Oftentimes phrases such as “racial equity journey” and “doing the work” are paired together in conversations devoted to issues of equity. But what exactly does the journey look like? What do people mean by “doing the work”?

To help answer those questions, Public Equity Group (PEG), a strategy and management consultant firm that helps mission-driven organizations achieve impact in service of equity, would like organizations to start thinking about their equity work and journey along a continuum. PEG’s John Newsome and Rita Louh, both Bridgespan alumni, have been leading that effort.

“A continuum, and its lack of defined start and end points, implies the journey is not entirely linear. Instead, there are shifts, and there is potential to move backwards and forwards,” says Newsome. “A continuum also attempts to be intentional and somewhat nonjudgmental about the journey. Deep change is hard for most organizations, and requires both urgency and self-compassion.”

Drawing from a decade of client work, PEG’s Equity Continuum is a framework to help organizations map and plan a unique equity journey. The continuum identifies different stages along the journey:

  • To fulfill our mission, we must do better for participants/clients/grantees/staff of color,
  • To fulfill our mission, equity is (or must become) a top priority, and
  • To fulfill our mission, equity is (or must become) our purpose and our focus.

In addition, the framework considers multiple organizational dimensions within those stages. PEG suggests that moving through an equity journey means considering—sometimes at different times or to different depths—how equity is addressed within each of these organizational dimensions.

Read the full article about the framework by Cora Daniels and Carole Matthews at The Bridgespan Group.