Taking Action Against Racism: A Non-Profit Imperative

“If my life doesn’t matter, then my voice certainly doesn’t.”

That gut-wrenching statement came from a non-profit executive, a woman of color who is a titan in her field and one of the most effective leaders I know. We were on a call with colleagues, discussing the widespread outrage against systemic racism, and the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, another senseless killing of an unarmed Black person.  Urging us all to speak up and take stronger action in this fight, she noted that her voice is being dismissed by some as suspect or “self-serving.”

As non-profits, our entire reason for being is to make society better by our missions and deeds. As part of that promise, we have a responsibility to advance an equitable society, to shine a bright light on the harsh reality of systemic racism and injustice and to actively work against it. If we are avoiding or sidestepping those realities, we are not living up to that promise.

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