Tag Archives: racial equity

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: POC Underrepresented In Nonprofit Leadership

My Guest:

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld: POC Underrepresented In Nonprofit Leadership

Sean Thomas-Breitfeld

The willingness and skills of people of color aren’t represented in leadership circles. That’s the main message coming out of Building Movement Project’s report, “Race To Lead Revisited.” We visit the report’s conclusions and recommendations with BMP’s co-director, Sean Thomas-Breitfeld.

 

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[00:01:48.24] 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. This is a special episode of non profit radio to help you be the change around racism, people of color underrepresented in non profit leadership. That’s the main message coming out of building movement projects Report. Race to Lead Revisited We visit the report’s conclusions and recommendations with BMPs co director Sean Thomas Brett felled, responsive by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot CEO and by dot drives, raise more money, changed more lives for a free demo and free month. It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show. Sean Thomas Bright Felled. He is co director at the Building Moving Building Movement Project. He previously worked in various roles at community change, developing training programs for grassroots leaders and worked in the communications and policy departments where he coordinated online and grassroots advocacy efforts and lobbied on a range of issues including immigration reform, transportation, equity and anti poverty programs. Building movement project is at building movement, or GE, and at B L. D. I N G movement. John Thomas Bright felt Welcome to non profit radio

[00:01:51.64] spk_0:
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:01:53.33] spk_1:
It’s supposed

[00:01:53.87] spk_0:
to be here with you.

[00:01:54.83] spk_1:
It’s good. It’s a pleasure. Thank you. So why don’t you start by describing the work at Building Movement Project?

[00:02:02.44] spk_0:
Sure, so building movement projects been around for over 20 years, and from our founding we’ve had three main areas of focus. One is what we call movement building, looking at how organizations collaborate, how nonprofit organizations can be part of movements for social change and social justice, and what it takes for organizations and non profit leaders to really be on the forefront of making big leading some big structural changes in our society. We’ve also looked at what we call a non profits and social change or service and social change because we think there is a particular role for human service organizations in bringing about structural and systemic change in our society and that that’s really important to support on. Also encourage organizations like that to get involved in advocacy. Listen to an uplift, the voice and on power of the communities that are being served, and then the third bucket of work has always focused on leadership, so recognizing that leading a nonprofit organization is a very hard job we’ve always looked at What does it take for leaders? But also, what does it take for non profit leadership? Thio really have aligned both the practices of leadership with the values that organizations hold. And so over the last several years, we’ve been particularly focused on issues of race and leadership in non profit organization. That’s what the race to lead work comes out of.

[00:03:41.14] spk_1:
Okay, right? And the This race to lead revisited report is really comparing a 2016 survey for the original race to lead with a 2019 survey for this report. Exactly.

[00:04:04.84] spk_0:
Yeah, so we surveyed people working in the nonprofit sector both in 2016 and 2019 on these issues of race and leadership. So this report race to lead revisited at some comparisons between the findings from 2016 and 2019 to see how the sector’s been evolving

[00:04:55.34] spk_1:
and you did have some new questions as well. We’ll have time to get to some of those, um, you talk about Well, first I got to say, I realize the contrast here I have long white hair and you have short, dark hair. We are. We know in the hair. We are. We’re not similar in hair. My God. Uh, yeah, OK, Sorry I couldn’t help notice. Um, you talk about we’re gonna have fun on non profit radio. I mean, it’s a serious subject, but we have fun nonetheless. So you talk about white advantage in the report versus white privilege? You mentioned white privilege once or twice, but predominantly. Talk about white advantage. What’s the What’s the difference there? What? What? What are you trying to say? A little different than the the more seems more common, you know, white privilege.

[00:05:05.24] spk_0:
Yeah. So what’s the term white advantage? What we’re trying to focus on is some of the structural advantages that accrue to non profit organizations based on, you know, multiple people in positions of power being white. So particularly thinking about the composition of boards and the composition of senior leadership teams. Um, because, you know, I think oftentimes the analysis is very individualistic, right? So, like, there’s an individual white person in the executive director role of the organization that only paints part of the picture on DSO we wanted to have a more complicated and nuanced analysis of what’s actually happened. An organization s O, that it became less about, like, the it one person at the top of organizational hierarchy. And think about it, uh, in a way that encompasses both the board leadership and senior staff.

