Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Posted on July 9, 2018

How to Construct a Race Equity Culture

A new publication from the Equity in the Center project at ProInspire should be required reading for every leader, especially those of us in the nonprofit sector and in the field of college access and success. The report’s thesis is clear: “In a sector focused on improving social outcomes across a wide range of issues, we need only look within our own organizations to understand why we have not yet achieved the depth of change we seek. Throughout the social sector, there remains a glaring omission of a fundamental element of social impact: race equity.”

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture is an excellent treatise that views the need and describes the problem, and then lays out actionable steps for attaining race equity. The authors discuss organizational cycles and the stages that groups experience as they make progress toward their goal. In short, the Awake stage is focused on people and representation, the Woke stage is focused on culture and inclusion, and the Work stage is focused on systems change and evaluation.

Equity in the Center defines race equity as “the condition where one’s racial identity has no influence on how one fares in society,” and goes on to state that “the attainment of race equity requires us to examine all four levels on which racism operates (personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural), recognize our role in enduring inequities, and commit ourselves to change. As a sector, we must center race equity as a core goal of social impact in order to fulfill our organizational missions.”

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Full report:

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