Tag Archives: Flourish Talent Management Solutions

Nonprofit Radio for September 20, 2021: Your Dismantling Racism Journey

My Guest:

Pratichi Shah: Your Dismantling Racism Journey

Starting with your people, your culture and your leadership, how do you identify, talk about and begin to break down inequitable structures in your nonprofit? My guest is Pratichi Shah, founder & CEO at Flourish Talent Management Solutions. (Originally aired 7/8/20)

 

 

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[00:01:54.44] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of chiari malformation if you pushed down on me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. You’re dismantling racism journey, starting with your people, your culture and your leadership. How do you identify? Talk about and begin to break down inequitable structures in your non profit My guest is pretty itchy Shah, founder and Ceo at flourish Talent management Solutions. This originally aired July 8, 2020 Antonis take two planned giving in the pandemic era. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o here is you’re dismantling racism journey. It’s a real pleasure to welcome welcome. I’m not welcoming. I’m welcoming. I’m welcoming party Sheesha. She’s an HR strategist and thought leader with 25 years experience in all aspects of talent management. She’s making a face when I say 25 years human resources equity and inclusion and organizational development in the nonprofit and for profit arenas. She is founder and Ceo of flourish Talent management solutions. The company is at flourish tMS dot com Prodigy. Welcome to the show.

[00:01:56.44] spk_0:
Thank you so much. tony I appreciate being

[00:01:59.53] spk_1:
here. It’s a pleasure pleasure to have you. Um, and I’d like to jump right in if you’re if you’re ready um

[00:02:06.26] spk_0:
absolutely

[00:02:42.14] spk_1:
you know um racism and white privilege most often look very Benign on their face, I had a guest explain why use of the word professional in a job description is racist. I had a more recently I had a guest explain how not listening a salary range in a job description was felt racist to them. So how do we begin to uncover what is inequitable and right under our noses yet not visible on its

[00:02:45.54] spk_0:
face? Yeah. You know what often it starts with listening to state state a bit of the obvious. It really does started listening. It’s understanding for organizations. It’s understanding where we are. Um so it’s listening to the voices that may not have been centered. We’ve become better as organizations and being responsive to staff. I hear that a lot kind of hey this is what my staff is telling me. This is what we need to do. But the question is, are you responding to the voices that have possibly been marginalized? Likely been marginalized or oppressed in the past? General responsiveness is not the same as centering the voices that really need to be heard. So it’s first off just understanding where you are as an organization and listening to the people who may have experienced organization in a way that is different than you think.

[00:03:36.21] spk_1:
So when you say general responsiveness is not what not adequate, not what we’re looking for. What do you mean by that?

[00:04:35.54] spk_0:
So a lot of time the voices that are saying, hey something’s wrong or we need to do this or we need to do that are not the voices of those that have been marginalized and oppressed. They tend to be maybe the loudest voices they’re speaking maybe from a place of privilege and that needs to be taken into account. So being responsive, for instance, if the I call it kind of the almond milk issue being responsive to a staff that says in addition to dairy milk for coffee, this is back when we were in fiscal offices, um, we need almond milk to, but the question is is are we listening to the voices of those that weren’t able to consume the dairy milk? It’s not a perfect metaphor. It’s not a perfect analogy because that one ignores actual pain and it just talks about preference. But are we listening to the voices of people that have been impressed? Who have who have been, who have heard the word professional or professionalism wielded against them as a as an obstacle in their path to success in their path to career advancement. Those are the voices that we need to listen to, not the ones who have a preference for one thing or another.

[00:04:54.34] spk_1:
Okay, uh, let’s be explicit about how we identify who, who holds these voices? Who are these people?

[00:05:30.04] spk_0:
It’s people that have come from, it’s particularly right now when we talk about anti black racism, we need to center the voices of those from the black community. And that means those who have either, maybe not joined, not just not joined our organization for particular reasons, but maybe they have not joined our board, Maybe they have not participated in our programs, maybe they haven’t had the chance to. So it’s really from an organizational perspective, think of it as understanding what our current state is. So how does your organization move people up? Move people in, move people out if we don’t have the voices in the first place? Because maybe we’re not as welcoming as we should be, then what does the data tell us about? Who’s coming into our organization? Who is leaving our organization, Who is able to move up into our organization, what our leadership looks like, what our board looks like. So at times the fact that there is an absence of voice is telling in and of itself and our data needs to be able to explain what is going on. So that data needs to be looked at as well.

[00:06:38.64] spk_1:
So we need to very well, good chance we need to look outside our organization. You’re talking about people that we’ve turned down for board board positions, turned down for employment. Um, I’m not even gonna say turned down for promotion because that would presume that there’s still that that presumes are still in the organization, but I’m talking about, very likely going outside the organization. People who don’t work with us, who aren’t volunteering, who aren’t supporting us in any way, but we’ve marginalise them? We’ve cast them out before they even had a chance to get in?

[00:06:42.28] spk_0:
Potentially. Yeah, actually, probably, probably there is something that they have not found palatable or appealing about working with us or being a sensor or being uh, to your point of volunteer. So we need we need to look at why that’s happening.

[00:07:22.54] spk_1:
Okay. I’ve got to I got to drill down even further. How are we going to identify these people within within our organization as it is? How are we gonna figure out which people these are that we’ve marginalized these voices of color over the let’s just pick like in the past five years, what have we? Well, if we’ve done this, how do we identify the people? We’ve done it too.

[00:07:42.64] spk_0:
Yeah, it’s a really it’s a complicated question. It will differ by organization, right? It differs by what your subsector is, how things flow within a subsector, the size of the organization. A really good place to start is understanding who has turned us down. Why have people left? So take a look at exit interviews. Even if you’re not doing exit interviews, we know that there is not always uh HR presence in a lot of our organizations. If there aren’t formal exit interviews. First of all, let’s make time for those because we need to understand why people are leaving. Um but if there isn’t a formal HR presence, what do we know about the circumstances under which someone left organization or said no to a job offer or said no to a board position or volunteer. It’s also important to ask, expanding our definition of stakeholder groups, engaging with all of our stakeholder groups as broadly defined as possible. And within those groups, understanding are we reaching out to a diverse audience to say why would you engage with us? Why would you not engage with us in any of those roles? So, yeah, it’s going to be a little bit harder to understand that people who are not there because they’re not there.

[00:08:51.84] spk_1:
Okay. All right. So all right. Um we go through this exercise and and we identify we we’ve identified a dozen people. They’re not they’re not currently connected to us. And uh it may be that they have had a bad experience with us. Yeah, I think they may have turned us down for employment because they got offered more money somewhere else. Um That could that in itself could be

[00:09:03.60] spk_0:
Alright, let’s

[00:09:57.24] spk_1:
that in itself could be uh not something other than benign. Um But let’s say they moved out of the state, you know, they were they were thinking about so so in some cases they may not have a bad have had a bad experience with us, but in but in lots of cases they may have they may have turned down that board position because they saw the current composition of the board and they didn’t feel they felt like, uh maybe being an offer a token slot or whatever, whatever it might be. I’m just, I’m just suggesting that some of the, some of the feelings toward the organization might not be negative, but some might very well be negative. Of the dozen people we’ve identified in all these different stakeholder, potential stakeholder roles that they could have had. Um, what do we reach out to them and say, how do we, how do we get them to join a conversation with an organization that they may feel unwelcome him?

[00:10:15.84] spk_0:
Yeah, it’s a great question. And I think right now, especially we tried carefully. Um, we tried carefully and we honor the fact that they in fact might be getting that same question from many other other organizations, friends, colleagues, family members, in which people want to understand something, What we’re seeking to do is not be educated on the overall picture of white privilege, white supremacy of dominant narrative and dominant culture. That’s on us, that’s on all of us individually to understand that, that is not the, that is not up to the member of society, tell us that. Right? So what, what we want to understand is kind of, what did you experience with our organization? What was the good? What was the bad and first of all, do you even want to engage with us, Is this not a good time to do that because they’re already exhausted. I said to a colleague recently, you know, we can’t even understand the reality of what it’s like to live the right to live that reality and for many to lead the charge, right? Because they’re also showing leadership in the movement. So to we can’t even understand what those layers of existence or like. So I think it’s treading very carefully and should we have the ability to engage with someone because they have the space, the energy, the desire then I think it’s understanding and asking kind of what’s going on for us? What where did you find us either not appealing or where did you? Why did you not want to work with us in whatever capacity we were asking and it’s asking that question.

[00:11:34.80] spk_1:
Okay, well that’s further down, right? I’m just trying to get to like what’s the initial email invitation look like?