[00:06:04.44] spk_1:
Okay. And then the structures as well, it seems thio less focused on an individual or individuals and mawr, uh, levers of power and processes policies.

[00:06:27.04] spk_0:
Exactly. And it also became a way thio understand and sort of unpack. Um, how, uh, sort of whiteness of organizations that, like in our sample, right, like, 45% of respondents work for organizations where both more than 75% of the board is white and more than 75% of staff and top leadership are white on. And, you know, I think that for me, that was actually somewhat startling in surprising um, And then we also saw that those organizations tend to have bigger budgets at least was being reported by the staff. Um but then, at the same time, we’re seeing that staff were reporting more negative experiences in those types of organizations compared to organizations with more diverse leadership on both the board and senior staff levels.

[00:07:29.64] spk_1:
And so the overall message that I got from this is that the power remains in boards and at the sea levels of nonprofits, and those are predominantly white. And that and that that really hasn’t changed from 2016 to 2019.

[00:07:35.24] spk_0:
Yeah, that hasn’t well, it’s hard to know because we actually didn’t ask the question in this way back in 2016. But I think that this, um, sort of puts our data in the context of some of the research that board source has done that shows that boards are overwhelmingly the majority of non profit boards are overwhelmingly white

[00:07:59.14] spk_1:
and also not reflecting the communities that they’re serving. Absolutely. Yeah,

[00:08:01.54] spk_0:
yeah, because I think what has happened is that the function of non profit boards very often is less a function of accountability to the organization’s constituency and mission on, because organizations often have a lot of responsibility for fundraising and raising the resource is for the organization to do its work. Um, that as a result of that sort of demand, organizations often have, um, prioritized recruiting from people who holds wealth in their communities and because of racial wealth gaps that tend to be white people

[00:08:41.04] spk_1:
on dhe. That’s recruiting for both leadership and volunteer position board with talking about boards and you make it very clear we’re talking about boards as well as C suite. You know, CEO, executive director level.

[00:08:54.14] spk_0:
Absolutely.

[00:08:56.24] spk_1:
So let’s go into the three. I guess main conclusions that the report identifies first one is that things really haven’t changed that much. We’ve already alluded to it. Things haven’t changed that much in the three years.

[00:09:14.44] spk_0:
Yeah, and you know, I’m not sure how surprising that should be. Um, for our sector. You know, I think the change is often particularly in organizations. When we’re talking about organizations where we’re talking about the composition of the staff, that kind of change is incremental, right? I think that what has shifted is that, particularly in the last year is much more consciousness raising much more awareness on the part of organizations that these imbalances, these inequities exist and needs to be addressed. Um, but recognizing that there is a problem is not the same thing is taking action to address the problem.

[00:10:18.34] spk_1:
So you are seeing mawr alright, consciousness raising awareness. It seems like predominantly because of the diversity equity and inclusion work that Ah lot of organizations have done. But it’s just sort of, you know, I’m I gleaned from the reports, just sort of scratching the surface. I mean, ah, lot of it is trainings that raise awareness, but we’re not seeing much action flowing from that consciousness raising.

[00:10:23.84] spk_0:
Yeah, And so one example of the increased consciousness was that in both 2016 and 2019 we asked survey respondents what impact to their race had had on their career advancement. And, uh, for white respondents back in 2016 roughly half indicated that their race. They recognize that the race had a positive impact on their career advancement. So this sort of classic recognition of white privilege that increased to two thirds of the white sample in 29 so one from half to two thirds. So you know that is e think progress, right? In terms of like people having a recognition and understanding that white privileges riel and that it’s positively the benefits of that privilege are accruing to white people in nonprofit organization. Um however, the same question also revealed that back in 2016 a third roughly of people of color felt that their own race have negatively impacted their career advancement, and that then increased almost basically half off the sample of people of color in 2019. So the increased consciousness is both, you know, I think leading people to recognize the ways that they have been disadvantaged as well as for white people the way that they have been advantaged on DSO. You know, we’re still left with this challenge. This problem. That race is clearly having an impact on people’s advancement. And so it needs to be addressed in organizations in ways that I don’t think training is sufficient. Thio thick

