“Lead. Follow. Or, Get Out of the Way.”

Oct 26, 2020 | Woke @ Work

Read Time: 3 minutes

This blog was originally published in the October 14, 2020 Luminare newsletter, Be Lumin-Us.


“Lead. Follow. Or, get out of the way.”

This quote, alternately attributed to Thomas Paine and George Patton, is top of mind today. Not because centering the leadership philosophies of powerful white males seems appropriate when the American president just released a statement celebrating the “achievements” of Christopher Columbus – a man whose depravity is as well documented as his sense of direction – but because a truthful reimagining of the quote for this moment might be to paraphrase Stonewall Community Foundation’s Jarrett Lucas:

“Fall back and let Indigenous and Black people lead….Indigenous and Black leadership moves us closer to solutions. Get out of the way.”

Get out of the way. How can leaders and organizations do that?

Below, I’m sharing some resources and tools that I hope will support colleagues and co-conspirators for racial equity and justice in beginning to do so. By centering the voices, lived expertise, healing practices, leadership and power of Indigenous and Black people, we make progress toward the deep equity and liberation that this moment in history, and colonialism’s legacy of state-sanctioned savagery and white supremacy, requires. Equity in the Center believes deep equity to be the foundation of the Race Equity Culture leaders must inspire progress toward within organizations and in broader society. It is my hope that these tools and resources – which can support our collective work to follow or get out of the way of Indigenous and Black visionaries – will support you in building relationships and practices rooted in the wisdom, joy, energy, and purpose that have sustained Indigenous people for millennia, and people of African descent for centuries, on this land.


Centering Indigenous and Black Leadership

Resource for Allies

Other Tools/Resources

EiC Resources

Search Posts

Recent Posts

Move Beyond Acknowledgment: Reparative Relationships with Indigenous Communities

Move Beyond Acknowledgment: Reparative Relationships with Indigenous Communities

Read Time: 3 minutes Leading with our values of being Pro-Indigenous and Pro-Black, Equity In The Center (EIC) remains inspired by the possibility of working into a Pro-Indigenous framework for our collective liberation. To that end, we recently shared a video explaining our practice of paying a land tax to the Piscataway Conoy, whose land we occupy in the Washington, DC region. EIC allocates 2% of our annual budget for this purpose, and encourages colleagues to redistribute resources as part of a broader commitment to take action in solidarity with Indigenous communities.

Our Path to Sustainability

Our Path to Sustainability

Read Time: 3 minutes Published in 2018, Awake to Woke to Work®: Building a Race Equity Culture™ couples the case for organizations centering race equity with an actionable framework (the Race Equity Cycle®) and concrete next steps. Since then and over 71,000 downloads later, we continue to build the social sector’s capacity to operationalize race equity. In 2021, we introduced the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™, an assessment for organizations to determine where they are on the Race Equity Cycle® and that provides action steps to move from one stage to the next. Initially launched as a free resource, the Pulse Check has been utilized by over 50 organizations, and was determined to be a robust, valid tool when evaluated in 2023. We have complemented our resources and tools with programmatic supports, including training, coaching, cohort programs and a network for race equity practitioners.

EIC Adopts Racial Equity Tools (RET)

EIC Adopts Racial Equity Tools (RET)

Read Time: 2 minutes Equity In The Center (EIC) is excited to announce the adoption of Racial Equity Tools (RET)! As RET celebrates its 15th anniversary, EIC is honored to lead the next phase of expansion and advancement of RET’s comprehensive website. With this transition, RET will focus on enhancing curation expertise, technical assistance, user-friendliness, responsiveness, and the integration of accessibility and language justice practices. Created in 2009, RET is a key source in the racial justice field, providing a wealth of resources for activists, practitioners, and scholars. With more than 4,500 resources in 98 categories with a robust and popular glossary, RET serves as a critical resource to the race equity, racial justice and movement fields.