Workplace racial inequity exists in America unless significant attention is paid to changing it. When racial equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are understood as mission-relevant to an organization, strategies for achieving these take precedence and permeate the culture. This toolkit condenses 15 years of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s employee work “hard-wiring” EDI as part of the cultural norm from management to staff to grantees to vendors.
Confronting race on an organizational level is not an easy task, nor is it a linear progression.
Findings & Stats
"Color blind" describes an organization that tends to think that what’s good for "everyone” will necessarily be good for people of color.
"Race-tentative" is the organization that doesn’t know what to do, and doesn’t want to get it wrong.
"Diversity" initiatives mean organizations are working on color, but not equity.
"Equity" starts from a race-informed place, but moves into other forms of inequity such as gender, sexual orientation and a more nuanced approach around ethnicities.
The power of cross-unit, cross-functional, multiracial dialogue cannot be overstated.
Statements & Quotations
This story does not try to identify direct cause-effect relationships for every given change in terms of what specific actions by which specific players produced each specific result. Rather, the claim here is that the affinity group has played a central catalytic role and been a tenacious collective voice for keeping the need to close racial gaps on the table...
So long as the color-blind and diversity-only approaches remain so broadly entrenched in our national psyche, work will need to be done to build capacity for the mission-critical goal of racial equity.
To be sure, no one would claim that this work is nearing completion; neither could anyone claim that significant changes have not occurred.
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