So, you’re building a Race Equity Culture™.

How’s it going?

Whether you’re talking with leaders in your organization, board members, team members or other stakeholders, this is a question that comes up often. And it’s a hard one to answer unless you are regularly tracking your progress.

How do you track your progress? By using the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™.

What is the Race Equity
Cycle Pulse Check™?

The Pulse Check is an interactive application designed specifically for teams to assess where they are on the path to building Race Equity Culture™ and help identify opportunities for continuing to move from Awake to Woke to Work®.

How does it work?

Building a Race Equity Culture™ involves transforming organizational culture, practices and processes to narrow (and eventually eliminate) race-based disparities in measurable outcomes such as composition, compensation, promotion, retention, staff engagement, staff performance, and so on.

This is transformational work and rarely is it completed all at one time. Instead it takes ongoing effort and changes across the entire organization.

The Pulse Check will ask you to identify trends in your culture, programs, operations, and governance. Your answers to the questions will create a Score Report that shows where you are on the Race Equity Cycle® and recommendations on how to continue the momentum.

Who is the Pulse Check for?

When you center race equity at your organization, the work can seem daunting and sometimes, it can be hard to know where to even start. The Pulse Check is designed to help you with exactly that. The tool will help you to assess which stage of the Race Equity Cycle® (Awake, Woke, Work) your organization is at, and to identify concrete next steps to advance your organization’s Race Equity Culture™, The Pulse Check is critically important in this time of uncertainty, flux and attacks on ‘DEI’ work; it provides you and your team with the starting point for needed conversations to sustainably operationalize race equity throughout your organization.

 

Slide

What is the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™?

The Pulse Check is an interactive application designed specifically for teams to assess where they are on the path to building Race Equity Culture™ and help identify opportunities for continuing to move from Awake to Woke to Work®.
Slide

How does it work?

Building a Race Equity Culture™ involves transforming organizational culture, practices and processes to narrow (and eventually eliminate) race-based disparities in measurable outcomes such as composition, compensation, promotion, retention, staff engagement, staff performance, and so on.

This is transformational work and rarely is it completed all at one time. Instead it takes ongoing effort and changes across the entire organization.

The Pulse Check will ask you to identify trends in your culture, programs, operations, and governance. Your answers to the questions will create a Score Report that shows where you are on the Race Equity Cycle® and recommendations on how to continue the momentum.
Slide

Who is the Pulse Check for?

When you center race equity at your organization, the work can seem daunting and sometimes, it can be hard to know where to even start. The Pulse Check is designed to help you with exactly that. The tool will help you to assess which stage of the Race Equity Cycle® (Awake, Woke, Work) your organization is at, and to identify concrete next steps to advance your organization's Race Equity Culture™, The Pulse Check is critically important in this time of uncertainty, flux and attacks on 'DEI' work; it provides you and your team with the starting point for needed conversations to sustainably operationalize race equity throughout your organization.

What People Are Saying About the Pulse Check

What Are the Steps?

Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Recommended Steps

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 1
*Since the Pulse Check is designed using the Race Equity Cycle® framework, it’s important that your team has an understanding of it and what each stage/lever entails.

Step 2

Meet with colleagues to review the FAQs and determine the composition of the cross-functional team that will complete the Pulse Check.*

*The team of colleagues completing the Pulse Check should be as diverse racially/ethnically (and in terms of role/hierarchy) as possible given the composition of the organization as a whole. Members of a single management or program team, for example, should not complete the tool.

Step 3

Register your cross-functional team for access to the Pulse Check portal. Your teammates will need to read and be familiar with the Awake to Woke to Work® publication.

Step 4

Once approved, registered teammates will receive invitations to the portal. You will not be able to begin the Pulse Check until all teammates have accepted their invitation.*

Step 5

Complete the Pulse Check as a team during a meeting of at least two hours. Once completed, a Pulse Check Score Report will be displayed in the portal.

