Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

If foundations and nonprofits are to fulfill their social missions, they need to build organizational cultures that are focused on proactive actions designed to dismantle structural racism and inequities both inside and outside their organizations, a report from , a project of , argues. According to the report, (38 pages, PDF), shifting to a race equity culture involves a cycle of change comprising the "awake" stage, in which organizations work to increase representation by hiring a more diverse staff and board; the "woke" stage, in which they are focused on building a stronger culture of inclusion and an environment in which all are able to discuss race equity and inequities; and the "work" stage, in which they seek to drive internal and external systems change by integrating a race equity lens into their programmatic and organizational operations. Supported by the , , , , , , and  foundations, the report identifies seven "levers" that can help build momentum at every stage toward a race equity culture: senior leadership, management, board of directors, community, learning environment, data, and organizational culture. The report also outlines steps for getting started, including establishing a shared vocabulary, identifying advocates at the board and senior leadership levels, and naming race equity work as a strategic imperative and opening a continuous discussion around it.