Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact Overview

An overview of the Leadership Model to support individuals and organizations with core commitments, corresponding practices, and reflection questions that create and sustain racially equitable experiences and outcomes within the social sector.

This leadership framework is a tool to support individuals and organizations in identifying how their practices can create and sustain race equity experiences and outcomes within the social sector. It is based on experience, research, and perspectives from our team and many thought partners. We expect to keep iterating on it as we continue to work with the model and gather more feedback.

Social sector organizations have a responsibility to work towards the betterment of society. It is our moral mission and opportunity to positively impact members of our community and society at large, particularly those whose lives are most directly harmed by systemic oppression and structural racism. However, most social sector organizations inherently uphold white dominant standards of behavior as organizational norms, leadership expectations, and standards of professionalism. These beliefs and behaviors are often unacknowledged and unexamined, which has the potential to exacerbate structural harm, create division and perpetuate racism within the workplace. The ProInspire Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact will help address this.

Model Overview

We identified these Windows of Leadership, Areas of Advancing Race Equity, and practices to build shared language and highlight the many ways that all leaders – across identities, roles, issue areas, and organizations – can interrupt inequities, namely race inequity, through their leadership in the social sector. Demonstrating these practices and deepening one’s skill sets and mindsets does not correspond to years of experience, level of workplace hierarchy, or job title. Our belief is that leaders at all levels should work towards building inclusive and equitable workplaces that have a positive social impact. We hope that leaders can use this framework, the practices, and the foundational values to activate their leadership and accelerate race equity through their work.

Current ProInspire Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact as of January 2021

Windows of Leadership (the columns)

Windows of Leadership is our term for the perspectives or levels from which leaders can create impact — namely leadership of Self, People, Organizations, and Systems. Windows of Leadership provide a transparent reflection of the leadership skills needed to advance race equity. These windows are interdependent; they do not work in isolation but instead connect and support each other. We also understand that aspects of social identity, environment, and socialization will inform how our leadership shows up.

  • In leading SELF practices, leaders are building an understanding of how they show up and have an impact in situations, and particularly how their individual contributions can advance equity in the workplace. 
    • These practices include: sense of identity, conscious communication, and radical self-love
  • In leading PEOPLE practices, leaders are fostering inclusive relationships grounded in equity and influencing individuals at all levels within and beyond the organization. 
    • These practices include: honor experience, building trust, and shared responsibility  
  • In leading ORGANIZATIONS practices, leaders are adapting work to influence the organization and solidifying their commitment to equity in culture, practice, and goals with a long-term view. 
    • These practices include: collaborative decision making, adaptive change, and sharing power 
  • In leading SYSTEMS practices, leaders are approaching work to fit within the interconnected system and analyzing the impact of strategies to address the root causes of inequity.
    • These practices include: emergent approach, collective action, and reimagining systems  

Areas of Advancing Race Equity (the rows)

We embedded a race equity analysis throughout the model by using the Areas of Advancing Race Equity (3-A’s) to guide each practice’s development as you work across the Windows of Leadership. By embedding a race equity analysis within our expectations of leadership, we are also able to identify the systemic advantages and disadvantages that are normalized by white dominant standards. Shifting individual practices helps leaders to become more equipped to address the root cause of inequities.

  • To disrupt internalized racism → leaders engage in awareness building that disrupts internalized racism through active learning and unlearning  
  • To disrupt interpersonal racism → leaders address behaviors and organizational culture norms that contribute to experiences of bias and exclusion through intentional actions that cultivate belonging
  • To disrupt institutional racism→ leaders demonstrate humility, vulnerability and commitment to counteracting white dominant norms through process for accountability that create sustainable change in the present and for the future


Download The ProInspire Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact Overview

To learn more about how to be involved in the testing of The ProInspire Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact, please email [email protected].

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