[00:11:54.24] spk_0:
It depends on the organization. It depends on the organization. It depends on the relationship. I wouldn’t presume to give words to that to be honest with you because because I think it also depends on the person that you’re asking. I don’t want to offer kind of a blanket response and inadvertently tokenize people by saying, oh, of course they’re going to want to engage with us. So I really think it’s dependent on the situation

[00:12:56.34] spk_1:
it’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Do you want to hone your message? Turn to, we’ll work with you to find your core message and make it concise simple for the world to grasp. So that as they get you placed in major media, like you’ve heard me name, and also in podcasts in blogs, at conferences, on op ed pages. Your message, your voice will resonate. They’ll help you hone your message, find your voice and get it heard. Turn to communications. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Now, back to your dismantling racism journey. What are you inviting them to do with you? Have a conversation, share your experience with us, Is it?

[00:13:44.14] spk_0:
Yes, essentially. I mean, that’s what it boils down to. But again, it really depends on what the organization is, Right? So this is your data collection moment. This is information collection. Where else are you collecting information? What what else do you know? What other steps have you taken to begin that educational process? Because there’s there’s kind of a dual purpose here, right? Is understanding who we are in, where we have contributed to structural racism, to pretend to a culture that does not support differing viewpoints, differing populations. That is in some ways upholding white supremacy or is completely holding upholding white supremacy and its culture. There’s that general education of understanding all of that, and then there’s understanding what our organization’s role is, right? So it’s both. And um, so it’s really highly dependent upon where is the organization? Uh case for us, who you’ve talked to? The head of Equity in the centre describes a cycle that is brilliant. Um around awake to woke to work. Where are you in that cycle? Are you? Where are you on? Um Where are you? And being pluralistic? Where are you? And being inclusive? All of those things depend on what you’ll ask and how you’ll reach out and if you even should reach out there maybe work that has to be done internally before that reach out can happen again. Just being considerate and sensitive of those who are willing to talk

[00:14:35.34] spk_1:
to you. Yeah. Okay. Was our guest for the last uh most recent special episode on this exact same subject. Thank you.

[00:14:37.78] spk_0:
Yeah. The organization is doing has been since its inception has been doing incredible work. K is leading that work um and both her words always contained wisdom and the products that they put out are extraordinary.

[00:15:09.44] spk_1:
How about in your work are you facilitating the kinds of conversations in your practice that you and I are talking about right now? Do you do you bring these outside folks in sometimes to to have these conversations

[00:15:53.24] spk_0:
sometimes? Yeah. Sometimes again being highly respectful of if they didn’t want to engage with us? Do they even want to talk to us right now. My work really is around um having an organization understand where it is right now. So what is its current state? What is the desire and future state? Right, so we know that we want to be a racially inclusive racially equitable organization likely that’s already been defined. But what does that mean for us as an organization If it means solely in numbers piece Right? Like we want to be more divorces aboard. Okay, that’s fine. But beyond that, how will we make ourselves have a board culture that is appealing to those people that we want to bring in to work with us? So it’s kind of defining both current state and understanding current state, defining future state and then developing the strategy to get there.

[00:16:09.14] spk_1:
Ok. And now you and I are talking about, you said, you know, we’re still data gathering. So we’re still defining the current culture as it exists. Right. Okay. Okay. And your work, you you centered around people. Culture and leadership.

[00:16:20.64] spk_0:
Mhm.

[00:16:24.34] spk_1:
Can we focus on leadership? I feel like everything trickles down from there.

[00:16:26.66] spk_0:
Very true.

[00:16:28.74] spk_1:
I don’t know. Are we okay? Are you okay starting with a leadership conversation or you’d rather start somewhere else?

[00:16:35.46] spk_0:
No, we can we can start that. That’s absolutely fine.

[00:16:48.84] spk_1:
Okay. Um so what what is it we’re looking for? Leaders of our listeners are small and midsize nonprofits to to commit you.

[00:16:54.74] spk_0:
I think it’s first of all committing to their own learning and and not relying on communities of color to provide that learning. Right? Again, going back to what we said earlier, it’s not relying on those who have been harmed or oppressed to provide the learning. So first of all, it’s an individual attorney that’s a given. Okay,

[00:17:25.14] spk_1:
can I like to, I like things like people. I like action steps. Okay, so when we’re talking about our individual journey, our own learning, I mean I’ve been doing some of this recently by watching Youtube, watching, um, focus on Youtube of course. Now now I can’t remember the names of people, but

[00:17:30.43] spk_0:
no Eddie Glaude.

[00:17:53.54] spk_1:
Um, so Eddie Glaude is a commentator on MSNBC. Uh, he’s just written a just released this last week a biography. Well, not so much a biography of James baldwin, but an explanation of baldwin’s journey around racism. Um, so that’s one example of, you know, who have been listening to? So we’re, so we’re talking about educating like learning from thought leaders around Yeah, privilege structures. Were reading books, listening to podcasts.

[00:18:00.12] spk_0:
Absolutely. It’s around, it’s around structures, but it’s also understanding things that we do all the time and organizations and how I as a leader might perpetuate those, right? So it’s sometimes the use of language to your point about the use of the word professional. Um, language tends to create our reality. So, and either language will build a bridge or not. So how do we use our language? How do we use our descriptors. How do I show up as a leader? Um, in my own kind of inclusion or not. So I think it is absolutely that is looking at thought leaders around things like structural racism around the use of language around people’s individual experiences to get that insight and depth because it’s not just an intellectual exercise. This is emotional too. And therefore has to have emotional resonance.

[00:18:51.24] spk_1:
Okay, thank you for letting me dive deeper into what

[00:18:55.21] spk_0:
Absolutely

[00:18:56.26] spk_1:
talk about personal, you know, your own personal journey, your own personal education, uh, fact finding and introspection. You’re talking about something, you know, and it’s no, no revelation. This is it’s

[00:19:09.42] spk_0:
difficult. If it’s painful.

[00:19:31.54] spk_1:
You know, you you’re very likely uncovering how you offended someone, uh, how you offended a group. Um, if you were, you know, speaking in public and something comes to mind or how you offended someone in meetings or, you know, multiplied. I don’t know how many times. I mean, this introspection is likely painful,

[00:19:39.44] spk_0:
likely likely. Yeah, more often, more often than not, I can’t I can’t really envision it not at some level being painful,

[00:19:43.27] spk_1:
but you’ve caused pain, you know, and there’s a recognition there.

[00:19:46.92] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah,

[00:19:53.24] spk_1:
painful for you. But let’s consider the pain of the person or the group that

[00:19:54.35] spk_0:
you

[00:19:58.54] spk_1:
I don’t know offended, stereotyped. Mean, put off whatever it is, you’re

[00:20:01.84] spk_0:
that’s right. And that that’s why the work as much as I know, you know, to some degree, people want this to be work. That can be kind of project managed if you will or it can be put into a process or a series of best practices or

[00:20:14.08] spk_1:
benchmarks

[00:20:15.64] spk_0:
to some degree, not very much, but to some degree. Yes, absolutely. The some a little bit of that can happen, but that in and of itself is a bit of the dominant narrative, right? That in and of itself is kind of that that centering white culture. So I think what we need to understand is this is not just going to be again to sorry to be redundant, but it’s not just going to be intellectual.

[00:20:38.41] spk_1:
The

[00:20:39.04] spk_0:
fact that pain has been caused dictates that this be emotionally owned as well. It can’t be arm’s length. It can’t be just intellectually owned with the project plan that I keep over here on a chalkboard or something like that.

[00:21:02.64] spk_1:
Emotionally owned. Yeah. Thank you. All right. All right. So I made you digress and deepen what else, what else you wanna tell us about leadership’s commitment and and and the importance of leadership, commitment.

[00:23:24.54] spk_0:
Yeah. So it needs to be explicit. It needs to be authentic. It needs to be baked into the leadership. Whatever leadership structure the organization has, it needs to be an ongoing piece of that leadership. So it’s not a hey, let’s touch base on our quote inclusion initiative if it’s an initiative first of all, that’s not really doing the work anyway. Um, but it’s not something that lives separately from ourselves. Let’s have HR kind of check in on this or let’s have the operations person check in on this. That’s that’s not what this is about. It’s really, it’s authentically being owned by leadership to say? Yeah, I know it’s gonna be painful. And in looking at our organization, we’re gonna need to understand why our leadership is remarkably homogeneous. Which in the case of many nonprofits, it is if you take a look at Building Movement project and the unbelievably great work that they’ve done twice now, they just put out an update to their leadership work around how people move through the sector or don’t and how people, communities of color and people of color are represented in our leadership. We can begin to understand that by and large, they’re they’re not. Um though i that is an oversimplification in some ways. So I would encourage people to go to building movement project’s website and check out their work. Um but you know what, why are we so homogeneous? Why is there a board so homogeneous? It’s also unpacking and uncovering that. So to your point earlier about, you know, how do we look at people and how they move through the organization? This is where you look at who is present, right? Not just who’s not with us, but who is with us? How do people get Promoted? How does that system work does any does everyone have the same information? Is it a case of unwritten rules, is it a case of some people move up because they’re similar or they have 10 years of experience, which is something that we like to say, How do you get 10 years of experience if you have not been given those chances to begin with. So is their life experience that we can that we can begin to integrate in our conversations because life experience is equally valuable. Are we putting too much of a premium on higher education education and its formal kind of traditional form? Are we putting too much of uh of an emphasis on pedigree of other kinds of those? Those are the things that ultimately keep people out. So taking a look at leadership and having leadership commitment ultimately means looking at all of those things. There’s an overlap and how we look at leadership or people and or organizational culture.

