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Giving Compass' Take:
• Brad R. Fulton argues that employing and empowering leaders of color is even better if a nonprofit is seeking to address racial issues in its own organization and community – as well as in society in general.
• How can philanthropy help encourage racial equity in nonprofit work?
The U.S. is becoming more racially diverse. Since 2010, 96% of all U.S. counties registered an increase in their percentage of nonwhite residents. Yet the people who lead nonprofits in the U.S. remain disproportionately white.
This mismatch can make it difficult for such organizations to understand and address racial inequality in their community and throughout the country.
As a scholar of diversity, I know most nonprofits want to become more racially diverse. However, many struggle to achieve this goal.
While researchers, funders and community leaders often highlight the dismal levels of racial diversity among nonprofit boards, an even greater disparity often goes overlooked. Not mentioned is the fact that scarcely 10% of nonprofit executive directors are people of color.
A few major nonprofits are led by people of color, such as Darren Walker the president of the Ford Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the country, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO of Feeding America, the biggest U.S. group fighting hunger, and Angela Williams the CEO of Easterseals, a nonprofit that provides disability services. But these are exceptions among both large and smaller nonprofits.
What’s more, research suggests that this situation is likely to continue for years to come.
Read the full article about nonprofit diversity by Brad R. Fulton at The Conversation.