It is time for women of color (WOC) to grab a seat and lift their voices to help non-profits embrace and accept the role that they can play as change agents on nonprofit boards.
It is also more than time for nonprofit leaders to recognize the pure and simple truth that WOC are way-makers. They make up 47% of U.S. workers, they own 10 million businesses in the United States, and they bring diversity of thought, a competitive advantage and essential skills that create exceptional boards. “The Guardian Online Business magazine cited a recent study that shows companies that appoint women to boards actually perform better than companies with all-male boards.”
WOC are the most underrepresented of all groups. They also have a much higher recycle rate compared to their white counterparts. This means that the same WOC are being tapped over and over to serve on multiple boards. It is not only time for white men and women to move over, but to move out and make space for the cadre of talented, passionate, and experienced WOC across our country.
Board leaders and executive leadership must acknowledge that that failure to embrace difference and diversity as an asset is no longer acceptable. They must accept responsibility for the culture shift necessary for WOC to be in the room and at the table - acknowledged and heard.
In this session, nonprofit leaders will learn how to:
- Have the courage to question policies and practices that are exclusive and insensitive to issues of WOC.
- Punch above their weight class and use their power, influence, and collective voices to help WOC grab a seat at the table in the boardroom or in leadership roles at the nonprofits.
- Accept conflict as a sign of improvement by being a partner in changing the culture of exclusionary and discriminatory practices that leave WOC feeling marginalized, overlooked, and dismissed in their roles as nonprofit leaders.
- Build a pipeline for Women of Color.
- Locate sources to Recruit Diverse Members.
- Properly onboard and include WOC in board culture.
- Conduct board meetings that foster inclusivity.
- Recognize the impact of diversity on fundraising.
- Embrace the value of collective networks in board inclusive culture.
Additional Resources for Don't Touch My Hair: Using Board Service to Achieve Gender Parity and Racial Equity at Nonprofits:
Download the slides: Don't Touch My Hair with Christal M Cherry (PDF)
Download the audio: Don't Touch My Hair with Christal Cherry (MP3)