Why     How     What

Wednesday Keynote Session: Building Capacity & Accountability for Cultural Integration with Tirza Barnes-Griffith

Recommended Resources from Tirza Barnes-Griffith


Book: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell


Article: Harvard Business Review, The Cost of Code-Switching


Video: Youtube Video with Edwin J. Nichols, PhD., is the author of Cultural Competence in America’s Schools: Leadership, Engagement and Understanding ( 

Title-Dichotomous Logic and The Philosophical Aspects of Cultural Difference

Learning Opportunities Related to Building Capacity & Accountability


Why Are We Still Struggling with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nonprofit Governance?

by Elizabeth A. Castillo

Points to Highlight

       Fredette framed this lack of progress as a larger societal issue that affects organizations of all types. For example, he pointed out that Google has spent millions of dollars to increase diversity and inclusion yet produced very limited results. What he sees as the essential issue that must first be recognized is the need to redefine ourselves as a society. What does it mean to be in relationship with each other? How can we reconcile past wrongs of colonialization, given present realities? How can we create shared future?


       Implicitly, these organizations recognize there is a cultural mountain to climb. Their lip service means they are fine staying at the homogeneous basecamp rather than risking the ascent to the higher elevation of equity in their own organizations. McCambridge noted that many larger organizations in both the private and nonprofit sectors have diversity officers, yet these positions tend to serve largely as window dressing for pseudo-change. They provide cover for companies to say they are addressing diversity and inclusion issues. However, without providing funding or formal authority to enact changes, these diversity officers are often left essentially powerless.


       Lee observed there has been little progress in diversity over the past few years, noting that in some areas, there has actually been regression. Besides the equity implications, these dynamics have performance consequences. Organizational science shows that lack of diversity creates blind spots in organizations, leaving them out of sync with their communities. Therefore, it’s essential that board members understand they put their organizations at risk when they fail to diversify, as this lack of cognitive diversity constrains effective decision-making.


       A starting point is to reconceptualize what power sharing means. For many of us, fear lies at the heart of what we think shared power entails. For example, the notion of equity is sometimes explained through the analogy of being at a concert and letting someone shorter than you stand in front so that they can see better. This metaphor implies that we lose nothing by sharing. However, people may hold an unconscious mental model beneath that analogy—the fear that lifting up someone else will enable her to grow taller, and more powerful, than me. Thus, equity feels risky. Pseudo-change seems much safer.



2020 Nonprofit Leadership Summit 

Take a look at the sessions from our 2020 Nonprofit Leadership Summit. Our theme was  “Preparing for the Success of Tomorrow Begins with Embracing Equity Today.” The goal is to help encourage not-for-profit organizations to focus on diversity and inclusion as core values throughout their operations, programs, and leadership.

‘Corporate culture had to go home’ how the pandemic, protests could drive accountability in the workplace
by Jennifer Liu


Points to Highlight 

       She tells CNBC Make It the coronavirus pandemic played a major role, as its upheaval of work and life changed the traditional contract between employers and their employees. “You had this disruption to corporate culture — corporate culture had to go home,” Hill explains. With the majority of U.S. professionals sent to work from home to prevent the spread of the virus, employees suddenly had more power in determining how work would get done. Leaders opened lines of communication to understand the new needs of their employees juggling work with household responsibilities, child-care needs, health-care matters and an entirely new way of living during a pandemic.


       “Hill is cautiously optimistic recent events could spark lasting change, particularly in her line of work. For 30-plus years, she’s generally seen her DEI work isolated to a singular team, department or consulting group within an organization. Now, employees are recognizing that equity work needs to be an imperative across departments at all levels.”


       ““What we’re telling companies to do is start with their board of directors,” Hill says. “They should be thinking, who is my consumer base? Do I reflect that in my board?” From there, organizations should take a look at whether C-suite executives, managers and then employees match the demographic makeup of the people they serve.”

●“Measuring outcomes and holding leaders accountable to them is an ongoing process, and Hill says employees should feel empowered, sparked by current social movements, to make sure leaders revisit their goals and reconfigure strategies when they fall short.”