Over the past few years, the United States has experienced a so-called “racial reckoning,” which reached a boiling point following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. In an attempt to address issues for which BIPOC folks have advocated consistently, for decades or centuries (depending on the issue and community affected), organizations began to engage in actions that fell on a continuum from superficial and performative to reparative and transformational. Equity capacity builders, including EiC, saw a drastic increase in requests for training, coaching, and consulting. Many perceived this as a sign of US culture shifting towards race equity.
Ultimately, the majority of actions were changes to mission and vision statements and ambitious public commitments (most unfulfilled), not the deep change to culture, policies, and practices required to dismantle structural racism in organizations and broader society. It is important to note that more organizations than ever are demonstrating an awareness of systemic racial inequity and working to evolve their transactional understanding of diversity and inclusion toward a transformational, cross-functional practice of equity. There has also been a measurable increase in recruitment of BIPOC executives to senior leadership roles nationwide, though their ability to thrive and be “successful” in those positions remains limited by pervasive bias.
As our team continues strategic planning, we look forward to refining our priorities and theory of change in 2023. We will continue the critical work of connecting and supporting nonprofit and philanthropic leaders for bold and necessary conversations that drive action toward operationalizing race equity. We’re excited to revisit our 2018 Awake to Woke to Work™ research, and explore how and to what extent the field-wide knowledge, practices and tools we’ve highlighted have measurably shifted organizations toward a Race Equity Culture™. And, we’ll continue to demonstrate our values by modeling what it looks like for a nonprofit organization to center race equity as a core goal of social impact.
We are grateful to our stakeholders, who have inspired and supported EiC’s work since our public launch in 2017. Cross-sector support from race equity practitioners, leaders, champions, and funders have been crucial in positioning us for this moment of evolution.
Two Years After Historic Uprisings, Where Does Philanthropy’s Commitment to Racial Justice Stand? By Martha Ramirez and Tate Williams | Inside Philanthropy
Want To Operationalize Equity? Look At Your Organization’s Container by Tamir Novotny and Niki Jagpal | Equity in the Center
Analyze Corporate Commitments to Racial Equity by Nicole Cardoza | Anti-Racism Daily