positive impact.

C3 has eight total members, including a chair, treasurer and secretary, plus three advisors, who meet every other week. Members serve 1-year terms to invite others on the Carrot Health team to rotate into and out of the committee. By partnering with organizations who share our values, Carrot Health is amplifying our impact within our community.

To learn more about C3, visit its page on our website. For more information about the intersection of philanthropy and economics, check out the smart philanthropy episode of our Carrot Shtick podcast.

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