In honor of Black History Month, we are sharing a selection of resources, from how to build an inclusive board to transforming organizational culture to navigating unique career challenges facing women of color. Committed to acknowledging our own biases and barriers, educating ourselves, devoting our resources, and using our voices boldly, we will continue to provide our Lindauer community with resources for this vital work.
Taking Meaningful Action Against Racism
Organizational leaders who are committed to taking action against racism seek quality resources to map their course forward. One recommended source is this article in Harvard Business Review, which affirms that “leaders at every level must use their power, platforms, and resources to help employees and communities overcome these challenges and build a better world for us all.” Authors Laura Morgan Roberts and Ella F. Washington outline missteps, such as keeping silent, being overly defensive or overgeneralizing, and detail meaningful action, including acknowledging the harm that Black and Brown coworkers have endured and embracing lifelong learning about systemic racism.
“Educating yourself about privilege and the…history of racism is critical in order to build explicitly anti-racist communities,” says author, Diana Shi. For leaders, colleagues, and teams truly committed to making the necessary personal investments in self-learning, this list of anti-racist books is a good starting place. And purchasing from Black-owned bookstores, whenever possible, is also strongly urged; this list provides relevant links.
For your literature needs, we also recommend Sister’s Uptown Bookstore, which is presently the oldest Black and family-owned bookstore and community cultural center in Washington Heights/Harlem dedicated to nourishing the minds, hearts, and souls of the community with present and past works of gifted African American, Latinx, and other great authors and intellectuals.
Lindauer Senior Consultant Faith Eutsay and Senior Advisor, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Zena Lum, provide insightful guidance for the challenges faced by women of color in the workplace. Recognizing the intricacies of today’s world, the authors write, “This article is for our sisters — women of color in fundraising and philanthropy — who are assessing their professional aspirations against this complex backdrop.”
Published by WŌC, a nonprofit organization that celebrates, inspires, and champions women of color in fundraising, philanthropy, and related fields. To find out more about WŌC, including access to their Resource Library and upcoming events, please visit https://www.woc-fp.com/.
Why ‘Culture Fit’ is a Failed Idea in American Hiring
As many companies work to develop and strengthen their diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, hiring managers must challenge the status quo “culture fit” metric, particularly present in the United States. As author Monica Torres explains in her article, Why ‘Culture Fit’ is a Failed Idea in American Hiring, “the hiring practice of seeking ‘culture fit’ can be a form of institutionalized racism and sexism that reproduces inequalities.” Rather than look at social similarities and network connections, Torres suggests that hiring managers look for alignment of values between job seekers and the organization.
In Episode 1: Break Your Thinking, Lindauer CEO Deb Taft talks with Misa Lobato, APRA president and Director of Prospect Management and Analytics in the Office of Institutional Engagement at Rhode Island School of Design, about how disrupting how we think about data, board development, and donor engagement is the path toward building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.
As vice president of leadership initiatives and education at BoardSource, Jim Taylor focuses on positioning nonprofit boards for stronger leadership on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Drawing from his personal experiences in his recent article Recruiting for Board Diversity with Respect, Taylor delivers powerful advice essential to building an inclusive board. Taylor illuminates the critical importance of being thoughtful and intentional in recruiting and retaining board members of color for the talents, skills, and value each individual adds to the Board’s composition and effectiveness, as well as actively embracing the fundamental changes necessary in board practice and culture.
Inclusiveness and diversity within communications is a hugely important aspect of our day to day interactions, and Microsoft has outlined some excellent guidelines on this subject on their Bias-free communication web page.
Additionally, office Applications within your Microsoft 365 subscriptions can provide you with some important editing features which can help you to ensure that the content you are producing is written in an inclusive and accessible style.