Awake to Woke to Work

Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Cohort

Join a collaborative, learning-forward program focused on deepening organizations’ understanding and implementation of strategies that advance racial equity. Begins September 2023!

About the Cohort

The Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Cohort is a unique opportunity for organizations to join a collaborative, learning-forward program focused on deepening their understanding and implementation of strategies that advance racial equity.

Cohort Desired Outcomes:
1. Successful completion of the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Assessment
2. Develop and Implement a Race Equity Action Plan (REAP) tailored to specific needs and objectives related to racial equity.
3. Learn from Others’ experiences in the sector who are also striving to advance racial equity.

We are especially interested in applications from organizations that have already demonstrated a commitment to advancing racial equity. Additionally, this is a team opportunity, and we expect that the application will reflect collective buy-in and commitment to this work within your organization. We strongly encourage you to revisit the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ User Guide as it provides a comprehensive understanding of what the program entails.

If you have any inquiries, feedback, issues or concerns, please contact Juan Serrano, our Director of Content and Training, at



  • Opening Retreat: September 27 and October 4, 2023 @ 12 – 4 PM EST
  • Complete Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Assessment: October 2023
  • Round 1 of Org Team Coaching: November and December 2023


  • Mid-Point Retreat: February 14 and 21, 2024  @ 12 – 4 PM EST
  • Round 2 of Org Team Coaching: March 2024
  • Closing Retreat: April 10 and 15, 2024 @ 12 – 4 PM EST

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2023 Race Equity Pulse Check™ Cohort! To receive information on future cohorts, please fill out the form below.


Non-profits with budgets <$1M Non-profits with budgets between $1M and $3,999,999; government Foundations with assets less than $10M; non-profits with budgets between $4M and $9,999,999 Foundations with assets over $10M; and non-profits with budgets $10M and above All for-profit companies
$5,000 $6,500 $9,000 $11,000 $15,000

*The price of participation for the 2023-2024 cohort is based on a sliding scale model (inspired by the Rockwood Leadership Institute).

Info Session & Office Hour


Juan Serrano, EIC Director of Content 

An educator by training and an organizer at heart, Juan believes in his power to attach peoples’ broader understanding of race and power to tangible actions that affect change. Prior to joining Equity In The Center, Juan served as the Gulf/Delta Regional Manager for the new Race Forward, Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) where he worked with jurisdictions in the region to apply a racial equity framework to their operations by designing and facilitating workshops for local government leaders. In addition to his work to drive change in the Gulf/Delta region, he hosted the GARE Network Arts and Culture Work Group whose mission is to build critical infrastructure and connective tissue for Arts and Cultural Affairs offices across the country, in order to move cultural narratives in more racially equitable directions.

Juan works in his current capacity from his home in Mexico City; he continues to partner with people and organizations that pursue racial equity and community engagement across the Gulf region and beyond.

Juan is an award-winning educator with 10 years of teaching and administrative experience. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Dillard University and an M.S. in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University.


Information and Frequently Asked Questions

The Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ Cohort consists of:

1. Cohort Retreats – Cohort retreat sessions will take place 12:00 pm ET – 4:00 pm ET on Zoom.

2. Coaching Sessions – Coaching sessions are each 1 hour on Zoom and will be scheduled based on availability of your team and EIC staff.

  • Round 1 of coaching sessions will be offered in November and December 2023.
  • Round 2 of coaching sessions will be offered in March 2024.

3. Awake to Woke to Work®: Building a Race Equity Culture™ Workshop for Organizations – This is an opportunity for your broader team to engage with the Awake to Woke to Work® framework with EIC’s facilitation. Your organization will have the option of attending one of the following Open Enrollment Sessions:

  • October 16 & 30, 2023, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
  • March 4 & 18, 2024, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET


In order to remove prohibitive barriers to participation and assemble a diverse and inclusive cohort, EIC will be able to offer two scholarships (full or partial, depending on need) for two applicants. If cost is a barrier, please indicate so on your applications. Scholarships are only available for nonprofits below $1M. A link to apply for a scholarship will be available during the application launch.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Please see the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ User Guide for additional information about the Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ tool not included in this FAQ.

Will the cohort be completely virtual?

Yes, as of now it is planned to be entirely virtual.  However, we are including a question on the application form to see if folks are interested in any in-person components.

How many organizations will be in a cohort? 