[00:23:46.14] spk_1:
Yeah, of course. This is a it’s a continuum or

[00:23:48.53] spk_0:
Absolutely, absolutely. And the areas bleed into each other.

[00:24:10.04] spk_1:
Yeah, of course. Um and you know, I subsumed in all this I guess. I mean it’s okay for leaders to say, I don’t know where the where the journey is going, I don’t know what we’re going to uncover, but I’m committed to having this journey and leading it and and right. I mean, supporting it, but I don’t know what we’re gonna find. Right.

[00:24:16.74] spk_0:
Right, right. And that in and of itself can be uncomfortable for a lot of people and that’s that’s the kind of discomfort we need to get okay with.

[00:24:30.04] spk_1:
Yeah. Alright. Yeah. You know I had I had a guest explained that this is not as you were alluding to? Uh it’s not the kind of thing that you know, we’re gonna have a weekly meeting and will be these outcomes at the end of every meeting then we’ll have this list of activities and you know the you know, how come it’s not like that? How come we can’t do it like that?

[00:25:02.24] spk_0:
Yeah. Because we’re dealing with hundreds and hundreds of years of history and it’s because we haven’t been inclusive in the ways that we do things and we haven’t allowed whole selves to show up that it is um It’s it’s complicated and it’s messy because it’s human.

[00:25:05.74] spk_1:
All right, so it’s not gonna be as simple as our budget meetings

[00:25:08.84] spk_0:
today. Right. Absolutely different. Different kind of

[00:25:13.26] spk_1:
hard. Alright. We’re going to have an outcome at every at every juncture at every step or every week or every month or something. Yeah.

[00:25:19.48] spk_0:
That’s right. That’s right. And if we expect it to go that way, we are likely going to give ourselves excuses not to press on.

[00:27:00.64] spk_1:
It’s time for tony state too planned giving in the pandemic era. That’s my webinar coming up. I’m hosted for it by J. M. T. Consulting. Very grateful to them for hosting. We’re doing this on Thursday, September 30, 2 to 3 o’clock Eastern time planned. Giving in the pandemic era. So what am I going to talk about, what is planned? Giving? We’ve got to start with that right. What this thing is who your best prospects are? Where to start your program and the overarching. How does this all fit into our pandemic era? So I hope you’ll be with me to uh reserve your spot. It’s free. It’s a free webinar now by the way. But you do have to make a reservation. So to do that, you go to J. M. T. Consulting dot com Juliet mike, tango, J. M. T. Consulting dot com. Go to events and then pull down to lackluster speaker series and I’ll be the sole person listed there. They have an expert speaker series. That’s for everybody else. But now you have to actually uh, they were gracious enough to uh, not only host me but uh lump me in with the the expert speakers. So you do have to go to expert speaker series and you’ll find me right there. So I hope you’ll be with me Thursday September 30 two o’clock eastern

[00:27:02.44] spk_0:
for

[00:27:18.24] spk_1:
planned giving in the pandemic era. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for your dismantling racism journey. All right. So that’s what it’s not what what does it look like.

[00:28:42.04] spk_0:
Oh, it absolutely looks different for every organization. It absolutely looks different for every organization and that’s what’s so critical to understand. Kind of, where are we right now? Um, where are we? As far as all of the components of our organization. Right. So volatile again, volunteers ford staff culture. You said, you know, we were talking about people organization and leadership which is obviously a lot of my work. Um it is getting underneath all of those kinds of things to say. So who experiences our culture? How? Um so we do engagement surveys, Right. A lot of times we do engagement employee surveys, that kind of thing. Are we looking at those disagreeing disaggregated way? Are we asking different populations to identify themselves? And are we looking at what the experiences are by population? Are we asking explicit questions around whether or not you feel like you can be yourself in this organization, Whether you can provide dissenting opinions, whether you feel comfortable approaching your boss with feedback. Um whether you feel comfortable volunteering for particular work, whether you feel like you understand what a promotion or performance management processes, whether you get the support that you need or to what extent you get support that you need either from colleagues, boss leadership etcetera. So it’s looking at all of those things and then understanding are they being experienced differently by different communities within our organization.

[00:28:52.54] spk_1:
You mentioned disaggregate ng. That’s where the data is not helpful. Right?

[00:28:53.54] spk_0:
That is where we look at the data in terms of populations.

[00:28:57.94] spk_1:
Oh, Oh, aggregate, of course. Aggregating. I’m sorry.

[00:29:01.32] spk_0:
That’s OK.

[00:29:02.24] spk_1:
You’re stuck with a lackluster host. No, of course, yes. Aggregating

[00:29:06.02] spk_0:
early in the week.

[00:29:22.74] spk_1:
Uh Thank you. You couldn’t say early in the day, but thank you for being gracious. Okay. Yes. We uh we we want to disaggregate of course. Um and look by population and I guess cut a different way. I mean depending on the size of the organization. Um Age, race, age,

[00:29:26.74] spk_0:
race, ethnicity, um A physical ability, orientation. All of those need to be in the mix gender as well, including gender fluidity. So really looking at all of our populations and then understanding for these particular questions, is there a difference and how people experience our organization? We know then what we do know is that if there is a difference that there is a difference, we don’t know that there is causality unless there unless you’ve asked questions that might begin to illuminate that, right? But there’s always that difference between correlation and causality and then what you want to do is get underneath that to understand why the experience might be different and why it might change along lines of gender or race or ethnicity or orientation or physical ability.

[00:30:19.04] spk_1:
We uh we wandered, you know? But that’s that’s fine.

[00:30:22.60] spk_0:
I love it’s all part of the people in organization part

[00:30:31.84] spk_1:
people culture and um and leadership all coming together. Um uh Where do you want to go? Uh I mean I would like to talk about people. Culture and leadership. What’s a good what’s a good next one?

[00:32:30.34] spk_0:
Yes. Well, so this is what you’re doing, right? Is your collecting information and all of those three areas. Right and wanted. So a couple of things that I would add to that is when you look at people, you’re looking at their experiences, when you look at leadership, you’re looking at commitment makeup, structure, access, all of those kinds of things. When you’re looking at culture, you’re looking at how people experience the culture, right? And so what is happening? What’s not happening with stated out loud? What’s not stated out loud? What are the unwritten rules? There is also the piece that forms all of these things, which is operational systems. Right? So things like performance management, things like um where people may sit back when we were in physical offices, having access to technology, all of those kinds of things, particularly important now that we’re not in physical offices, so does everyone have access to the technology and information necessary to do their job, to do their jobs to do their work? So it is looking also at your operational side and saying how do we live our operational life? How do, how do people experience it, who do we engage with to provide services for our operations? How do we provide the services if you will, for lack of better term to our employees? So it’s also looking at that because operations ultimately permeates organizational culture, people and leadership, right? Because it kind of sustains all of that. So taking a look at that too. And finally, I would suggest again as part of this and as a wraparound is, what is the internal external alignment? Right. So I often hear people say, hey, you know what, this is the subsector we work in, people would think that we’re really equitable, but internally we are living a different life than what we are putting out to our stakeholders in our constituencies externally. So what is what is our external life and how does that need to inform our internal world? It’s not unusual for me to hear that the external life, the way we engage with stakeholders or the way we put out program programmatic work is actually may be further along to the extent that this is considered to be a continuum. It’s further along than the way that we’re living our life. Internal life

[00:32:53.10] spk_1:
dishonesty there disconnect that

[00:32:56.54] spk_0:
there’s a disconnect disconnect for sure. And possibly yeah, dishonesty. And hip hop, maybe even hypocrisy.

[00:33:09.04] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. Alright, but again, all right, so now we’re looking like this is organizational introspection. There’s there’s individual learning and introspection. Now we’re at the organizational

[00:33:14.34] spk_0:
level, being

[00:33:15.78] spk_1:
honest with our, with our culture and our messaging,

[00:33:19.84] spk_0:
right? And and so what I tried to do is to help organizations kind of look at those things and decide how we might evolve, given the future that we’ve set our sights on and given some of the principles that we’ve laid out, how do we kind of get there? How do we, how do we evolve our systems, how do we evolve our people practices? How do we evolve our culture? So hence the need to look at all of these things that centered around people, Culture and leadership.