Step 6

Reconvene the cross-functional team that completed the Pulse Check, review the Score Report and use its recommendations to prioritize action steps to begin/continue building a Race Equity Culture™. Consider how the recommendations from the report will be shared across your organization to build momentum and buy-in for the action steps prioritized for implementation.*

*Consider engaging an equity consultant/coach to guide both prioritization of action steps and the messaging of recommendation

“Suppose we define an Opportunity as an energetic offering for growth and transformation. In that case, an Opportunity Gap is where love, discomfort, curiosity, dignity, respect, hurt, care, and humility can exist in harmony/balance to catapult us to the next level of our journey. The EIC Cohort offers a space to fill in that opportunity gap. We often do not know how to “professionally” engage with each other where we feel safe being uncomfortable, transparent, vulnerable, and imaginative. I highly encourage individuals and organizations looking into creating and sustaining spaces that allow us to be in choice while moving through discomfort to participate in the EIC Pulse Check Cohort Experience.”

~ Sequoia, SoCal Grantmakers, Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Cohort Participant

Meet Your Coaches

Niki Jagpal (she/her)
EIC Executive Vice President
“Building a Race Equity Culture™ doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Too often, we hear commitments to race equity followed by inaction because folks don’t know where to start. That’s where the Pulse Check comes in, providing you with a concrete basis from which to initiate necessary dialogue and action in your organization to advance along the Race Equity Cycle®. Even the very process of completing the Pulse Check can reveal important dynamics about your organization’s culture.”

Niki Jagpal (she/her)

EIC Executive Vice President

“Building a Race Equity Culture™ doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Too often, we hear commitments to race equity followed by inaction because folks don’t know where to start. That’s where the Pulse Check comes in, providing you with a concrete basis from which to initiate necessary dialogue and action in your organization to advance along the Race Equity Cycle®. Even the very process of completing the Pulse Check can reveal important dynamics about your organization’s culture.”
Kerrien Suarez (she/her)
EIC President & CEO
“The Pulse Check builds on the foundation laid by the framework in Awake to Woke to Work® by providing organizations with a solid sense of how to initiate or continue the work of building a Race Equity Culture™. Because the Pulse Check has been validated as robust by a third party/external evaluator, leaders and teams can rely on the recommendations to be accurately tailored for their specific equity needs.”

Pricing

The cost to use the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ is based on your organization’s budget (or asset base for foundations):

Table
Budget Pulse Check Pulse Check with Coaching
Nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $1M $500 $1000
Nonprofits with annual budgets of $1-3.9M $1000 $2000
Foundations with assets less than $10M; Nonprofits with annual budgets from $4-9.9M $2000 $4000
For profits/foundations with assets $10M+; Nonprofits with annual budgets $10M+ $4000 $8000
Table
Budget
Nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $1M
Pulse Check: $500
Pulse Check with Coaching: $1000
Nonprofits with annual budgets of $1-3.9M
Pulse Check: $1000
Pulse Check with Coaching: $2000
Foundations with assets less than $10M; Nonprofits with annual budgets from $4-9.9M
Pulse Check: $2000
Pulse Check with Coaching: $4000
For profits/foundations with assets $10M+; Nonprofits with annual budgets $10M+
Pulse Check: $4000
Pulse Check with Coaching: $8000

“One of the best things about the Pulse Check was seeing the difference in how people at different levels of the organization view our work and what we have done.”

~ Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Cohort Participant

How to use the Pulse Check

Are you ready to keep the momentum going to move your organization from Awake to Woke to Work®? No matter where you are on the Race Equity Cycle®, the Pulse Check will help you continue to make progress towards building a Race Equity Culture™ at your organization.

There are two ways you can use the Pulse Check:

1

Access the Tool

Access the tool to assess whether your organization is at the Awake, Woke, or Work stages across the seven levers of the Race Equity Cycle®.

2

Get Coaching

Get customized guidance from EIC coaches to further advance your work to operationalize race equity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to use the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ (Pulse Check)?

The cost is based on your organization’s budget (or asset base if you are a foundation):
– Nonprofits with annual budgets of less than $1M, $500
– Nonprofits with annual budgets of $1-3.9M, $1,000
– Foundations with assets less than $10M; Nonprofits with annual budgets from $4-9.9M, $2,000
– For profits/foundations with assets $10M+; Nonprofits with annual budgets $10M+, $4,000

What types of organizations should complete the Pulse Check?
The Pulse Check includes indicators that apply to nonprofit and community organizations, and for-profit businesses. While the Pulse Check specifically refers to the board of directors in line with the Awake to Woke to Work® Publication, we ask folks who may work at organizations that don’t have a board of directors to consider the governing body of an organization, oversight body, advisory boards/boards of governors in its place.

