Applying an Equity Lens to Washington Nonprofits

April 15, 2019

The leadership of Washington Nonprofits cares deeply about racial equity and is working to embody our values better within our own organization and support efforts to create a more equitable nonprofit sector.   We recently engaged a consultant to conduct an equity audit of Washington Nonprofits, and our board and staff gathered last Friday to discuss the results.  I’d like to especially thank our partners who took the time to participate in the assessment by providing input via our consultant.  We are grateful for your generosity in helping us learn and grow.

At our retreat, we discussed some of the ways in which our organizational culture reflects white normative culture and that our general outreach may not speak to communities of color.  We acknowledged the importance to collecting data about the nonprofits we serve that is disaggregated by race.  We affirmed the value of authentic, reciprocal relationships built over time.  We also confronted the reality that working for racial equity takes time and resources—time for meaningful partnerships, learning and professional development, and including people of color in decision-making.  Like most nonprofits, we feel stretched and challenged to find that time and space.  And, we are committed to continuing to improve our policies and practices to be more equitable and show up in ways that demonstrate our commitment.

We hope others learn from our journey.  If your organization is considering how to advance equity in your organization, I recommend that you send one or more leaders (board or staff) to the excellent deep dive session on Leadership for Equity that is being offered by Fleur Larson and Aparna Rae prior to the Washington State Nonprofit Conference. 

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