[00:34:07.54] spk_1:
What about the use of professional facilitator? Because well, first of all, there’s a body of expertise that someone like you brings uh but also help with these difficult conversations. Talk about the value of having an expert facilitator.

[00:35:20.54] spk_0:
Yeah, absolutely. So so you know, I think I think there’s always a level of objectivity and and kind of an inside look by an outsider that you that you benefit from. We go to experts for everything from, you know, our health to the extent that we have access to those experts, which is a whole different conversation on race and oppression. Um we we want that external voice. What I would say is it’s likely not going to be the same expert or the same facilitator and I say expert in quotes um for everything. So for instance, I am not the voice to be centred on educating an organization around structural racism. I don’t think I’m the right voice to be centered. I would rather send her voices like those at um race forward at equity in the center at those who have lived the results of 400 years of oppression. So you might want to call in someone for that discussion for that education. There are people that are better and more steeped in that and whose voices should absolutely be centered for that? Um You might want to call in a voice for White Ally ship because there is some specifics around that that we need to talk about without kind of centering White voices.

[00:35:27.85] spk_1:
I’m sorry White Ally ship.

[00:35:29.92] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:35:30.46] spk_1:
What is that?

[00:36:50.63] spk_0:
So if we think about the the organization right in our kind of culture and are people who who wants to half sees themselves as an ally and how can they be good? How can how can white people be good allies? Right. And how do we further and embed that in the culture? Um and then finally, so keeping that in mind that there are going to be different experts or different facilitators for different things, you know, who is going to be the person in my case, this actually might be is to help us evolve our culture and our systems so that we can be more equitable and take a look at that. Who’s going to provide the training because their skills necessary. Right to have these conversations. There are foundational communication skills, there is the ability to give feedback. Um there is the ability to communicate across cultures across genders across across groups. There is ability to be collaborative. So so also strengthening those skills while we continue to look at those things, but to think that all of this help is going to come from one source is not ideal and likely it’s even inappropriate because everyone can’t be everything. I don’t try to be the voices that I can’t be. It’s inappropriate for me to do that. Mhm.

[00:36:54.73] spk_1:
What what else do you want to, what do you want to talk about given the level where that we’re at? We’re trying to help small and midsize nonprofits inaugurate a journey around racism and white privilege.

[00:38:42.82] spk_0:
I think. I mean, look, first of all, I hear a lot of organizations say like what what is the access point? Like what do I get started doing? We put out a statement um in some cases we are experiencing some dissonance between the statement that we put out or the programmatic work that we do and the way that we’re living internally. So it is really understanding kind of where are we now, through all of the ways that we’ve been talking about over the last several minutes, where are we now? What is it that we’re not doing that we should be doing? What is it that we need to be doing? How do we define for us? If we have an equitable culture, if we are living racial equity, what does that look like for us? Um how does that affect our programmatic work? How does that affect our operations? Everything from our finances to our people processes to when we’re back in an office, even our physical setup, how how does that affect us and how would we define that future state? So it’s understanding what is my current state, What is my future state and then understanding how we get there and it’s likely going to be a long, all of the areas that we said right? So individual attorneys, some group and individual skill building, um, some evolution of our systems and some understanding of kind of how we can support each other and support ourselves for those that are that affiliate with a particular group. Um, and then kind of moving us along to that place of where we want to be. So it is, it is understanding where you are that determines what your access point is. But I would say if you if you have done the work of putting out this statement then there then look for look for where you’re not living that statement internally.

[00:38:55.72] spk_1:
That sounds like a very good place to Yeah. To start your search for for an access point because it’s so recent, Your organization has probably said something in the past 5, 6 weeks.

[00:39:00.82] spk_0:
Absolutely. And

[00:39:01.79] spk_1:
close are you hewing to that to that statement?

[00:39:20.22] spk_0:
Exactly. And we are incredibly, I would say important the use of the term but almost fortunate that so many thought leaders have been kind and generous enough to share with us their thoughts on this moment. So not just within the sector, but all the way across our society. So many people have taken the time and the patients and the generosity amidst everything else that they’re living through. They have agreed to share their thoughts, their leadership, their expertise with us? So there is a ton of knowledge out there right at our fingertips and that’s a, that’s another really great place to start and to center the voices that most need to be heard

[00:39:52.72] spk_1:
at the same time. You know, we are seeing beginnings of change. Uh institutions from Princeton University to the state of Mississippi

[00:40:14.41] spk_0:
right? Absolutely. To hopefully, uh, you know, the unnamed Washington football team and to Nascar and places where we, I didn’t know that change necessarily was possible, but we we are saying change and and the important thing is to not be complacent about that change,

[00:41:18.61] spk_1:
right? And not and also recognize that it’s just the beginning, you know, removing confederate statues, um taking old glory off the Mississippi flag. These are just beginnings, but but I think worth worth noting. I mean worth recognizing and celebrating because the state of Mississippi is a big institution and it’s been wrestling with this for, I don’t know if they’ve been wrestling for centuries, but that flag has been there for that just that long, right? 18. Some things I think is when that flag was developed. So it’s been a long, it’s been a long time coming. So recognizing it for what it is celebrating it to the extent that the, yeah, to the extent that represents the change. Beginning of the beginning of change? All right. Um, well, you know, what else, what else, what else do you want to share with folks at this, you know, at this

[00:42:02.10] spk_0:
stage? You know, I think, I think the main thing is um, dig in uh, we need to dig in on this. We need to dig in on this because in the same way that that we have been living this society societally for so long are organizations many times are microcosms of society. So if we think as an organization that were exempt or that were already there, we’ve arrived at like a post racial culture, that’s not the case. That’s just not the case. Um, so where do you want to dig it? Where do you want to dig in, chances are good. You are doing some version of looking at issues within your organization, whether it’s your annual survey, if you do it annually or whatever in which you can use that information to begin this journey. So dig in from where you are, it’s one of those things that if you’re waiting, if you’re waiting for kind of the exact right time or further analysis to begin the journey again, it’s not, it’s not based solely on analysis. There is a there is certainly information, there’s data that needs to be understood. But if we’re waiting for endless analysis to happen or to kind of point us to the right time that’s not going to happen. The intellectualism needs to be there. But again, as we said in the path, as we said a few times during the course of our conversation? This is about emotional residents and an emotional ownership and a moral obligation. So, dig in dig in wherever you are right now,

[00:43:15.10] spk_1:
what if I’m trying within my organization? Uh, and I’m not the leader, I’m not even second or third tier management or something, you know, how do I elevate the conversation? Uh, I presume it helps to have allies. What if what if I’m meeting a resistance from the people who, who are in leadership?

[00:43:50.50] spk_0:
I think look for the places where they’re made, not the resistance, right? So look within the organization. Um, if there is resistance at a particular level, then you know, who do you have access to in the organization where there isn’t that? And I think, I think starting out not assuming that you have solutions if you have expertise in this area, if you have lived through the oppression as a member of a community that has lived through the impression particularly black community, I think you’re coming from one place, if you are if you are not in that community and saying that you have expertise, I think you have to be a little bit more circumspect about that and introspective about what you can offer in this vein. Um, and I think, I think we want to look for the places where there is some traction, I think in most organizations, it’s not unusual to be getting the question right now

[00:44:25.59] spk_1:
and what is the I don’t want to call it outcome. What, what, what what can the future look like for our organization if we do embark on this long journey?

[00:44:42.89] spk_0:
Yeah, cultures that are equitable in which people can show up as their whole selves. Um, in which there is not only one right way to do things, which tends to be a very kind of white dominant Western culture, linear sequential way of managing work, of managing communications, etcetera. But that in fact work can be approached in a number of different ways and that solutions can be approached in a number of different ways. People get to show up and give their all to these missions that we all hold very near and dear. And so they are able they’re empowered. They are able they are celebrated without sticking to a set of preconceived guidelines or preconceived, unwritten or written rules that don’t serve us anymore. Anyway,

[00:45:24.49] spk_1:
when you started to answer that, I saw your face lighten up. You’re I don’t know, it was a smile. It just looks like you’re faced untended. Not that you’re

[00:45:31.70] spk_0:
nervous. Your face changed

[00:45:34.58] spk_1:
started to answer the where we could be.

[00:45:37.19] spk_0:
Who doesn’t like to imagine that future?

[00:45:43.99] spk_1:
Yeah, it was it was palpable. All right. All right. Are you comfortable leaving it there?

