Resources for Racial Equity

Resources from Leaders in the Field

A multitude of resources exists -- from recorded Philanthropy New York programming to articles to guide -- to support your racial equity learning.

  1. Thought Leadership
  2. Internal Operations
  3. Philanthropic Practice
1. Thought Leadership

These articles offer insight for individuals and organizations to build institutional and societal impact.

The Bias of ‘Professionalism’ Standards

  • Author: Aysa Gray, SSIR
  • Professionalism has become coded language for white favoritism in workplace practices that more often than not privilege the values of white and Western employees and leave behind people of color.

Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness

  • Author: kihana miraya ross, New York Times
  • When black people are killed by the police, "racism" isn't the right word... The right term is "anti-blackness."

The Case for Funding Black-Led Social Change: Redlining by Another Name: What the Data Says to Move from Rhetoric to Action

  • Author: Emergent Pathways, LLC for ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities
  • Who are some of the key organizations that make up the existing infrastructure of Black-led social change groups, and what are the major needs that institutional philanthropic funding should address? How should staff, consultants, and trustees in institutional philanthropy change their approaches when working with BLOs and serving Black communities for greater efficiency and impact?

‘Checkbox Diversity’ Must Be Left Behind for DEI Efforts to Succeed

  • Author: Nicole Anand, SSIR
  • Good intentions to increase the diversity of organizations have led to “checkbox” approaches that don't account for hegemony, marginalization, and the creation of sustainable shifts in power. Without a closer examination of these practices, we may wake up in a few years wondering what went wrong.

Do Foundations Co-Opt Civil Rights Organizations?

  • Author: Megan Ming Francis, HistPhil
  • The history of the civil rights movement and the Garland Fund should make foundations today more sensitive to their potential for co-opting civil rights grantees. Leaning on this history, foundations might try to avoid this path by taking the time to understand the communities in which grantees work, support grantee goals, and actively seek to build partnerships in which grantee voices are affirmed.

Nonprofit AF

  • Author: Vu Le
  • Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves.

Operationalizing Racial Justice in Non-Profit Organizations

  • Author: Maggie Potapchuk, MP Associates
  • As we reimagine a racially just organization and work toward co-creating it, we need to increase our confidence to take risks, honor our justice warrior ancestors by acting with integrity and through solidarity, remember that racial justice work is done in right relationship and accountability to communities, specifically Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color communities, and act boldly while believing in what is possible. We are certainly at the point of no return.

Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity

  • Authors: Gita Gulati-Partee and Maggie Potapchuk, MP Associates
  • Against the backdrop of persistent racial inequities in every region of the country and across nearly every aspect of U.S. life, few foundations can escape reflecting on race and how it relates to their grantmaking priorities, internal operations, and community leadership.

“We Must be in It for the Long Haul”: Black Foundation Executives Request Action by Philanthropy on Anti-Black Racism

  • Author: ABFE
  • "We are managing a pandemic within a pandemic. Police brutality is a scourge, it is a pandemic. The pre-existing condition before COVID, and it still exists, is racism." - Representative Ayanna Pressley

The Messy Link Between Slave Owners and Modern Management

  • Author: Katie Johnston, HBS Working Knowledge
  • Harvard-Newcomen Fellow Caitlin C. Rosenthal studies the meticulous records kept by southern plantation owners for measuring the productivity of their slaves, some of which were forerunners of modern management techniques.

white supremacy culture

  • Author: Tema Okun, Dismantling Racism
  • This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group.

Woke @ Work blog

  • Author: Equity in the Center
  • We must build a future where white dominant culture is dismantled within all social sector organizations, institutional and structural racism has been eliminated at all levels of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and race equity has been achieved within organizations, across the social sector, and in communities.

2. Looking Inward: Internal Operations

Explore frameworks, models, and accountability measures to advance racial equity at your foundations.

Assessing Organizational Racism

  • Author: Western States Center
  • A tool for predominately white organizations and multi-racial organizations of white people and people of color.

Awake to Woke to Work

  • Authors: Equity in the Center
  • Ground yourself in the process of building a Race Equity Culture. Explore the levers that drive change and the stages that mark transformation using the Race Equity Cycle.

Brillian Transformations: Toward Full Flourishing in BIPOC Leadership Transitions

  • Author: Michelle Flores and Elena Conte, Independent Consultants under the advisement of Bianca Anderson of ProInspire, AiLun Ku of BIPOC Leaders Network, and Ericka Stallings of Leadership Learning Community on behalf of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
  • This report reflects the insights of leaders of color who have navigated positions of power in social change organizations as they succeeded white predecessors. It reflects a wide range of experiences of BIPOC leaders from across the United States related to their transitions, strategies for navigating these transitions, and specific recommendations for how to make these transitions better.

Continuum on Becoming a Transformative Anti-Oppression Organization 

  • Author: AORTA
  • Anti-oppression resource and training alliance's (AORTA) continuum ranges from "Exclusionary Institution" to "Transformative Institution" to help identify where your organization is and what next steps could be. 

Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution 

  • Author: Crossroads Ministry
  • Crossroad Ministry's continuum ranges from "Exclusive" to "Fully Inclusive" as well as "Monocultural" to "Anti-Racist Multicultural" to help identify where your organization is and what next steps could be.

