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The Race Matters Institute offers customized training, technical assistance, coaching, organizational assessment, and product development that enable your organization to be more intentional about advancing racially equitable outcomes. We start from where you are and help you move that work forward in effective, measurable ways. Our services center around our Five Key Building Blocks to Advance Racial Equity:

  • A shared language around racial equity for productive discussion
  • Disaggregated data to understand how different groups are differently positioned
  • A structural analysis (including an historical understanding) to identify barriers to equitable outcomes and devise effective strategies
  • Systematic use of a Racial Equity Impact Analysis for key decisions, policies, and practices
  • Effective communication about race and racism

We are best known for our 1 and 1.5 day Introduction to Racial Equity trainings that cover all of the Building Blocks through highly interactive sessions. The longer option enables deeper examination of all of the Building Blocks as well as the workshopping of a few specific issues or tasks of timely importance to the client and/or the creation of specific organizational action steps for becoming a more equity-focused organization.  We try to limit sessions to 25 participants so that everyone has a chance to contribute as well as have their questions addressed. Among the typical outcomes of the introductory training, clients:

  • Recognize why race-informed work is critical to their organizational mission
  • Become more effective in talking about race in their work
  • Apply one or more RMI tools to their current work
  • Seek out more race-specific data and research to inform their work
  • Systematically track their outcomes for impact on different racial groups

 

The introductory trainings include one follow-up coaching call to provide initial guidance for following through on the concrete ideas generated during the training. We also offer a package of subsequent virtual coaching sessions on a quarterly basis for clients who have finished the introductory training. The focus of these sessions is guided by a client’s concrete aspirations and their emergent issues.


Some clients precede their introductory training with our Initial Organizational Scan with a racial equity lens, using materials provided by the client, where not available online. The kinds of materials we review are core organizational documents, such as the:

  • Vision, mission, and strategic plan
  • Any written policies and written protocols that govern decision-making and inform/reflect organizational culture, such as hiring policies and steps, employee handbooks, partner criteria, and the like. We depend on the client to help identify the range of materials to be included, since organizations vary in terms of the codification of their processes.
  • Any available data that are disaggregated by race. Here again, we depend on the client to help identify the available data, but they may include Board and staff diversity, diversity of grantees, vendors, and program participants, program outcomes by race, and the like.
  • Sample external communications, so that we can see how a client’s overall work is messaged. We are interested in, and will depend on the client to select, a sample of recent communications that represent the breadth of what they do.

 

The scan concludes with an Assessment Memo identifying both organizational strengths and areas of opportunity for additional work when these materials are considered through a racial equity lens. The memo is intended for overall organizational guidance as well as to inform any subsequent training and technical assistance/coaching. The Scan does not include interviews of organizational personnel.


Some clients have more specific requests when they engage us. So we offer other 1-day sessions and accompanying services around very specific Building Blocks and typical organizational concerns, including the following:

  • Especially for networks of organizations hoping to achieve collective impact on an issue through coordinated work, we go deep with our tool “What’s Race Got to Do With It?” We start with the key Building Blacks of a shared language and a structural lens. Then, through guided facilitation, a group can identify the various drivers of racial inequity around their  issue, understand their respective roles in addressing the issue, and recognize who else may need to come to the table to achieve the desired outcome. The result of the session is a draft schema for ongoing collective work that is guided by a racial equity lens.  For an additional fee, some organizations ask us to work from available research and local data to draft the schema for review at the session. The latter approach tends to work more efficiently, but we are open to either approach.

  • Effective communications/messaging with a racial equity lens is the focus of a dedicated 1-day session based on the RMI tool, “How to Talk About Race.” Among topics typically covered are story-line framing to advance equity and effective data presentation and word selection to avoid mobilizing prejudice. For a separate fee, some organizations ask us to review key communications documents to offer feedback and guidance through a racial equity lens.

  • We offer a half-day or full-day training for Boards of Directors so that they understand what to expect from an organization that is becoming more race-informed. The focus is on how a Board can advance racial equity through its particular roles and responsibilities. The length of the session dictates the level of discussion and application that is possible. For a highly engaged Board, we recommend the full-day session; for a Board that is relatively hands-off, a half-day session may be sufficient. Some organizations choose to do the Board training first, especially when the Board may not yet be in agreement about the importance of having a race-informed organization.

  • A 1-day training on Managing for Racial Equity enables managers, directors and senior level staff to strengthen their capacity to manage in racially equitable ways using strategies that have the potential to change the organizational culture. The results expected from the session include an appreciation about the particular structures and practices that produce a race-informed organization, identification of organizational features that function to privilege “whiteness,” recognition of the dynamics that can interfere with optimal organizational climate and performance, and identification of strategies and accountability mechanisms for achieving and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. We can further customize this session with a focus on Managing for Racial Equity for White Managers.

 

Additional services we provide include:

  • Customized webinars on topics related to the Key Building Blocks
  • Written products such as fact sheets and issue briefs
  • Coaching to become a Best in Class racial equity organization
  • Network mobilization through equity coach training

 

Let us know how we can support your aspirations for advancing racial equity.

 

 

 

 

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