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New Report on Confronting the Racial Leadership Gap

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Jun 07, 2017

A New Report from the Building Movement Project, entitled Race to Lead: Confronting the Racial Leadership Gap, analyzes survey data on race and leadership in the nonprofit sector. According to the report, “To increase the number of people of color leading nonprofits, the sector needs a new narrative about the problem and new strategies to address it. Nonprofits have to transfer the responsibility for the racial leadership gap from those who are targeted by it (aspiring leaders of color), to those governing organizations.”

Overall, the data indicates that people of color and white nonprofit professionals have similar experience, educational background, and desire, but there is still wide disparities in access to leadership roles. Some of the key finds of the report include:

  • People of color and white respondents have similar educational backgrounds, qualifications, aspirations, skills, and preparation; however people of color make up under 20% of leadership roles in nonprofits
  • People of color are more likely than white respondents to see race/ethnicity as a barrier to their advancement
  • People of color have the significant added stress of being called upon to represent a community
  • The problems of representation are systemic rather than personal

Ultimately, according to the report, people of color need more fundamental support as they pursue leadership positions. But, perhaps more importantly, “training and preparation should be required for people in positions of power in order to raise awareness of the barriers facing aspiring leaders of color.”

Learn more and download the full report here.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.