We expect 5-6 organization teams in the cohort with 5-6 people on each team, yielding 25-35 cohort members total.

How will EIC decide which organizations will participate?

We are looking for organizations that are ready to take action on their values around race equity, and need some tools and support to make meaningful and durable changes toward that end. This is a working group, not a discussion group! We will consider including organizations that are in the stage of making a case for race equity work internally. However, we want to be focused on moving organizations forward in the Race Equity Cycle™.

How should we decide who will be part of the cohort team from our org? 

Ideal for the cohort team are people who are champions of race equity work, and who, within the scope of their role, are authorizers and executors. Folks who are looking for an introduction to race equity work, who need convincing that this work is important, or who do not have decision making power within the organization are not good fits for the cohort team.

Is there a specific representation you would like to see among teams from each organization (like members of leadership, board members, etc.)? 

Your org team should represent the breadth and depth of your organization. We’re interested in seeing diversity in terms of both decision-making authority and insights into all department functions. This could include individuals from various levels of the organizational hierarchy and across different departments. For example, if you are a majority volunteer-run organization, you will want to include some volunteers as participants as well as folks with decision-making power such as program directors, etc. We would not recommend including board members unless they will not be roadblocks to progress. If a board member, for example, is the chair of the board equity committee, their participation would absolutely make sense.

Do you recommend that being a cohort team member is voluntary or an assigned role?

We leave the internal process of selecting cohort team members up to your particular org context and culture. However, we recommend that you think about who is ready to take on this work in terms of interest, skillset, and capacity.

Is there a maximum number of team members you recommend to participate in the cohort?

We recommend 5-6 team members per organization. In your application put down the number of folks that makes sense to your team as per the guidelines. For example, for a team of only 6 total people you may only send 3 folks to the cohort, whereas a larger organization may apply for a larger team to participate in the cohort.

We have an organization of 12 people – would there be the possibility of having all 12 of us as the Org Team?

That is probably too many folks from one org for the cohort. We can have a conversation to see if your specific case falls within the program recommendations. A smaller group could participate in the cohort, and the whole team could participate in the consulting sessions and Open Enrollment sessions if that is determined to be beneficial for your org.

Are all cohort team members expected to participate in each retreat and coaching session?

Yes, the goal is for all folks to be present for all sessions. However, we understand that schedules don’t always allow for that.

Do you anticipate offering this cohort opportunity again? 

We plan to offer future cohorts. We will form the first cohort with the intention to amplify the experience for each org based on the information we receive in applications. As needed we may invite some folks to participate in future cohorts. We have not scheduled future cohorts yet.

The timing of this cohort won’t work for us. Would you recommend applying now and noting that we’d want to participate in future?

Yes, we recommend applying anyway because folks who apply this round will get priority for future cohorts. Depending on the number of organizations that have expressed interest, we could fill multiple cohorts based on this application round.

What is the basis of the pulse check as an assessment? How are the recommendations tailored to our organization? 

The Race Equity Cycle Pulse Check™ is based on the Awake to Woke to Work®: Building a Race Equity Culture™ frameworkThe reports generated by the Pulse Check are not tailored to your org, but the consulting sessions that are included in the cohort program will be a place to dive into your org’s results and apply the recommendations to your specific context. This program will support your team to create an action plan based on your Pulse Check results, and your involvement in the cohort will support your team to implement your action plan.

Does the Pulse Check identify organizational bias? 

In the Pulse Check User Guide we address the limitations of a team-based assessment due to institutional bias and the way that teams function hierarchically. However, we have designed the assessment to balance possible institutional bias as it shows up in the assessment responses. The assessment is designed to surface organizational power dynamics, particularly around racial identity, that leadership may not be aware of.

How is the team being supported throughout the process? What supports are in place to respond after the Pulse Check? Hold space for ourselves/the team?

Coaching sessions and retreat sessions are intended as support spaces for you as you navigate your results. Our goal is that participants will gain a deeper understanding of your participating team’s and broader org’s needs around this work. A deeper understanding of the Race Equity Cycle™ framework will also support you to identify areas where more resources or shared frameworks are needed to get your org on the same page and move the work forward. You will also be provided with resources to further your learning and development, including suggestions for consulting firms that can support your work if desired.

We have offered additional coaching sessions/facilitation with board or full staff, for example, to frame and contextualize the work. These additional sessions come at an additional cost.

Additional questions? Please reach out to Juan Serrano at