U.S. nonprofits neither reflect nor fully understand the populations they are looking to help because they have failed to embrace a fundamental element of social impact: race equity.
Research by Equity in the Center offers nonprofit and philanthropic organizations a new framework for approaching race equity — and for ensuring that the billions they invest annually in driving social change is making a greater impact.
The study, Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture, is the result of extensive research on race equity at nonprofits and foundations that includes insights from more than 140 practitioners, thought leaders, and subject matter experts on diversity, inclusion, and race equity in the social sector.
It finds that while many people who work in the sector understand the need to develop a Race Equity Culture in their organizations, the organizations have struggled to implement the changes necessary to achieve this goal.
In turn, they are missing opportunities to achieve greater impact.
“It starts with culture,” Equity in the Center Director Kerrien Suarez said. “A Race Equity Culture creates the conditions that help us center race equity in our life and in our work. Organizations that build a Race Equity Culture and intentionally infuse their strategy with race equity can actually weaken structural racism and broaden the reach of their work to long-marginalized individuals. By doing this, they will not only help the populations they serve, the organizations themselves will become more effective at driving social impact.”