Equitable Evaluation Framework™ 

  • Author: Equitable Evaluation Initiative (EEI)
  • Everyday narratives that marginalize, minimize, and disrespect people of color and those with less privilege should be replaced with ones that understand the systemic and structural barriers that limit possibilities and the ability to thrive. EEI's framework works to lift up the historical, contextual, and powerful dynamics that create and sustain oppression and shed light on the strategies and solutions which can shift the “rules of the game” so that equity is achievable.

Leadership Model for Racial Equity Impact 

  • Author: ProInspire
  • This Leadership Model is a tool to support individuals and organizations with core commitments, corresponding practices, and reflection questions that can create and sustain racially equitable experiences and outcomes within the social sector.

Leading with an Intersectional Racial Equity Lens - A Brief

  • Author: The Leaders Trust
  • Social change leaders are increasingly called upon to integrate a racial equity lens into programmatic priorities and organizational practice. This brief captures the work so far of the Racial Equity Intersectional Lens (REIL) Learning Team in partnership with the Flexible Leadership Awards Program leadership to reflect on the question of what it means to lead in ways that advance racial equity, including in intersection with other dimensions of equity

Racial Equity Resources

  • Author: Racial Equity Tools
  • Racial Equity Tools offer tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working for racial justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities, and the culture at large.

Racial Equity Stages 

  • Author: Dismantling Racism Works
  • Dismantling Racism Works' Racial Equity Stages support organizations in identifying which phase of equity work they are currently in and what to anticipate. 

Racial Equity Transformation: Key Components, Process & Lessons 

  • Author: Dēmos
  • Dēmos shares how they work every day to operationalize within their organization the racial equity and inclusion that we seek to advance in our country.

Resources on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - Where Do I Start? 

  • Author: Change Philanthropy
  • To help you begin your exploration of the wide array of resources available here to help you advance equity, diversity, and inclusion at your philanthropic institution, Change Philanthropy created a quick start guide as an introduction.

Transforming Organizational Culture Assessment Tool 

  • Author: MP Associates
  • The Transforming Organizational Culture Assessment (TOCA) tool can be a helpful instrument for deepening internal organizational work on advancing racial equity, by specifically addressing white culture.

3. Looking Outward: Philanthropic Practice

Explore how philanthropic organizations and institutions can practice racial equity in their grantmaking, investments, and relationships with grantee partners and the broader communities they seek to serve.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Grantmaking: A Guide for Reflection and Learning

  • Organization(s): Open Society Foundations
  • This guide was originally developed to support grantmakers at the Open Society Foundations seeking to actively incorporate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their grant-making practice, including, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-xenophobic, and anti-ableist approaches, among many others. OSF hopes that the suggestions and lessons included in this document can help other funders in their own efforts to disrupt structural discrimination and oppression directed at particular groups of people and cultures.

Race to Lead Resources

  • Organization(s): Building Movement Project
  • Studies have tracked the small percentage of people of color in executive director / CEO roles for years. Efforts to support, train and inspire aspiring leaders of color are important, but they are not enough to move the dial toward more diverse and equitable leadership. On the Race to Lead website, delve deeper into our research and access recommendations to act on these issues.

Defining Participatory Grantmaking

  • Organization(s): GrantCraft
  • Funders are increasingly looking to engage the communities they serve in the grantmaking process, but there are few resources about how to do so. This suite of GrantCraft resources addresses this gap by exploring the what, how, and why of participatory grantmaking—an approach to philanthropy that cedes decision-making authority to the very communities affected by funding decisions.

Equitable Grantmaking Continuum

  • Organization(s): Nonprofit AF and RVC Seattle
  • While nonprofits are appreciative of foundation support, the reality is that many foundations’ practices are often harmful to organizations, especially those led by and serving communities of color and other marginalized communities. The Equitable Grantmaking Continuum is a simple tool for funders to assess how equitable their funding practices are. 

Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens

  • Organization(s): GrantCraft in partnership with Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)
  • In this guide, grantmakers explain why a focus on racial equity gives them a powerful "lens" for understanding and advancing their work. Drawing on firsthand experiences, the guide offers advice on promoting and deepening your foundation's commitment to racial equity, both internally and in the programs you support. 

Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens Guide

  • Organization(s): Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)
  • The new Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide, written by PRE Senior Fellow Rinku Sen and Executive Director Lori Villarosa with contributions from Maggie Potapchuk, Lisa McGill, and Makani Themba, provides grantmakers with reflections, frameworks, and tools built from the direct experience of activists and funders for advancing racial justice in any philanthropic setting.

Power Moves: A Practical Self-Assessment Guide on a Key ingredient of Philanthropic Impact for Equity and Justice

  • Organization(s): National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)
  • Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice is a complete self-assessment toolkit to determine how well you are building, sharing, and wielding power and identify ways to transform your programs and operations for lasting, equitable impact.

Trust-Based Philanthropy Project

  • Organization(s): Trust-Based Philanthropy Project
  • The Trust-Based Philanthropy Project is a five-year, peer-to-peer funder initiative to address the inherent power imbalances between foundations and nonprofits. At its core, trust-based philanthropy is rooted in a set of values that help advance equity, shift power, and build mutually accountable relationships.

What does philanthropy need to know to prioritize racial justice? Infographic

  • Organization(s): Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) in partnership with Race Forward & Foundation Center
  • In partnership with Race Forward and Foundation Center, PRE looks at how we define, measure, and track grantmaking aimed at structural racism. Using available data on racial justice grantmaking, we have created this infographic to explore the question, “What do we need to know to prioritize racial justice?”