How truly committed to inclusion is your nonprofit?

What to do. What to do.

Revulsion, anger, sadness, resolve. All of these emotions have been filling my head since Charlottesville. Well, really for much longer but seeing Neo-Nazis and Klansmen in the streets made them very raw again.

I found myself weeping reading some of the first hand accounts coming through my Facebook feed. Fear. Bravery. Disbelief.

I’m continuing to accept the challenge of confronting the protections of my own white privilege as I hear the anguish from my friends and colleagues.

I’m still shaking my head as to why we are still here, still at this point in 2017.

I believe the US desperately needs a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Process to take a hard look at its storied past on race. Our school history books have merely skated over the brutal aspects of US history that includes genocide, slavery, racism, and war crimes. We must come to a common understanding of what we have perpetrated as both a government and a people before we can begin to put an end to this hate.

It’s also time for a hard hitting inclusion reality check for your own organization.

If you want to respond to Charlottesville, it’s long past time to put an end to the half-hearted attempts at inclusion in your organization. Yes, your non-discrimination policy was a nice start.

But where are the individuals of color on your board? On your staff? Among your client base? At your events? Among your partnerships?  Who else are you leaving out?

What is staff’s response when a big donor makes a racist or bigoted remark? How will a fellow board member respond? It happens all the time. Shocking stories.

Get comfortable with discomfort, as a recent article in Nonprofit Quarterly advised.

I promise to remind you, to challenge you, to hold you accountable for fulfilling your espoused values.

There is much work to do. Let’s get to it.

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