[00:45:46.59] spk_0:
I think so, I think so. What have we not covered that we need to cover for your listeners,

[00:45:52.59] spk_1:
you know that better than I

[00:45:54.68] spk_0:
for

[00:45:55.65] spk_1:
the place there at getting started.

[00:45:57.76] spk_0:
That’s fair. Look, you know what this is, this is the future that is written with many voices. And while I think I can be helpful, I don’t presume to be the voice that has all the answers I definitively don’t, I definitively don’t. And so what we have not covered is actually probably not known to me, but I dare say someone, someone out there does know that and they will likely be putting their voice up, which is exactly what we want.

[00:46:24.04] spk_1:
We will be bringing other voices as well. Alright,

[00:46:26.99] spk_0:
no doubt. Yeah,

[00:46:39.78] spk_1:
Patricia, she’s founder and Ceo of flourished Talent management Solutions and the company is at flourish tMS dot com. PCI thank you so much. Thank you very, very much.

[00:46:42.48] spk_0:
tony thank you. Thank you for opening up this space and having the conversation

[00:47:18.68] spk_1:
a pleasure. Uh it’s a responsibility and uh happy to live up to it. Try trying next week the activist activates activism with Amy sample ward if you missed any part of this week’s show. I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez.

[00:47:23.33] spk_0:
Mark Silverman is

[00:47:51.68] spk_1:
our web guy and this music is by scott stein, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty Be with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great, Yeah, what?

Special Episode: Your Dismantling Racism Journey

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My Guest:

Pratichi Shah: Your Dismantling Racism Journey
Starting with your people, your culture and your leadership, how do you identify, talk about and begin to break down inequitable structures in your nonprofit? My guest is Pratichi Shah, founder & CEO at Flourish Talent Management Solutions.

 

 

 

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[00:01:49.94] spk_0:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. This is a special episode of non profit radio to help you be the change around racism and white privilege. You’re dismantling racism, journey, picking up from our last special episode, starting with your people, your culture and your leadership. How do you identify talk about and begin to break down inequitable structures in your non profit? My guest is pretty sheesha. Founder and CEO at Flourish Talent Management Solutions were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for non profits, Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot studio. It’s a real pleasure to work. Um, welcome. I’m not working. I’m welcoming. I’m welcoming pretty sheesha. She’s an HR strategist and thought leader with 25 years experience in all aspects of talent management. She’s making her face when I say 25 years, Human resource is equity and inclusion and organizational development in the non profit and for profit arenas. She’s founder and CEO of Flourish Talent Management Solutions. The company is at flourish. Tms dot com Prodigy, Welcome to the show.

[00:02:01.84] spk_1:
Thank you so much, tony. I appreciate me here.

[00:02:44.80] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure. Pleasure to have you. Um, and I’d like to jump right in your if you’re ready. Um, absolutely. You know, racism and white privilege most often look very benign on their face. I had a guest explain why use of the word professional in a job description is racist. I had a more recently, I had a guest explain how not listing a salary range in a job description was felt racist to them. So how do we begin to uncover what is inequitable and right under our noses yet not visible on its face?

[00:03:07.84] spk_1:
Yeah, you know it often it starts with listening. I mean, to state state a bit of the obvious. It really does serve listening. It’s understanding for organizations, it’s understanding where we are. Eso it’s listening to the voices that may not have been centered. We’ve become better as organizations and being responsive to staff. I hear that a lot kind of Hey, this is what my staff is telling me. This is what we need to do. But the question is, is, Are you responding to the voices that have possibly been marginalized? Likely that marginalized or oppressed in the past? General responsiveness is not the same as centering the voices that really need to be heard. So it’s first off just understanding where you are as an organization and listening to the people who may have experienced organization in a way that is different than you think.

[00:03:41.67] spk_0:
So when you say general responsiveness is not what not adequate, not what we’re looking for, what do you mean by that?

[00:03:50.11] spk_1:
So a lot of time, the voices that are saying, Hey, something’s wrong or we need to do this or we need to do that are not the voices of those that have been marginalized and oppressed. They tend to be maybe the loudest voices there, speaking maybe from a place of privilege, and that needs to be taken into account. So being responsive. For instance, if the I call it kind of the almond milk issue being responsive to a staff that says in addition to dairy milk for coffee this is back when we’re in fiscal offices. Um, we need almond milk, too. But the question is, is, Are we listening to the voices of those that weren’t able to consume the dairy milk? It’s not a perfect metaphor. It’s not a perfect analogy because that one ignores actual pain, and it just talks about preference. But are we listening to the voices of people that have been impressed who have who have been, who have heard the word professional or professionalism wielded against them as a pad as an obstacle in their path to success in their path to career advancement? Those are the voices that we need to listen to, not the ones who have a preference, for one thing or another.

[00:05:00.05] spk_0:
Okay, let’s be explicit about how we identify who who holds these voices. Who are these people?

[00:05:19.34] spk_1:
It’s people that have have come from. It’s particularly right now when we talk about anti black racism, we need to censure the voices of those from the black community, and that means those who have either maybe not joint, not just not joined our organization for particular reasons, but maybe they have not joined our board. Maybe they have not participated in our programs that maybe they haven’t had the chance to. So it’s really from an organizational perspective, think of it, is understanding what our current state is. So how does your organization move? People up, move people in, move people out. If if we don’t have the voices in the first place because maybe we’re not as welcoming as we should be, then what does the data tell us about who’s coming into our organization, who is leading our organization, who is able to move up into our organization, what our leadership looks like, what our board looks like? So at times the fact that there is an absence of voice is telling in and of itself, and our data needs to be able to explain what is going on so that data needs to be looked at as well.

[00:06:44.14] spk_0:
All right, so we need to very well, good chance we need to look outside our organization. You’re talking about people that we’ve turned down for bored, bored positions turned down for employment. Um, I’m not even going to say turned down for promotion because that would presume that there’s still that that presumes there still in the organization, but I’m talking about very likely going outside the organization. People who don’t work with us who aren’t volunteering ho aren’t supporting us in any way. But we’ve marginalized them with cast them out before they even had a chance to get in.

[00:06:47.88] spk_1:
Potentially. Yeah, have been actually, probably probably there is something that they have not found palatable or appealing about working with us or being a sensor or being off to your point of volunteer. So we need we need to look at why that’s happening.

[00:07:28.04] spk_0:
Okay, I’ve got it. I got to drill down even further. How are we going toe? Identify these people within. Within our organization as it is. How are we gonna figure out which people these are that we’ve marginalized these voices of color? Um, over the just like in the past five years. What have we if we’ve done this, how do we identify the people? We’ve done it too.

[00:08:44.48] spk_1:
Yeah, you know, it really is a complicated question. It will differ my organization, right? It differs by what your subsector is. How things slow within a subsector the size of the organization. A really good place to start is understanding who has turned us down. Why have people left? So take a look at exit interviews. Even if you’re not doing exit interviews. We know that there is not always a nature, our presence and a lot of our organizations. If there aren’t formal exit interviews first, well, it’s my time for those because we need to understand why people are leaving. But if if there isn’t a formally h your presence, what do we know about the circumstances under which someone left organization or said no to a job offer or said no to a board, position or volunteer? It’s also important to ask, expanding our definition of stakeholder groups, engaging with all of our stakeholder groups as as broadly defined, us possible. And with in those groups understanding, are we reaching out to a diverse audience to say, Why would you engage with us? Why would you not engage with us in any of those roles? So, yeah, it’s gonna be a little bit harder to understand the people who are not there because they’re not there. Okay.

[00:10:02.96] spk_0:
All right, so All right. Um, we go through this exercise and and we identify. We’ve identified a dozen people. They’re not. They’re not currently connected to us. And ah, maybe that they have had a bad experience with us. Yeah, they may have turned us down for employment because they got offered more money somewhere else that could that in itself could be that itself. Could be not something other than benign. Um, but let’s say they moved out of the state, you know, they were they were thinking about. So So in some cases, they may not have a bad have had a bad experience with us, but in but in lots of cases, they may have. They may have turned down that board position because they start the current composition of the board. And they didn’t feel they felt like, maybe being offered, you know, a token slot or whatever. Whatever it might be, I’m just I’m just suggesting that some of the some of the feelings toward the organization might not be negative, but some might very well be negative of these dozen people we’ve identified in all these different stakeholder potential stakeholder roles that that they could have had what do we reach out to them and say way? Get them to join a conversation with an organization that they may feel, uh, unwelcoming.