[00:12:04.14] spk_1:
right? But you acknowledge consciousness, raising an awareness that that is the first step. But we have a lot more, a lot, a lot further to go. I mean, you know, it’s just

[00:12:14.61] spk_0:
absolutely

[00:12:50.24] spk_1:
widely recognized that, you know, you don’t just do trainings a couple of trainings over six months and then check your box. You know d e. I is covered. Let’s move on, Thio. Let’s move on to the gala. You know it za process. It’s a journey, you know we’ve had other guests say the same thing. It takes time. Thio, uh, change the policies, the practices, the traditions Even if they’re not written down, that our advantage ing white folks over people of color, This takes time. But you gotta You’ve got to start somewhere.

[00:12:52.74] spk_0:
Yes, and I think consciousness raising is is an important and legitimate starting point.

[00:13:42.54] spk_1:
Right? And we’re just getting started, okay? It’s time for a break. Turn to communications relationships. The world runs on them. We all know this turn to is led by former journalists. So you get help building relationships with journalists. Those relationships, they’re gonna help you when you want to be heard so that people know you’re a thought leader in your field turn to specializes in working with nonprofits. One of the partners was an editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. They know the non profit space they’re at turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to P. O. C. Underrepresented in non profit leadership. Are you going to do this in three years again?

[00:13:45.94] spk_0:
It’s a very good question. You know, it’s hard

[00:13:48.15] spk_1:
to

[00:13:48.28] spk_0:
know, uh, in terms of, like, capacity funding, all of those things um, but yeah, I think that it seems worthwhile to keep revisiting thes issues, given the pace of change. Um, having been pretty slow just in the time that we’ve been collecting this data.

[00:14:24.14] spk_1:
All right, Um, anything else you want to say about you know, how the the findings from 2016 are pretty similar? Uh, yeah. Continue through to 2019 before we go on to the next. Well,

[00:14:24.49] spk_0:
sure. I think the reason that we felt like it was worth restating on pointing out the similarity in in terms of the findings between 2016 and 2019 was because, um, you know, from our perspective, it was really important to state very clearly to the sector. But there are people of color who are in the pipeline that the pipeline is not necessarily the problem. Uh, there’s, I think, different metaphors that people have used unpack and try to understand what the problem is of why we’re not seeing more representative leadership at the top levels of nonprofit organizations. And our view has just been that it’s not a pipeline issue per se. There are people of color who have the skills training credentials to be in those top roles, but they face racialized barriers to actually moving into those top jobs to being hired for those top jobs. And so we just felt like it was important to remind the sector of that finding, Um and sort of not lapse back into, ah narrative that, like we need to train more people of color because somehow people of color are not ready toe lead. People of color are ready to lead, but are often too often not given the opportunity.

[00:15:38.84] spk_1:
Not only have the skill sets already, but are willing to, in fact, what willing Thio want. Thio want to advance the leadership in greater numbers than the and the white respondents?

[00:15:51.94] spk_0:
Absolutely.

[00:15:53.03] spk_1:
E guess. There’s narrative that, you know there’s a lack of interest in in people of color advancing toe leadership. But you’ve dashed that.

[00:16:01.74] spk_0:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that part of the reason that’s important is because if people hold this mental model that who wants to be a leader is, uh, not a person of color, then they’re going to ignore the leadership potential of people of color in their organization.

[00:16:26.64] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s very convenient. Well, you know, the folks of color don’t really aspire to leadership. So no need to consider them. So Okay, so you’ve you’ve dashed that it’s not so in two respects. It’s not a pipeline issue. The skills air there and the willingness Is there a ZX? Well,

[00:16:36.24] spk_0:
absolutely

[00:16:42.44] spk_1:
desire Thio advance and to lead. Okay, Um right. So remember your second main main conclusion, I guess, is there is white advantage. We were talking around it. Now we come right out and say there is white advantage in the nonprofit sector.

