Seeing and Naming Racism in Nonprofit and Public Organizations

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 11 comments

In light of the unrelenting and vicious assaults on the Black community, and in response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I have asked myself what more I can do to challenge racism, particularly anti-Black racism. One thing I am doing is challenging myself to be more aware and forthright in noticing and speaking out about the racism I see when I work with non-profit and public organizations. This post is an effort to name those things that...

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Diversity & Equity: Closing the Leadership Gap

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Thanks to my colleagues Steve Lew, Senior Project Director, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Maura Bairley, Interdependent Consultant for Social Change, for their contributions to this piece. When I work with organizations around diversity and equity[1], I start with managers, because I believe that their buy-in and investment is essential for the work to succeed. Lately, I’ve been struck by a gap I see between what it takes to build...

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#BlackLivesMatter: 5 Tips & 25 Questions for Nonprofit & Public Organizations

Posted on Dec 23, 2014 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 1 comment

Greetings and Happy Winter! I usually write something celebratory to mark the end of the year. But, today I’m interrupting my own business-as-usual to write about #BlackLivesMatter. How can non-profit and public organizations address anti-Black racism and support the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Many organizations have already been in action and are setting examples for others. This post provides tips and questions for ongoing reflection,...

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Intent and Impact Across Difference: 10 Tips

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

  Negative Impact Happens Have you ever said or done things with the best intentions that ended up being hurtful or damaging? Or maybe someone said or did something that didn’t sit right with you? You’re not alone. This post provides some tips for how to respond to such situations. Messages we send or actions we take are often received differently than intended. This can happen more often when cultural differences are involved, because...

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Why are we talking about this?

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

In my work with organizations around topics of diversity, equity and inclusion, I often hear that a few people are asking “Why do we need to talk about this?” This usually happens in organizations that serve very diverse communities, with staffs that aren’t as diverse. And, usually, there’s less diversity in the senior management and board. So, isn’t the answer to that question a no-brainer? Well, actually, no, it isn’t. I am glad...

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Falling in Love with Our Work

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Happy Fall! I have the great privilege of doing work that I love, both as a consultant and as a volunteer. One of my greatest aspirations is to help people fall in love with their own work building organizations and communities where everyone is valued, included and treated fairly. This work may go under different labels such as “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “equity,” “anti-oppression,” “cultural competence” or “social...

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