By: John Welch, AFP Board Member, Co-Chair, IDEA Working Group
I proudly work for a longstanding human service organization whose national history precedes the Civil War. In all those years, we’ve maintained a commitment to helping the kids who need us most. Eighty-three percent of our service population represents racial minorities. How, then, did we end up with a board makeup of only 9% racial minorities? It’s complicated, but this year we’ve recommitted ourselves to examining our culture and processes to very intentionally develop a board that more aptly reflects the make up of those we serve. It turns out this is more common than we may know.
To better understand the issue, we commend you to the recent update of Race to Lead, an initiative of the Building Movement Project. BMP has released a new report on the state of race and leadership in the nonprofit sector, entitled Race to Lead Revisited: Obstacles and Opportunities in Addressing the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap. The report presents data collected from more than 5,000 responses to their 2019 Race to Lead Survey. Race to Lead Revisited also builds upon the data collected in 2016. BMP has traced the changes that have taken place over the past three years and identified three key findings to help organizations and the sector at large move towards equity. The report also recognizes that while the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely impact the sector for years to come, these challenges should not discourage addressing issues of race equity in the workplace. On the contrary, BMP urges nonprofits, funders, and the sector to view this moment as an opportunity to address systemic inequities and drive social change. Read the full report at bit.ly/R2LRevisitedReport.
Big IDEAs is a monthly column written around topics of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access (IDEA). Read more about AFP Triangle’s IDEA vision and policy here.