[00:18:59.24] spk_0:
There is. And, um, you know, I think that the the white advantage takes multiple forms, right? So I think that there have been over the last several months Mawr written about like, what happened? What’s called now? Philanthropic redlining, right, that organizations that are led by people of color, particularly black led organizations, are don’t get access to the same kind of resource is as the white led organizations focused on or serving in communities of color. And so there’s really interesting research both from organizations like Abssi A ZX, well as echoing green and bridge span that really dug into that funding disadvantage. And I think that our data also showed similar findings, particularly when it comes to, for instance, e. D s of color. And this was reported on Maurin a report from based on the 2016 data but E d s of color feeling like they don’t have, they don’t get grants of comparable size to peer organization or that they don’t have access Thio relationships with funders. And so those kinds of advantages in terms of like, who funders trust who funders will give bigger grants thio all of those benefits than accrue to white led organizations that then create this financial gap between organizations, nonprofit organizations based on who’s in positions of power in that institution. And so other ways that the white advantage showed up were in terms of the sort of composition of organizations and the greater comfort that white people, uh, seem tohave in. Those organizations, for instance, on questions like Do people feel like they have a voice in their organization for people working in white, dominant organizations were both the board and senior staff are more than 75% white. That’s where we saw the biggest gaps between people of color and whites in terms of their their agreement with that statement, right? And that gap decreases as you have mawr diverse organizations. And it’s also interesting to note that the average the mean increases. So both people of color and white respondents are more likely to say they have a. They have a voice in their organizations when they work for POC lead groups. So if you know, funders want to invest in organizations that are cultivating that kind of leader full ecosystem inside of their organization that, you know, make it possible for staff to feel like they have a voice and can help to set the direction for the organization, then you know foundations would be wise to really take a hard look at their own investment and the composition of organizations that they’ve been funding on. DSI. You know, like, are these organizations largely white run or are they POC lead on. And if there are largely white one, they should start investing in more organizations that are POC ledge.

[00:20:06.94] spk_1:
You identify five opportunities which we’ll get to, and one of those is put your money where your mouth is. You just say, put your, uh, you

[00:20:08.83] spk_0:
know, money

[00:20:54.04] spk_1:
where mouth is for sure. Yeah, I mean that’s a critical lever of power is funding for any anyone, whether it’s whether it’s corporate or non profit access to capital access to markets. Um, you know, what I thought was really interesting is, um, when you were identifying whether an organization was white lead or POC lead you, you chose as a threshold for white lead, whether more than 75% whether the Board of Leadership is more than 75% white. But then for for people of color lead, the threshold was just 50%. Is that because there just aren’t enough that are that are at the 75% level? So you had to reduce the yet to reduce the threshold to define it as person of color lead? Was that the reason?

[00:21:02.45] spk_0:
Yes. I mean, I think that it reflects the sort of composition of the sector, right. So 45% of respondents reported working for organizations where more than 75% of the board and senior staff were white on then it only 14% of respondents reporting working for organizations where it was over 50% of board and senior staff where people of color, you know, like it’s

[00:21:30.25] spk_1:
hard to have

[00:21:30.98] spk_0:
a comparison between Yeah, exactly.

[00:21:34.02] spk_1:
75% shoulder, 75% for PFC. Lead was gonna be too small a sample You

[00:21:40.57] spk_0:
a

[00:21:41.99] spk_1:
handful of Okay, uh, e suspected. Okay. Um, yeah. The experience was a little more about the experience. How people experience how people of color experience work in a in a white led organization.

[00:21:58.84] spk_0:
Well, I have to say, this was surprised, Not surprising. But it was interesting that the data was so clear, um, that the these racial gaps were so much larger for respondents working for white run organizations compared toa the POC led groups. And, um, you know, I think that it reflects what we’ve been hearing from the focus groups that we’ve been doing across the country in terms of the frustration, particularly on the part of people of color working in organizations that, um, you know, I think often feel somewhat alienating. And where people feel like they, um their leadership potential is not recognized or supported on dso. It was just a really, uh it was nice to have the data show, uh, and really reflect what we’ve been hearing anecdotally through focus groups and interviews around the country,

[00:22:59.54] spk_1:
You mentioned three organizations that have contributed to this work. One of them was bridge span. And then what were the other to save them. Save them a little slower theater, too.