[00:10:10.53] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s a great question, and I think right now, especially we tread carefully. Weigh tried carefully, and we honor the fact that they, in fact, might be getting that same question from many other other organizations friends, colleagues, family members in which people want to understand something. What we’re seeking to do is not be educated on the overall picture of white privilege, weight supremacy, off dominant narrative and dominant culture that’s on us. That’s on all of us individually to understand that that is not the men that is not up to the member. It was a press society started to tell us that. Great. So what they What we want to understand is kind of What did you experience with our organization? What was the good? What was that? And first of all, do you even want to engage with us? Is this not a good time to do that? Because you’re already exhausted, I said to ah, calling recently, You know, we can’t even understand the reality of what it’s like to live the re it to live that reality. And for many to leave the charge right because they’re also showing leadership in the movement. So, Teoh, we can’t even understand what those layers of existence or like, So we think it’s treading very carefully. And should we have the ability to engage with someone because they have the space, the energy, the desire, then I think it’s understanding and asking kind of what’s going on for us. What? Where did you find us? Either Not a feeling or Where did you Why did you not want to work with us in whatever capacity we were asking? And it’s asking that question.

[00:11:40.34] spk_0:
Okay, well, that’s further down, right? I’m I’m just trying to get to, like, what’s the initial email invitation look like?

[00:11:46.71] spk_1:
It depends on the organization. Eventually organization. It depends on the relationship. I wouldn’t presume to give words to that, to be honest with you, because because I think it also depends on the person that you’re asking. I don’t want toe offer kind of a link. It was on December inadvertently token ice people by saying, Oh, of course, we’re gonna want toe engage with us. So I really think it’s dependent on the situation,

[00:12:10.64] spk_0:
okay, and and what do you inviting them to do with you? Have a conversation. Share your experience with us? Is it?

[00:13:12.23] spk_1:
Yes, essentially. I mean, that’s what it boils down to, but again, it really depends on where the organization is, right? So this is your data collection moment. This is information collection. Where else are you collecting information? What what else do you know? What other steps have you taken to begin that educational process? Because there’s there’s kind of a dual purpose here, right? Is understanding who we are in where we have contributed to search for a race of them, to pretend to a culture that does not support differing viewpoints, differing populations that is in some ways upholding white supremacy, or is completely holding, upholding white supremacy and its culture. There’s that general education of understanding all of that. And then there’s understanding what our organization’s role is right, so it’s both and eso. It’s really highly dependent upon. Where is the organization case? Warez You’ve talked. Teoh, the head of equity in the centre, describes a cycle that is brilliant around awake to woke to work. Where are you in that cycle? Are you? Where are you on a where you in vain? Pluralistic, Where you and being inclusive. All of those things depend on what you’ll ask and how you’ll reach out. And if you even should reach out there, maybe work that is to be done internally before that reach out can happen again. Just being considerate and sensitive of those who are willing to start, you

[00:13:46.24] spk_0:
know? Yeah. Okay. Was our guest for the last most recent special episode on this exact same subject. Thank you.

[00:13:53.53] spk_1:
Yet the organization is doing, and it has been since its inception, has been doing incredible work. A is leading that work on dhe. Both her warrants always contain wisdom, and the products that they’ve put out are extraordinary.

[00:14:25.14] spk_0:
How about in your work? Are you facilitating the kinds of conversations in your practice that you and I are talking about right now? Do you bring these outside folks in Sometimes too. Teoh have these conversations

[00:14:27.53] spk_1:
sometimes? Yes. Sometimes again, being highly respectful of if they didn’t want to engage with us, Do they even want to talk to us right now? My work really is around having an organization understand where it is right now. So what is its current state. What is the desire in future state? Right, So we know that we want to be a racially inclusive, racially equitable organization. Likely that’s already been defined. But what does that mean for us is an organization if it means solely in numbers piece rate, like we want to be more divorces aboard. Okay, that’s fine. But beyond that, how we make ourselves have a board culture that is appealing to those people that we want to bring in to work with us. So it’s kind of defining with current state and understanding current state to finding future state and then developing the strategy to get there.

[00:15:44.34] spk_0:
OK, now you and I were talking about you said you were still data gathering. So we’re still defining the current culture as it exists. Right? Okay. Okay. And your work, you You centered around people, culture and leadership. Can we focus on leadership? I feel like everything trickles down from there. Very chill. No, I don’t know. Are we okay? Are you okay? Starting with a leadership conversation or you’d rather start somewhere else?

[00:15:51.24] spk_1:
No, we can We can start that. Fine.

[00:16:04.54] spk_0:
Okay. Um So what? What is it? We’re looking for leaders of our listeners of small and mid sized nonprofits to to commit you.

[00:16:10.34] spk_1:
I think it’s first of all committing to their own learning and and not relying on communities of color to provide that learning right again, going back to what we said earlier. It’s not relying on those who have been harmed or a present to provide. The learning is the first of all. It’s an individual attorney. That’s a given. Okay,

[00:17:09.24] spk_0:
I like toe things like people. I like action steps. So we’re talking about our individual journey, our own learning. I mean, I’ve been doing some of this recently by watching YouTube watching folks on YouTube. Of course, now, right now, I can’t remember names of people, but no Eddie Glaude eso Eddie Glaude is a commentator on MSNBC. He’s just written just released this last week. Ah, biography. I am not so much a biography of James Baldwin, but but an explanation of Baldwin’s journey around racism. Um, so that’s one example of, you know who have been listening to. So we’re talking about educating the learning from thought leaders around yeah, revealed structures with reading books, listening to podcasts

[00:17:44.20] spk_1:
absolutely around its around structures. But it’s also understanding things that we do all the time and organizations and how I, as a leader, might eventually those right. So it’s sometimes the use of language to your point about the use of the word professional language tends to create our realities so another language will build a bridge or not. So how do we use our language? How do we use our descriptors? How do I show up as a leader in my own kind of inclusion or not? So I think it is absolutely that it is looking at thought leaders around things like structural racism around the use of language around people’s individual experiences to get that insight and depth. Because it’s not just a kn intellectual exercise. This is emotional to and therefore has to have emotional residents.

[00:18:47.24] spk_0:
Okay, thank you for letting me dive deeper into a personal your own personal journey, your own personal education, fact finding and and introspection. You’re talking about something, you know. And it zzz No, no revelation. This is It’s difficult of It’s painful. You know, you you’re very likely uncovering how you offended someone. Uh uh How you offended? Ah, group. Um, if you were speaking in public and something comes to mind or how you offended someone in meetings or, you know, multiplied, I don’t know how many times I mean, this introspection is likely painful.

[00:18:50.74] spk_1:
Likely? Likely. Yeah, more often. More often than not, I can’t. I can’t really envision it. Not at some level. They painful,

[00:19:08.88] spk_0:
but you’ve caused pain. You know that there’s a recognition there. Yeah, painful for you. But let’s consider the pain of person or the group that you, uh I don’t know, offended, stereotyped. I mean, put off whatever it is you’re

[00:19:31.28] spk_1:
that’s right. And that that’s why the work. As much as I know, you know, just some degree, people want this to be work that could be kind of project managed, if you will. Or it could be put into a process or a series of best practices arrangements to some degree, not very much, but to some degree, yes, absolutely. The sum of a little bit of that can happen. But that in and of itself is a bit of the dominant narrative, right. That, and of itself, is kind of at that centering white culture. So I think What we need to understand is this is not just going to be again, Teoh. Sorry to be redundant, but it’s not just gonna be intellectual. The fact that pain has been caused dictates that this be emotionally owned as well. It can’t be on life. It can’t be just intellectually owned with a project plan that I keep over here on a chalkboard or something like that.

[00:20:18.34] spk_0:
Emotionally owned. Yeah. Thank you. All right. Um, all right. So I made you die aggressive. Deeper. What else Rails you want toe? Tell us about leadership’s commitment on dhe. The importance of leadership. Commitment?

[00:22:22.54] spk_1:
Yes. So? So it needs to be explicit. It needs to be authentic. It needs to be baked into the leadership. Whatever leadership structure of the organisation has, it needs to be an ongoing piece of that leadership. So it’s not a Hey, let’s touch face on our quote inclusion initiative. If it’s an initiative, first of all, that’s not really doing the work. And he went, but it’s not something that lives separately from ourselves. Let’s have HR kind of check in on this or let’s have the operations person checking on this, but that’s not what this is about. It’s really it’s authentically being owned by leadership to say, Yeah, I know it’s gonna be painful. And in looking at our organization, we’re gonna need to understand why our leadership is remarkably homogeneous, which, in the case of many nonprofits, it is. If you take a look at building movement project and the unbelievably great work that they’ve done twice now, they just put out an update to their leadership, work around how people moves in sector or don’t and how people, communities of color and people of color are represented in our leadership. We can begin to understand that by and large, they’re they’re not on the why. That is a no oversimplification in some way. So I would encourage people to go to building movement projects, went site and check out their work. But you know what? Why are we so homogeneous? Why is there a board so homogeneous? It’s It’s also unpacking and uncovering that. So, to your point earlier about you know how we look at people and how they move through the organization. This is where you look at who is press right? Not just who’s not with us, but who is with us? How do people get promoted? How does that system work? Just any. It does everyone have the same information? Is it a case of unwritten rules? Is it a case of some people move up because they’re similar? Or they have have 10 years of experience, which is something that we like to say. How do you get 10 years of experience if you have not been given those chances to begin with? So is there life experience that weaken that we can begin to integrate in our conversations, these life experiences equally valuable are we putting too much of a premium on higher education, education and its formal kind of traditional form. Are we putting too much of, ah, of an emphasis on pedigree of other kinds of those? Those are the things that ultimately keep people out. So taking a look at leadership and having leadership commitment ultimately means looking at all of those things. There’s an overlap and how we look at leadership or people and or your organizational culture.

