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2 min Read
September 4, 2019

8 resources to spark conversation about DEI

Change is sweeping the nonprofit sector—and the world. Organizations are realizing that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical to achieving their missions, and are taking a focused look at how these topics affect their staff, strategy, branding, and more.

The first step to advancing DEI at your nonprofit is learning about it. We’ve compiled a few resources that our team has found thought-provoking to get you started. These resources will help you gain a better understanding of the complexities of DEI and—ideally—jumpstart an ongoing practice of learning, asking questions, and implementing and improving policies that advance DEI at your nonprofit.

  • What’s the Difference Between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?: As we hear these terms more and more, it’s important to understand why each part of the DEI acronym is important. Social justice facilitator Meg Bolger sprinkles helpful thought exercises throughout this article while explaining the differences.
  • Why Some Trump Supporters Avoid The Word ‘Racist’: This episode of NPR’s Morning Edition quickly defines the word “racism.” It’s a great listen or read if you’re just beginning to learn about racial equity in America, and how some politicians simultaneously deny and perpetuate racist ideology in the media.
  • Denying Racism Supports It: If someone talks, walks, and acts like a racist, white people need to say so. This op-ed by New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow is powerful because the author clearly explains why it’s critical to name and tackle racism head-on, rather than ignoring it. (Spoiler alert: choosing to ignore racism is racist.)
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism: Sarah Durham, Big Duck’s CEO, considers this a must-read for people who identify as white. It’s a thoughtful guide to facilitating more productive conversations about race and oppression at your workplace and includes lots of useful language.
  • AWAKE to WOKE to WORK: Building a Race Equity Culture: This report from Equity in the Center is a valuable resource if you want to play a more active role in advancing racial equity at your nonprofit. It identifies elements within and outside workplace culture that affect racial equity and offers clear steps on how to get started.
  • Fakequity blog: All talk + no action = fake equity. A team of authors regularly update this blog with posts about equity, diversity, inclusion, culture, accountability, social justice, and more. It’s full of immediate actions you can take to support equity at your org. We recommend bookmarking and reading often.
  • Nonprofit AF blog: Rainier Valley Corps’ Executive Director and nonprofit thought leader, Vu Le’s unique perspective on issues and topics in the nonprofit world are illuminating and hilarious. He posts often and offers incisive commentary on foundations, fundraising, leadership, and more with a racial equity lens. This post on applying an equity lens to content creation is a great place to start.
  • Integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into your capital campaign: Hannah Thomas, a strategist at Big Duck, shares advice on how to cultivate diverse donors and address race in capital campaigning in this blog post.

We hope these blogs, articles, books, and more give you a solid foundation to foster a lasting practice around diversity, equity, and inclusion at your nonprofit. Not just because it’s critical to your mission, but because it’s the right thing to do.

If other resources that have led to good conversations at your organization, we’d love to know. Tweet us @bigduck or email [email protected] to share.

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