[00:23:03.21] spk_0:
Sure. So a few months ago, bridge span and echoing green partnered on a report that looked at the going echoing green,

[00:23:14.57] spk_1:
echoing green

[00:24:50.44] spk_0:
green. Yeah, they partnered toe look at the funding that had accrued to organization organizational leaders who had gone through echoing Green’s programs. And so they were able to then really track and demonstrate that black leaders compared toa white leaders who had gone through the same kind of leadership development programs were getting very different levels of financial support on So that report came out at, you know, the earlier in the spring and last winter, an organization called Absi, which is the Organization for African Americans in philanthropy. On DSO, the acronym is a B E, and they put out a report looking at what they call the philanthropic redlining, this phenomenon of financial support from foundations accruing to white led organizations rather than to POC lead or black led organizations. So they use this terminology of redlining because it’s evocative of historical policy that led to very dramatic differences in terms of what sort of development and investment was possible, uh, in cities and neighborhoods based on this policy of redlining. And their point is that the imbalances, the inequities and where philanthropic dollars flow leads toa completely different prospects for organizations. And because some organizations grow because they get the funding and other organizations sort of. Whether on the bun

[00:25:06.34] spk_1:
isn’t the large majority of the smaller organizations I think you’re special was under a million dollars aren’t Isn’t the majority of those POC lead?

[00:25:08.44] spk_0:
It was, Yeah, it was striking to see that a much larger share of POC led organizations had budgets under a million

[00:25:30.34] spk_1:
dollars compared to, for instance, what led organizations? And, ah, large, large majority of those are a million dollars or under in funding or annual budget.

[00:25:31.18] spk_0:
Yes, okay, yeah, in terms of the annual budget

[00:26:27.24] spk_1:
annual budget. Okay, time for our last break. Dot drives drives engagement dot drives relationships. Dot drives walks you through donor engagement. It’s a tool that’s simple, affordable and focuses you on building donor relationships and trust. There’s a free demo, and for listeners a free first month. Go to the listener landing page at tony dot Emma slash dot We’ve got but loads more time for POC, underrepresented in non profit leadership. And then the third main point is that d I. Efforts are widespread, you say, and their effectiveness is uncertain, I would say, but but their effectiveness is uncertain. You’re a little more optimistic. Um, so, yeah, we were scratching the surface of this before, but you know, say same or about what’s being done, but what the limitations of it are.

[00:26:35.74] spk_0:
Well, first off, I think it’s important to acknowledge that three quarters of the sample reported that their organizations were doing something related to diversity equity inclusion. And so the ubiquity of D I efforts is, you know, I think good. And I think it’s a relatively new phenomenon, right? Like it’s become the topic at a lot of conferences over the past five years. And so all of which is to say that like organizations are getting started right now, Um, and maybe it’s long overdue, but this is a moment when organizations are getting started. I think that the challenge, the frustration, particularly on the part of people of color. And the younger staff of, you know, diverse diversity of younger staff is that I think for far too often it feels like organizational checklist. It feels like a sort of double. Organizations are saying the right things, but not actually changing anything about their recruitment practices or internal hiring and promotion strategy. So, yeah, I think that that is the the frustrating in that, like the ubiquity does not equal impact.

[00:28:43.94] spk_1:
I just want to remind listeners the report is called Race to Lead Revisited and you can get it at building movement dot or ge. All right, Sean, how do you feel about talking? Oh, there’s there’s a quote. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. You You pepper the report with quotes in the margin on Dhe there. Ah, lot of them struck me that. I’m just going to read one that was probably half a dozen or so that, you know, sort of stopped me a little bit. But, uh, Pakistani woman, I don’t believe I’m taking us seriously in the workplace because I am a young woman of color. I often question things which doesn’t always go over well in majority white organizations. I’ve been used as a token brown person that za harsh reality Thio Thio read and for her to admit in a survey that, you know, I’m a token. Um So I thought the quotes were very evocative.