[00:23:01.74] spk_0:
Yeah, of course, this is a it’s a continuum or

[00:23:04.18] spk_1:
absolutely, absolutely, and the areas bleed into each other.

[00:23:25.68] spk_0:
Yeah, of course, yeah, um, you know, I subsumed in all this. I guess it’s OK for leaders to say I don’t know where the where the journey is going. I don’t know what we’re going to uncover, but I’m committed to having this journey and leading it and right, I mean supporting it. But I don’t know what we’re gonna find.

[00:23:32.52] spk_1:
Right, Right? Right. And that, in and of itself can be uncomfortable for a lot of people. And that’s the That’s the kind of discomfort we need to get okay with.

[00:24:03.54] spk_0:
Yeah, all right. Yeah. No, I had I had a guest explain that this is not as you were alluding to, uh, is not the kind of thing that we’re gonna have a weekly meeting and will be these outcomes at the end of every meeting. Then we have this list of activities and you know, the you know, it’s how come it’s not like that. How come we can’t do it like that? Yeah, because

[00:24:07.08] spk_1:
we’re dealing with hundreds and hundreds of years of history, and it’s because we haven’t been inclusive in the ways that we do things and we haven’t allowed whole Selves to show up that it is, um, it’s It’s complicated and it’s messy because it’s human.

[00:24:21.44] spk_0:
All right, so it’s not gonna be, is simple. Is our budget meetings

[00:24:28.54] spk_1:
right? Absolutely kind of hard.

[00:24:29.50] spk_0:
All right, we’re gonna have an outcome it every every juncture at every step or every week or every month. Yeah,

[00:24:35.03] spk_1:
that’s right. That’s right. And if we expect it to go that way, we are likely going to give ourselves excuses not to press on.

[00:24:44.44] spk_0:
All right, so that’s what it’s not. What what does it look like?

[00:26:08.14] spk_1:
So it absolutely looks different for every organisation. It absolutely looks different for over organization. And that’s why it’s so critical to understand, kind of. Where are we right now? Where are we? As for us, all of the components of our organization, Right? So, Roland again, Volunteer’s board staff culture, You said, you know, we were talking about people, organization and leadership, which is obviously a lot of my work. It is getting underneath all of those kinds of things to say. So who experiences our culture? How eso we do engagement surveys, right? A lot of times we do engagement employee surveys, that kind of thing. Are we looking at those dis Agra and adjust aggregated way. Are we asking different populations to identify themselves? And are we looking at what the experiences are by population? Are we asking explicit questions around whether or not you feel like you can be yourself in this organization? Whether you can provide defending opinions whether you feel comfortable approaching your boss will be back whether you feel comfortable volunteering for particular work, whether you feel like you understand what a promotion or performance management processes, whether you get you the support that you need or to what extent you get support that you need either from colleagues bus leadership, etcetera. So it’s looking at all of those things and then understanding all of a being experienced differently by different communities within our organization.

[00:26:14.24] spk_0:
You mentioned dis aggregating. That’s where the data is not helpful, right?

[00:26:20.02] spk_1:
That is where we look at the data in terms of populations.

[00:26:28.43] spk_0:
00 Aggregate. Of course, aggregating You’re stuck with a lackluster host now, of course. Yes, aggregate

[00:26:32.47] spk_1:
early in the week.

[00:26:48.84] spk_0:
Thank you. You couldn’t say early in the day. But thank you for being gracious. Okay? Yes, we we we want Teoh disaggregate. Of course um, and look by population and I guess, cut a different way. I mean, depending on the size of the organization, um, age race, uh,

[00:27:38.81] spk_1:
raises ethnicity of physical ability, orientation. All of those need to be in the mix gender as well, including gender fluidity. So really looking at all of our populations and then understanding, you know, for these particular questions, is there a difference and how people experience or organization we we know Then what we do know is that if there is a difference that there is a difference, we don’t know that there is cause ality unless there unless you’ve asked questions that might begin to illuminate that right. But there’s there’s always that difference between correlation and cause ality. And then what you want to do is get underneath that to understand why the experience might be different and why it might change along lines of gender or race or ethnicity or orientation or physical ability.

[00:27:45.14] spk_0:
Way wandered, you know, But that’s that’s fine.

[00:27:49.50] spk_1:
People in organizations are

[00:27:57.94] spk_0:
people, culture and leadership all coming together. Where where do you want to go? I mean, I would like to talk about people, culture and leadership What’s a good? It’s a good next one.

[00:28:42.74] spk_1:
Yes, well, so so this is what you’re doing, right? Is your collecting information and all of those three areas right and want it. So a couple of things that I would add to that is, when you look at people, you’re looking at their experiences. When you look at leadership, you’re looking at commitment, makeup, structure, access, all of those kinds of things. When you’re looking at culture, you’re looking at how people experience the culture, right? And so what? What is happening? What’s not happening? What state it out loud? What’s not stated out loud. What are the unwritten rules? There is also the peace are that that forms all of these things, which is operational systems, right? So things like performance management, things like where people may sit back when we were in physical offices at having access to technology. All of those kinds of things particularly important now that we’re not in physical offices. So just everyone have access to the technology and information necessary to do their job to do their jobs to do their work. So it is looking also at your operational side and saying How do we live our operational life? How do how two people experience it? Who do we engage with to provide service is for operations. How do we provide the service is, if you will, for lack of better term to our employees. So it’s also looking at that because operations ultimately permeates organizational culture, people and leadership, right, because it kind of sustains all of that. So taking a look at that, too, and finally, I would suggest again, as part of this and as a wraparound, is what is the internal external alignment, right? So I often hear people say, Hey, you know what? This is the subsector we work in people with think that we’re really equitable, but internally, we are living a different life than what we’re putting out to our stakeholders in our constituencies externally. So what is what is our external life, and how does that need to inform our internal world? It’s not unusual for me to hear that the external life, the way we engage with stakeholders or the way we put out program programmatic work is actually may be further along. To the extent that this is considered to be a continuum. It’s further along than the way that we’re living our life internally.

[00:30:19.33] spk_0:
Dishonesty there this disconnected It

[00:30:24.39] spk_1:
is a disconnect for sure. And possibly yes, dishonesty and hip hop made even hypocrisy.

[00:30:35.76] spk_0:
Yeah, All right, but again. All right, so that now we’re looking like this is organizational introspection. There’s individual learning and introspection. Now we’re at the organizational level, right? Being honest with our with our culture and our messaging.

[00:31:13.64] spk_1:
Right? Right. And so what I tried to dio is to help organizations kind of look at those things and decide how we might have all given the future that we’ve set our sights on and given some of the principles that we’ve laid out, how do we kind of get there? How do we How do we have all of our systems had a way of all of our people practices? How do we have all of our culture? So hence the need to look at all of these things that centered around people, culture and leadership. What about

[00:31:33.64] spk_0:
the use of a professional? A facilitator? Because, Well, first of all, there’s a body of expertise that someone like you brings, uh, but also help with these difficult conversations. Talk about the value of having an Anek Spurt facilitator.

[00:32:22.73] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely So So you know, I think I think there’s always a level of objectivity and kind of in inside Look by an outsider that you that you benefit from. We go to experts for everything from you know or health to the extent that we have access to those experts, which is a whole different conversation on race and oppression. We we want external voice. What I would say is it’s a likely not going to be the same expert or the same facilitator. And I say expert in quotes for everything. So, for instance, I am not the voice to be centered on educating an organization around structural racism. I don’t think on the right voice to be centered. I would rather send your voices like those at, um at race forward at equity in the centre at those who have lived the results of 400 years of oppression. So you might want to call in someone for that discussion for that education. There are people that are better and more steeped in that and whose voices should absolutely be centered for that. You might want to call in a voice for White I’ll ally ship because there is some specifics around that that we need to talk about without kind of centering white races.

