Creating an Authentic Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive Organization

Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofit Organizations

  • Advancing Equity
  • Governing for the Future
  • Leading with Vision

North Star Recommendations

  • Capacity for Innovation

Right now, communities across the U.S. are struggling with the impacts of structural racism. We cannot ignore the disproportionate number of people of color involved in our criminal justice system and the disparities in health care and education that are further exacerbated by a pandemic.

This three-session learning series will take you on personal and organizational journeys to creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization. National speakers will paint a broad picture of the state of equity, diversity, and inclusion across the nation, as you and your colleagues reflect on your own personal goals and the experiences that have shaped your own beliefs and approaches. The national landscape will provide a backdrop for you to examine your organization’s approach to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Learn from other leaders who are advancing equity within their own organizations. Find out how they got started, what they’ve learned, and how the overcame barriers within systems. 

Throughout this three-week experience, participants will take away tools and resources to move from talking about advancing equity to taking action. You’ll establish personal goals and develop an organizational action plan. 


All sessions will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing through Dec. 22, 2020 for paid registrants. 

Session 1: What’s Your Organization’s Equity Footprint?

Friday, Oct. 23 from Noon-1:30 p.m. CT

Organizations across sectors, geographies, and issues are grappling with how to 'do better' in centering diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organization cultures, practices, and programs. The depths to which our cultures and norms have embedded racism, sexism, and inequity make it challenging for organizational leaders to even know where or how to start. This conversation seeks to provide a framework, a lens, and tools to support organizations to interrogate their respective cultures, practices, and norms, toward the aim of embedding equity. Participants will use the Equity Footprint framework to build capacities to assess our organizational practices and build the capacities to advance equity via the programs and processes of our organization.


  • Examine organizational practices and norms in shaping an equitable culture
  • Understand the equation in preparing for a race equity culture
  • Increase confidence as a social sector leader in living a race equity life 


  • Marcus Littles, founder and senior partner, Frontline Solutions 

Session 2: Groundwater Analysis of Racial Inequities

Friday, Oct. 30 from Noon-1:30 p.m. CT

In the absence of a racial equity lens, well-meaning leaders often continue to unconsciously contribute to sustaining and often perpetuating racial inequities in the design and delivery of programs. This session will enhance the racial equity awareness of the participants by building a common language and understanding of the underlying factors that contribute to racial inequity. This increased knowledge can catalyze the development of strategies to build more effective programs and strengthen and transforming the culture of systems toward increased accountability in response to the needs of all populations.


  • New principles and concepts to build greater awareness and understanding of the deeper more systemic factors that contribute to racial inequities across all helping system
  • The relationships that exists among various helping systems, and the often-disparate outcomes produced for the same vulnerable populations and communities
  • The importance of cross systems collaborations and building partnerships with poor communities of color to remove the barriers that contribute to racial inequities
  • Increased consciousness of well-meaning leaders who continue to unconsciously sustain and often perpetuating racial inequities in the design and delivery of programs and services


  • Joyce James, CEO and racial equity consultant, Joyce James Consulting

Networking: Advancing Equity Course Facilitated Networking

Friday, Nov. 6 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. CT

Join your colleagues for an informal discussion  on equity, diversity, and inclusion to build strong connections and relationship to keep the work moving forward. 


  • Undraye Howard, senior director of equity, diversity, and inclusion and engagement, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Session 3: Dismantling and Building A Culture for EDI 

Friday, Nov. 6 from Noon-1:30 p.m. CT

Diversity programs have proliferated over the last generation, many focusing on addressing human resource policies and practices and training for employees with the goal of increasing recruitment and retention for diverse candidates. Despite these efforts, numerous studies have shown that no sector has made significant progress in hiring and advancing persons of color into leadership positions.

While there is considerable work to be done before race is no longer a significant factor in the workplace, there are promising practices and recommendations from leaders and researchers on what works in organizational development towards equity and inclusion. 


  • How to clearly communicate that equity is an organizational priority
  • How to define the terms your organization will use when discussing equity
  • How to address policies and practices in recruitment, hiring, and retention
  • How to set goals and hold the organization accountable to achieving them
  • How to address organizational culture to create an inclusive environment


  • Richard Brown, vice president of philanthropy, American Express
  • Lorrhonda Byrd, northside prevention program coordinator, The Link 
  • Beth Holger, CEO, The Link 
  • Vanessa Lewis, talent/onboarding director, Wellspring Lutheran Services 
  • Natalie Thomas, director of impact and community engagement, National Youth Advocate Program 
  • Steve Zwart, vice president, program development, Wellspring Lutheran Services 

Learning Series Sponsor

We are here to help you.

Contact our Excelerator support team via email or by calling 800-221-3726, option 3 or 414-359-6578. Our hours of operation are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT.