Grantmakers across the country are working towards change and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in philanthropy. We have seen many examples of how this commitment to improving processes and practices has benefited grantmaking and, in turn, the communities grantmakers and organizations are accountable to.
But there is more grantmakers can (and must) do to operate differently – more equitably and collectively – as a sector. If grantmakers actually want to create a more just, connected, and inclusive society, they must make the critical leap from theory to practice, acknowledging their complicity in systemic racism and proactively transforming our organizations and sector to center race equity in all that we do. This necessary leap was the impetus for Equity in the Center® to partner with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) to co-design and facilitate their newest learning cohort for GEO members, the Race Equity Culture™ Fellowship.
A crucial part of doing philanthropy differently is making room to think and act in transformational ways to embody a Race Equity Culture. In our charge to support thriving communities and center racial equity, it is imperative that grantmakers understand and know how to adopt a Race Equity Culture within their organizations and, ultimately, across the sector. Inherent to this culture is an explicit commitment to dismantling white supremacy culture, interrogating assumptions and biases about how the work of nonprofits and grantmakers is conducted, and eliminating institutional and structural racism within the social sector. As stated in EiC’s Awake to Woke to Work publication, “When your organization has fully committed to a Race Equity Culture, the associated values become part of its DNA — moving beyond special initiatives, task force groups, and check-the-box approaches into full integration of race equity in every aspect of its operations and programs.”
Grounded in EiC’s framework, the Race Equity Culture™ Fellowship cohort will outline key organizational levers that are necessary for building, deepening, and sustaining racial equity practice within organizations. Participants will engage in intimate settings with like-minded peers who can provide resources to advance organizational change. Our goal is to strengthen grantmakers’ competency in advancing racial equity internally and externally in the philanthropic sector.
Through retreats, small group coaching sessions, and team coaching, this cohort is specifically curated for racial equity practitioners, and DEI practitioners looking to deepen their practice towards racial equity, and who have committed to upending norms of traditional, institutional philanthropy. After developing a shared understanding of some processes and practices that can be used to build racial equity into the everyday work of the organization, participants will be challenged to implement change efforts and effectively story-tell regarding their successes and challenges.
We are excited to explore how grantmakers are reimagining racial equity in their organizations. We are excited to pilot and build together. To learn more about the cohort, visit GEO’s webpage here.