[00:32:53.93] spk_0:
I’m sorry, White ally ship. Yeah. What is that? So

[00:34:04.64] spk_1:
if we think about the or the organization right and are kind of culture and are people who who won staff sees themselves as an ally and how can they be good? How come Apple boy people be good allies, right? And how do how do we further and embed that in the culture on dhe? Then finally, So keeping that in mind that there are gonna be different experts or different facilitators for different things, you know who was going to be the person in my case, this actually might be May is to help us evolve our culture and our systems so that we can be more equitable and take a look at that. Who’s gonna provide the training because their skills necessary rightto have these conversations. There are foundational communication skills. There is the ability to give feedback. There is the ability to communicate across cultures across genders across across groups. There, his ability to be collaborative. So So also strengthening those skills while we continue to look at those things. But to think that all of this help is going to come from one source is not ideal and likely it’s even inappropriate because everyone can’t be everything. I don’t try to be the voices that I can’t be. It’s inappropriate for me to do that.

[00:34:18.84] spk_0:
What? Um, what else do you want? Oh, what do you want to talk about? Given the level where that we’re at, we’re trying to help small and midsize nonprofits inaugurate a journey around racism and white privilege.

[00:34:33.95] spk_1:
Yeah, E Look, first of all, I hear a lot of organizations say, like, what is the access point? Like, What do I get started doing? We put out a statement. Um, in some cases, we are experiencing some dissonance between the statement that we put out or the problematic work that we dio and the way that we’re living internally. So it is really understanding. Kind of. Where are we now? Through all of the ways that we’ve been talking about over the last several minutes, where we now what is it that we’re not doing that we should be doing? What is it that we need to be doing? How do we define for us if we have an equitable culture? If we’re living racial equity, what does that look like for us? Um, how does that affect our programmatic work? How does that affect our operations? Everything from our finances to our people processes to when we’re back in an office, even our physical set up. How how does that affect us? And how would we define that future state? So it’s understanding what is my current state? What is my future state and then understanding how we get there and it’s likely gonna be a long all of the areas that we said right? So individual journeys, some group and individual skill building some evolution of our systems and some understanding of kind of how we can support each other and support ourselves for those that are that affiliate with a particular group, Um and then kind of moving us along to that place of where we want to be. So it is. It is understanding where you are at that determines what your access point iss. But I would say if you if you have done the work of putting out the statement, then there. Then look for look for where you’re not living that statement internally.

[00:36:26.93] spk_0:
That sounds like a very good place to yeah, to start your search for for an access point because it’s so recent. Your organization’s probably said something in the past 56 weeks, absolutely close. Are you hearing to that to that statement?

[00:36:46.33] spk_1:
Exactly. And and we are incredibly, I would say important the use of the term, but almost fortunate that so many thought leaders have been kind and generous enough to share with us their thoughts on this moment. So not just within the sector, but all the way across our society. So many people have taken the time and the patients and the generosity amidst everything else that they’re living through. They have agreed to share their thoughts, their leadership, their expertise with us. So there is a ton of knowledge out there right at our fingertips, and that’s a that’s another really great place to start and says center the voices that most need to be heard

[00:37:18.87] spk_0:
at the same time. You know, we are seeing beginnings of change institutions from Princeton University to the state of Mississippi,

[00:37:40.47] spk_1:
right? Absolutely. Teoh. Hopefully, you know, the unnamed Washington football team. And to not far and places where we I didn’t know that change necessarily was possible. But we we are seeing change. And the important thing is is to not be complacent about that change,

[00:38:44.72] spk_0:
right? And not and also recognize, that it’s just a beginning, you know, removing Confederate statues, um, the room taking old glory off the Mississippi flag. These are just beginnings, but but I think worth worth noting, and they worth recognizing and celebrating because the state of Mississippi is a big institution and it’s been wrestling with this for I don’t know if they’ve been wrestling for centuries, but that flag has been there for that. Just out long 18. Some things, I think, is when that flag was developed. So it’s been a long it’s been a long time coming. So, recognizing it for what it is celebrating it, you know, to the extent that yeah, to the extent it represents the change getting up the beginning of change. All right. Um, well, you know, for teaching What else? What else? What else do you want to share with folks at this. You know, at this stage,

[00:39:19.56] spk_1:
you know, I think I think the main thing is, um didn’t dig it. We need to dig in on this. We need to dig in on this because in the same way that we have been living this society really societally for so long. Or organizations many times are microcosms of society. So if we think as an organization were exempt or that were already there, we’ve arrived at a post racial culture. That’s not the case. That’s just not the case. So where do you want to get it? Where do you want it again? Chances are good. You are doing some version of looking at issues within your organization, whether it’s your annual survey, if you do it annually, or whatever in which you can use that information to begin this journey so diggin from where you are. It’s one of those things that if you’re waiting, if you’re reading for kind of the exact right time or further analysis to begin the journey again, it’s not. It’s not based solely on analysis. There is a P. There is certainly information. There’s data that needs to be understood. But if We’re waiting for endless analysis Toe happen or Teoh kind of point us to the right time. That’s not going to happen. The intellectualism needs to be there. But again, as we said in the path as we said a few times during the course for conversation, this is about emotional residents in an emotional ownership and a moral obligation. So diggin, diggin wherever you are right now.

[00:40:46.20] spk_0:
What if I’m trying within my organization and I’m not the leader, not even second or third tier management or something, you know, How do I elevate the conversation? Uh, I presume it helps to have allies. What if What if I’m meeting a resistance from the people who are really in leadership?

[00:41:16.68] spk_1:
I think Look for the places where the remains, not the resistance, Right? So look within the organization. If there is resistance at a particular level, then you know who do you have access to in the organization where there isn’t that? I think I think starting out not assuming that you have solutions. If you have expertise in this area, if you have lived through the oppression as a member of a community that has lived through the impression, particularly the black community. I think you’re coming from one place if you are. If you are not in that community and saying that you have expertise, I think you have to be a little bit more circumspect about that and introspective about what you can offer in this vein on. And I think I think we want to look for the places where there is some traction. I think in most organizations it’s not unusual to be getting the question right now.

[00:41:50.41] spk_0:
And what is the I don’t want to call it outcome. What’s what look in the future look like for our organization? If we do embark on this long journey?

[00:42:02.14] spk_1:
Yeah, cultures that are equitable, in which people can show up as their whole Selves, in which there is not only one wrote right way to do things, which tends to be a very kind of white, dominant, Western culture, linear, sequential way of of managing work, of managing communications, et cetera, but that in fact, work can be a purged in a number of different ways, and that solutions can be approached in a number of different ways. People get to show up and give their all to these missions that we all feel very Narron dear. And so they are able, they’re empowered. They are able they are celebrated without sticking to a set of preconceived guidelines or preconceived, unwritten or written rules that don’t serve us anymore. Anyway,

[00:42:59.20] spk_0:
When you started to answer that, I saw your face. Lighten up. He your You know, it was a smile. It just looks like you’re faced untended. Not that you’re nervous. You’re facing hard to answer the where we could be.

[00:43:03.60] spk_1:
Who doesn’t like to imagine that future?

[00:43:09.30] spk_0:
Yeah, it was It was palpable. All right. Are you comfortable leaving it

[00:43:12.77] spk_1:
there? I think so. I think that what if we not covered that we need to cover for your listeners?

[00:43:18.70] spk_0:
Your know that better than I a place there at getting started.

[00:43:24.11] spk_1:
That’s fair. Look, you know what this is? This is the future that is written with many voices. And and while I think I can be helpful, I don’t presume to be the voice that has all the answers. I definitively don’t. I definitively don’t. And so what we have not covered is actually probably not known to me. But I dare say someone. Someone out there doesn’t know that. And they will likely be putting their voice up, which is exactly what we want.

[00:43:50.07] spk_0:
Yes, we will be bringing other voices as well. All right.

[00:43:53.06] spk_1:
No doubt. Yeah.

[00:43:54.31] spk_0:
Petition Shaw. She’s founder and CEO of Flourished Talent Management Solutions. And the company is at flourish tms dot com Petitti. Thank you so much. Thank you very, very much,

[00:44:13.89] spk_1:
tony. Thank you. Thank you for opening up this space and having the conversation. Ah,

[00:45:04.76] spk_0:
pleasure. It’s a responsibility and, uh, happy toe. Live up to it. Try trying. Were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com My Cougar Mountain software, The Nolly Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for non profits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant her mountain for a free 60 day trial. And by turned to communications, PR and content for non profits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo. Our creative producer was glad Meyer, huh? Shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guide. This music is by Scots. Many thanks to Susan and Mark for helping you get this special episode out quickly with me next time this week for non profit radio, big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great