[00:28:55.84] spk_0:
Well, yeah, thanks. I mean, we we really think it’s important to balance the quantitative data with, you know, hundreds upon hundreds of right and responses from survey respondents and then also the focus groups that we do. We also gain a ton of insights from those conversations as well.

[00:29:16.34] spk_1:
You feel OK, go into the five opportunities or is there Is there mawr anything more you wanna bring out about the the report itself? Well, this is part of the report, but about the conclusions, conclusions and findings.

[00:29:40.34] spk_0:
Well, I guess I would just add in terms of the sort of d I and, uh, there’s the both the skepticism, but also the impact, right? I think that, um, there’s, you know, I think there’s a lot of skepticism about training, often times. But our data did show that for reserving respondents that reported that their organization trained on a variety of topics. They had more positive views on the impact of training on their organization. I think that just speaks to the importance and need for organizations have, like, multifaceted well around D. I initiatives so that training is not again, like just the check box on or sort of like. Okay, we did the training on white privilege, and so we’re sort of done that the training is a way of both sparking but also sustaining critical conversations in organizations. And that’s why it’s useful for organizations to do training repeatedly and on a variety of topics.

[00:30:59.64] spk_1:
Yeah, I think it was. It was forearm. Or if organizations had had training on four or more topics than both white, the white respondents and the people, people of color respondents, um, felt it was it was more advantageous. So they got there was more valuable training than if it was three or fewer. Could you just take off a couple of different topics that that folks should be looking to training? I mean, not not exhaustive, but you know, what are some of the some of the topics that people should be thinking about training wise?

[00:31:07.27] spk_0:
Sure, yeah. So eso in terms of the topics that we tested for in the survey people indicated that whether the organization had done training on white privileged, specifically whether they had done training on implicit bias because that is a concept that I think has gained mawr currency in the sector. Structural racism, for instance. Um, like do people think of racism as just about interpersonal dynamics or as or as the result of structural, um, and systemic forces that are being replicated by policy? A. ZX well, as implicitly, um, also racial trauma and healing. I think it’s a training topic that is becoming more popular and developed, so there’s a variety of topics, and I think the important thing is just for organizations to be open to having and doing training on a wide variety of topics.

[00:32:07.74] spk_1:
And again, the more topics, the more valuable people will feel. Three outcomes are, um So let’s go to the opportunities. Then why don’t you once you start us off?

[00:32:19.04] spk_0:
Sure.

[00:32:20.17] spk_1:
I’m sure. Wait. I put you on the spot. Do you know that you may not have him off the top of your head? I have notes I haven’t written down, so I don’t need thio Put you on the spot memorized? I don’t know do you?

[00:32:32.07] spk_0:
Yeah, I’ve got it.

[00:32:33.81] spk_1:
Okay. Okay.

[00:32:47.44] spk_0:
First in the first one was focused on structures as well as the experiences of staff. Right on DSO. You know, I think it’s pretty straightforward, but I think the the reason that we felt felt like it was really important toe lift up lived experience of staff working in organizations is because of what we saw in terms of those experience questions, right? Like, do people feel they have a voice in their organizations or not? Right. We also thought it was important to point out that policies have to actually be in force, right? Like organizations can’t just say this is our policy. But if people don’t see evidence that actual behavior and practices air changing as a result of the policy, um, then you know, I think there are real questions about whether that has real impact.

[00:33:22.08] spk_1:
There is, as

[00:33:23.32] spk_0:
we said earlier,

[00:33:35.84] spk_1:
you’re not walking the talk. Then if you have ah, policy on anti discrimination and someone says something derogatory and it doesn’t get dealt with according to the policy. Yeah, that’s a joke. Absolutely. Yeah.

