Crises as a Catalyst: A Call for Race Equity & Inclusive Leadership

A reflective tool and guide for individuals and organizations to advance race equity and inclusive leadership during crises

Times of crisis challenge social sector leaders in extraordinary ways. The unprecedented circumstances brought forth by COVID-19 and recent acts of police brutality call on each of us to individually reflect, collectively support, and intentionally adapt our work to meet the urgent needs of this moment. We see this as a catalyst to evolve our leadership practices toward a long term goal of a world free of systemic oppression and rooted in race equity, where all people thrive. The current crises that we are facing demand that we evolve who we are as leaders and ignite an inner transformation that can sustain the work needed to support Black, Indigenous, and communities of color in the social sector as a whole.

This led our team to develop a reflective tool for individuals and organizations to advance race equity and inclusive leadership during crises- Crises as a Catalyst: A Call for Race Equity & Inclusive Leadership. This tool is based on internal ongoing research and feedback from a wide circle of colleagues for our full Leadership Guide for Inclusion and Impact that is focused on inclusive leadership practices that support race equity.

How to Use this Guide

We have created this guide to serve as a tool to support leaders with reflecting on how they are advancing race equity and inclusion during crises. We consider this version 1.0. We’ve found the leadership practices highlighted in this guide to be helpful for our organization internally and are sharing our early thinking in hopes of generating action-oriented dialogues about race equity and inclusive leadership practices that make an impact in both experience and outcomes. Within this guide are questions to support both individual reflection and team discussions, the latter of which can be held within small work teams, across management teams, and organization-wide. We also recognize that leaders of color and those who hold positional authority have additional and more consequential considerations during times of crisis. We highlight some of those in this guide and will expand on them over the coming months.

We know from our internal work and partners, that embodying values that advance equity and inclusion is an ongoing process which requires commitment and frequent reflection. We hope this tool will support you and your organization with advancing race equity and inclusive leadership during crises.

Coming Soon: Additional Resources and Tools

In addition to the tools and resources featured in Crises as a Catalyst: A Call for Race Equity & Inclusive Leadership, we will be updating and curating an ongoing list of resources as we learn about additional tools and resources to support leaders during times of crisis.

What’s Next

Moments of heightened crisis provide an opportunity for transformation because we can no longer ignore the glaring racial disparities and structural inequities within our social systems and organizations. Inclusive leadership practices provide an opportunity for us to consider additional approaches and actions needed to create inclusion and sustain equity, especially during times of crisis. Our work to embody values that advance equity and inclusion is an ongoing process that requires commitment and frequent reflection. We plan to publish our full Leadership Practices research this Fall and are currently using a self-assessment and a self reflection tool in our work with individuals and organizations. There are many possibilities for Crises as a Catalyst: A Call for Race Equity & Inclusive Leadership and the Leadership Guide moving forward and we invite you to join us in this work as they continue to evolve.

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