Resources for leadership on racial oppression and cultural competency

Posted by Lissa Widoff on Monday, November 23 2015


Lissa Widoff

As a follow-up to the recent training at the fall California retreat, that will be complemented by a similar training in Boston in March, I want to share a list of resources that we developed in the process of our our self-education about strategies and resources for organizations and individuals. Lets try to build out this list together. As I deepen my own learning, I will write more on this topic in the coming year. This list includes resources for addressing racial oppression as well as gender and transgender equity, and other "isms". 

When I reached out to Switzer Fellows and consultants to advise us on a process, a few key points emerged

- select a multiracial training team if possible and in all cases highly experienced

- everything we work on relates to race and privilege in some way; to NOT see that is a privilege. How can we work as a community to help see how this manifests at personal, cultural, organizational and societal/systemic levels? We can at least start the conversation within our Network to build trust and understanding. Some want to go directly to "action planning", others need time to talk and process how difference manifests in our lives and work.

- Fellows' experience ranges from little direct exposure to those who work in and for communities of color every day. How do we integrate these diverse experiences within the Network and our leadership training? How do we encourage Fellows to participate?

 - We can start from our personal experiences and leadership BEFORE moving to structural/societal scale for change. Our training approach is starting from this premise and hopefully will lead to support for larger scale awareness and change. 

Here are a few links to resources suggested by our trainers, Fellows and other colleagues. Please let me know if you have others!

Is Reconciliation Possible. Valerie Batts

Moving the race Conversation Forward - New report by the organization Race Forward that aims to "reshape and reform the way we talk about race and racism in our country". The link also has a four minute You tube clip.

Transforming White Fragility into Courageous Imperfection. Short article by Courtney Martin

Embracing Cultural Competency: A Roadmap for Nonprofit Capcity-builders - primer for organizations, available on Amazon and other booksellers 

Training for Racial Equity and Inclusion by Aspen Institute, includes profile of Visions, our training organization

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates - recent autobiographic book by Atlantic Monthly writer, as a letter to his son. See his other writings.

Trans* Ally Workbook: Getting Pronouns Right

Racism, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Ferguson and Systemic Racism. Tim Wise speech (50 minute video clip on You Tube)

The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations, Mainstream NGOS, Foundations and Government Agencies by Dorceta Taylor, U Michigan for Green 2.0 (formerly the Green Diversity Initiative)

Uprooting Racism - good book for whoite allies

Training Organizations:

Visions, Inc. - Dorchester, MA and Fresno, CA

AORTA Collective

various consultants, we are preparing a list, contact me if interested.

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