[00:33:39.94] spk_0:
Um, we also thought it was important toe, you know, really, focus on the funding dynamics, so particularly for grantmaking organizations. But put your money where, like your mouth is essentially right. Like there are increasing number of foundations, that air saying that the I is important. Ah, nde sort of signaling to their grantees. But those organizations need to take d. I seriously need to diversify their boards and staff things like that. But if the foundations have not taken similar steps, if the foundations have not to diversify their own or internal institution, or the foundations have not sort of critically examined their portfolio of grants like are there racial disparities in terms of what the amounts of funding, which organizations get access to funding that sort of thing? All of that is about foundations being very serious on reflect about being reflective in terms of their own commitments to D. I.

[00:35:24.04] spk_1:
And you have reflecting reflecting your community, which we touched on a little bit, that that was really striking, how you know it’s intuitive. I mean, I realized it, but to see the numbers of, um, Whitelighter organizations that are serving POC communities, eyes like two thirds or something, I think, um, it’s startling that leadership does not reflect the communities that they’re serving, and that includes the board. I mean, you you wanna have voices from the from the folks you’re serving contributing to your contributing to your you’re you’re major decisions a ZX the board should be doing

[00:35:28.54] spk_0:
Yeah, and again, like, as I said earlier, like, if organizations see the function of the board as about accountability as about setting the direction for the organization, then I think those organizations will see the need and value of having a board that is reflective of the community that’s being served. But if organizations have the sort of rationale for maintaining the board is to have access to people with wealth and connections, and there’s obvious reasons that organizations go that route. Then they’re going to stack. They’re bored with wealthy people in their communities on again because of racism. Those wealthy people are not likely to be people of color from the constituency that’s being served

[00:36:15.53] spk_1:
and your last one responsibility and results.

[00:36:26.79] spk_0:
Yeah, I think our sense was that organizations air pushed to track a lot of things nowadays and so, like what gets measured is often what then matters. And so our sense was that organizations should be very clear about what their commitments are going to be to race equity. And, um, you know, really track those commitments and then track the results of that come out of, like, what kind of organizational change strategies they pursue. And so, you know, if organizations they’re doing like an annual review or annual reports, are they reporting on their goals and objectives around race equity? That is one way to sort of ensure that organizations are staying on track on dhe, that its multiyear commitment

[00:37:13.58] spk_1:
it’s gonna take

[00:37:14.84] spk_0:
multiple years of change.

[00:37:38.03] spk_1:
Uh, you know, just pay attention. You can move the needle on things. If you start paying attention to them, you’re saying, if you measure it, you’ll you’ll you’ll be. You’ll be accountable to it. So high attention to it. If your If your statements say that you value racial equity, then measure it, hold yourself accountable and commit to those years of change.

[00:37:41.23] spk_0:
Yeah, and I think it’s even better if organizations do that. Make that accountability public, eso that they’re the sort of reporting is to their staff. It’s to their board. It’s to their community so that, like the statements of the organizations stand with. For instance, black lives matter, then backed up with organizations being able to say. And here’s how we lived into that commitment. Here are the things that we did over the past year that made that riel,

[00:38:10.82] spk_1:
Sean, anything, anything at all that we didn’t cover that you want to talk about.

[00:38:16.52] spk_0:
Um, no, I think we covered a lot.

[00:38:34.22] spk_1:
Okay, well, we did. You know, it’s not profit radio. We cover a lot of ground, but, you know, we can only scratch the surface. I mean, we cover a lot, but what you want to read the details, So just get the damn thing. Uh, the report again is, um race toe lead racing. No race race, the lead race, the lead be visiting

[00:38:38.27] spk_0:
the lead revisited.

[00:38:49.92] spk_1:
Used to lead you visited. You’ll find it at building movement or GE. That’s where you’ll find building movement project. And Sean Thomas Bright felled. Who is co director, right, Sean, Thank you very much. Thank you.

[00:38:52.07] spk_0:
Thanks so much for having me

[00:39:32.72] spk_1:
absolutely appreciate your time. Thank you. Reminder were sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives raise more money changed more lives. Tony dot Emma slash dot for a free demo and a free month, Our creative producer is clear, Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy. This music is by Scott Stein and with me next week for non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.