Kerrien Suarez, Director of Equity in the Center, was recently featured in both a podcast and a blog hosted by Independent Sector. Equity in the Center, a project of ProInspire, is a collaborative initiative to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase equity within the sector.
In the Podcast, Woke Is an Action Word, Kay discusses why diversity, equity, and inclusion are key priorities for social sector leaders and organizations, and how Equity in the Center’s collaborative approach is poised to make a difference.
You can listen here, starting at 17:25: Podcast: Woke Is an Action Word
Originally posted on www.commonfuture2017.org
HOW TO GET FROM TRANSACTIONAL TO ACCOUNTABLE ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
By Kristina Gawrgy Campbell
On Friday, October 27, Our Common Future attendees will have a chance to participate in a session titled, “Creating a Culture Focused on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.” We asked one of the speakers, Kerrien Suarez, director of Equity in the Center, a program of ProInspire, to answer some questions about the initiative, the session, and why this is a topic that deserves more attention from sector leaders.
KGC: Tell us a little about ProInspire’s work in this space.
KS: ProInspire’s bold goal is that social sector organizations have high performing leaders at all levels in order to fulfill their missions. We believe that developing leaders, creating career pathways, and prioritizing talent, equity, and inclusion will catalyze social sector performance. Equity in the Center is a project of ProInspire, and a key initiative of our strategy to influence the sector to prioritize talent, equity, and inclusion.
KGC: Equity in the Center’s mission is all about putting race and equity in the center of the conversation as we chart our sector’s future. What’s the project doing to help fulfill that mission for the sector and how will this session help?
KS: Equity in the Center is embracing a truly collaborative approach in supporting social sector leaders in moving from talk to action in their work to achieve inclusion and equity within organizations. We have identified levers for culture change that can be pushed to generate progress. Through research interviews and working sessions with nearly 100 practitioners, thought leaders and executives, we have identified levers for culture change that meet organizations where they are in this work.
We will be publishing a framework on the Equity Cycle that outlines key steps for organizations to execute as they evolve toward a culture of equity–shifting culture:
- From transactional (building a staff and board comprised of people from different racial backgrounds and perspectives)
- To transformational (creating a workplace culture where different backgrounds and perspectives are valued and used in advancing organizational missions)
- To accountable (holding themselves responsible for ensuring that policies and practices ensure racially equitable opportunities internally and externally).
We will publish The Equity Cycle this fall as a tool for those leading internal initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Just before Our Common Future this October, we will convene our advisors and funders to discuss how Equity in the Center will partner with stakeholders between 2018 and 2020 to align programs and initiatives that generate sector-level progress on equity.
The Our Common Future session will provide a foundation of knowledge for those who are somewhat new to the issue, as well as examples and resources for those who have been focused on and are knowledgeable about the topics of culture change and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
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