Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Nonprofit Sector

Designed and facilitated by the Emerging Leaders in the Social Sector Team


This is a virtual workshop. Zoom information will be provided.

The COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and racial justice protests of the last year have exposed a larger audience to the inequities that are woven into the fabric of the U.S. To the surprise of some and the lived reality of most, this includes the systemic racism and other interconnected systems of oppression that are present in the nonprofit sector.

This program was created as an opportunity to collectively examine and identify inherent injustices in U.S. systems, while rethinking the potential of the sector to move forward, centering equity and dismantling white dominant culture. Our facilitation team will lead this eight-session program to unravel the systemic racism of the nonprofit sector, and guide and motivate leaders to transform the sector for more equitable systems and distributed power.

This is open to anyone working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector – board members, volunteer teams, staff, program officers, donors – anyone who wants to both learn about racism in the sector AND do something about it.

We require participants to commit to all eight sessions that will occur September 10 through December 17, 2021:

  • Sept 10 and 24, 2021,  2 – 4 pm MT
  • Oct 8 and 22, 2021, 2 – 4 pm MT
  • Nov 5 and 19, 2021, 2 – 4 pm MT
  • Dec 3 and 17, 2021, 2 – 4 pm MT

In this sixteen-hour (eight two-hour sessions) workshop you’ll join nonprofit professionals in a guided history of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. The sessions are lively, virtual gatherings with group discussion, reflection exercises, and a chance to learn from and connect with your peers. Sessions are NOT recorded. Your full participation in these experiential learning sessions helps to create trust among participants and provide a brave space for learning and exploring together.

In these sessions we will:

  • Examine the history of the nonprofit sector: how it came to be, and how philanthropy was designed for the benefit of corporate interests;
  • Explore how to dismantle systemic racism and interconnected systems of oppression (and privilege) in the sector (with case studies);
  • Increase capacity to work with boards, staff, and volunteers to rebuild an equitable and just organization;
  • Develop an understanding of the problematic nature of an “urgency” mindset (often pervasive on boards when addressing anti-racism and equity issues);
  • Strengthen our collective ability to talk to Philanthropy about systemic racism;
  • Explore methods and strategies to support staff, board, and volunteers in their own anti-racism journeys;
  • Provide an intentional container for personal learning, transformation, networking, and support.