Special Report JBS 2.0

Hello JBS Members,

Thanks to all of the JBS members in attendance at the JBS 2.0 lunch meeting at Penn Spectrum Weekend.  Gil assures us that this was one of the largest JBS member gatherings in recent times, with more than 50 members in attendance and actively engaged!  Everyone's participation was appreciated and noticed by the Penn administration. Let’s continue that momentum with a recap of the JBS 2.0 meeting and next steps.  Click here for our presentation from the meeting.


At the April 2016 JBS meeting and again at the JBS 2.0 lunch meeting, we discussed the JBS 2.0 initiative --- to reinvigorate JBS,  expand its relevancy to the growing membership and better leverage the wealth of JBS talent in support of the mission and goals of JBS. Between the April meeting and Penn Spectrum, the JBS 2.0 committee was tasked to strategize and operationalize the initiative.  Based on feedback we received from the members, the attendees at the Penn Spectrum meeting were presented with a revised mission:

JBS seeks to improve the quality of the campus experience for students, faculty and administrators of color, and to engage and further develop alumni of color.

The feedback also highlighted primary areas of interest to the membership: 1. content rich programming at semi-annual JBS meetings, in members' regional areas, and within our communities; 2. mentoring, supporting, recruiting and retaining students and faculty of color to Penn; 3. expanding the membership base by reactivating the inactive base and attracting new members; 4. increasing philanthropy by targeted fundraising and increased giving; and 5. facilitating leadership succession by cultivating JBS members for the pipeline to Penn governance organizations such as Boards of Overseers and Strategic Committees.  

JBS stakeholder analysis, feedback and buy-in from JBS senior leadership and most importantly, JBS members, is essential to ensuring that we are moving in the right direction.  We asked JBS members to rank their interest in six topics:

•    What is JBS and What it’s not             
•    Philanthropy and Fundraising Events
•    Membership Requirements and Expectations     
•    Volunteerism
•    Event Programming             
•    Mentoring  


Based on your responses (46 in total) the interest of the membership was ranked as follows:

  1. Mentoring
  2. Philanthropy and Fundraising
  3. Events Programming
  4. Membership Requirements and Expectations
  5. What is JBS and What is it not?
  6. Volunteerism


We asked the members at the JBS lunch to build on these topics by participating in breakout sessions to develop and discuss the short and long term priorities for the group, implementing the ideas and the benefits with a report out to the general body at the end of the meeting.  

The top priorities for each group are listed below:

Philanthropy and Fundraising
1. Fundraising Campaign
2. Fundraising Auction – event – the evening of the April meeting

Events, Programming and Mentoring
1. Build a speaker list of folks who would be panelists for different topics, including Career Services development mentoring lunch, and others.
2. Develop a stronger relationship to cultural houses on campus to cultivate a sustained presence and connection.   

Membership Requirements and Expectations
1. There is a lack of clarity around good-standing. It's hard to fully understand if members have hit their requirements, particular as it relates to philanthropy.
2. There is a need to have virtual or technological settings for those who aren't in the northeast

What is JBS and what is it not?
1. JBS serves students, faculty, and alumni
2. JBS should serve as the umbrella alumni group for all PENN diversity groups, with a focus on inclusion, which will then have an impact since it can be tied to Compact 2020, and metrics for what inclusion could look like.  

How can members be more active?
1. Opportunities for individual, as well as member-wide, participation in volunteer activities that are impactful and attract the attention of the PENN students and administration
2. The contacts in the administration and in the student groups can be communicated to JBS members who want to volunteer to enable them to focus volunteer efforts.

We would like the membership to let us know what they think about these top priorities.  Based on the feedback from the Penn Spectrum and the feedback you provide here with this survey, the JBS 2.0 committee will be working through the spring to begin implementing the short term priorities and move the long term priorities to the JBS committees to discuss and develop action items.  Your input is critical to this process. Please feel free to comment on any and/or all of the priorities for each JBS goal as stated above.  By accessing the link to the survey, you can give voice to your ideas and commitment. 

Next steps
We will collect stakeholder feedback and engage JBS senior leadership and the Penn administration to initiate progress on the top priorities outlined above, with the goal of implementing the short term ideas within the next few months so that at our next meeting in April, we can have some concrete changes implemented.  In addition, we will have the regular committees focus on moving forward on the long-term ideas generated at the fall meeting.  We hope to have another update for the newsletter before our next JBS meeting in the spring.  Thank you to everyone for your participation at the Penn Spectrum.  The wonderful involvement we saw from everyone at the meeting is what will make this JBS 2.0 effort succeed!  Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and see you next year!

JBS 2.0 Committee