Organizations of any size can use the tool, but we recommend it for businesses that have at least 20 employees.

If you are an independent consultant interested in having a client organization take the Pulse Check, please click here.

What does “access” mean?

The Pulse Check is not a downloadable tool, it lives on our platform as an interactive application. “Access” to the Pulse Check means that you are taking it on behalf of/as an organization – rather than receiving permission to view all of the questions. At no point during taking the Pulse Check will you be able to view all of the questions at once because it is designed to be taken in real-time with a team.

Who will see our scores?

The Pulse Check Score Reports are automatically generated when you complete the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™, so all teammates invited to the Pulse Check will see it. Equity In The Center team members will have access to the Pulse Check responses and score, which will remain confidential. Your confidential responses will become part of Equity In The Center’s database, which may be used in future research on building a Race Equity Culture™. Your responses, overall score and organization name will remain confidential. If they are used in future research, data will only be published in aggregate (in a data set along with other organizations). Your responses will not be associated with your specific organization.

Who should complete the Pulse Check on behalf of the company?

Only one person – the Team Lead – will be able to complete the Pulse Check on behalf of the organization. Teammates who are invited to the Pulse Check will be able to see the results once the Pulse Check has been submitted. The Pulse Check is intended to be taken in a shared space, virtual or otherwise, with the team lead facilitating the conversation with team members to come to an agreement on which answer choice to select for each question.

We strongly recommend that you assemble a team to complete the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ together. We recommend including a leader or manager with enough positional power to feel comfortable answering questions as honestly as possible as part of a group of executives/senior leaders, but with first-hand experience or significant context on the experiences of entry- and mid-level staff. The Pulse Check will ask for responses in each of these areas.

We also recommend that the team completing the Pulse Check be as racially/ethnically diverse as possible given the make-up of the organization as a whole. It is important to remember that a team of five white individuals completing the Pulse Check may have meaningfully different perspectives on key issues of race and organizational culture than a team that is predominately people of color, or one that includes an equal representation of both. Also, note that it is important not to resort to tokenism – communicating that an individual’s race or ethnicity is the key factor driving recruitment – when identifying a colleague of color to be part of the team completing the Pulse Check.

How much time should the team allocate to complete the Pulse Check?

Completing the Pulse Check together will help your team surface bigger questions about your race equity commitment. As such, we suggest scheduling a 2 – 3 hour meeting in order to allow for discussion and processing of the questions. The meeting should allow for the completion of the Pulse Check in one session. Dividing the Pulse Check among many sessions will extend the time needed to complete it.

What data/information should we have in order to complete the Pulse Check?

The Pulse Check will ask you to identify trends in your culture, programs, operations, and governance. You should have access to your organizational policies, regular data reports (talent, budget, program, utilization, outcomes, participant/customer), and Board/governance minutes. The Pulse Check will not ask you for your specific results (i.e. the percentage of Black women who have been promoted to C-suite roles in the past 5 years), but having them on hand may help facilitate your responses.

When should we complete the Pulse Check?

The Pulse Check is a tool that organizations can use early in their work to determine a baseline for current organizational culture and develop an action plan with specific steps intended to build a Race Equity Culture™. An organization might use it as it is preparing to bring on a race equity consultant, or as it is launching strategic and action planning to operationalize race equity cross-functionally. Once the Pulse Check is submitted, your organization will have to wait 12 months to take it again. Organizational culture shifts, especially as they relate to race equity, are not achieved in a matter of a few months; it is the result of longitudinal change.

How many and what kind of questions can we expect on the Pulse Check?

The Pulse Check consists of 23 questions and two question types: multiple choice and multiple choice grid. See below for examples of the question types.

Is the sky blue?

– Yes

– No

What is an acceptable driving speed in the following areas? Select all that apply.

20 mph 25 mph 30 mph 40 mph 60 mph
School zone
Highway
City Streets

 

If you have any questions or concerns not addressed in this User Guide, please feel free to email us at pulsecheck@equityinthecenter.org.

Let’s Do This

You are already on the path to building Race Equity Culture™. The Pulse Check will provide a way to check in on your progress and guidance on continuing to move from Awake to Woke to Work®.