Racial Equity: A Framework For Organizational Change

April 12, 2018
Whether we work on education, the environment, or elderly care, many of us see the value in moving the needle on racial equity within our organizations and the work we do. The Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) can help individuals and organizations with a framework consisting of three phases: normalizing, organizing, and operationalizing.

The first step in creating change is to normalize the conversation on racial equity by achieving a shared understanding of key concepts among board and staff. A racial equity framework sees racism as both individual and institutional, both explicit and implicit—and everyone needs to share these understandings. Once everyone is on the same page, the organization can treat the issue as a top priority by setting goals, making a plan, and holding itself accountable.

Bringing about change also requires organization. Internally, nonprofits need the infrastructure to build expertise on racial equity within the organization—this might mean training existing staff, hiring additional staff, or working with a consultant. Externally, organizations can work with others who are seeking change from different but related perspectives to have a greater impact in the community.

Finally, operationalizing change means having the tools and information to make change and track progress. Internal and external assessments, activities, and guidelines will help your organization follow tried and tested practices in implementing your strategy. Data plays an important role as well, allowing organizations to create a baseline, set goals, and track progress towards goals.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2018

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