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Racial Equity Action Institute

Watch our information session with past participants to learn more! 


Current and historical policies are driving dramatic inequality with rising and continued racial violence, hate, and intolerance. Now, more than ever we need to put emphasis on change and action within institutions and across sectors in order to operationalize racial equity.

The Racial Equity Action Institute was developed by Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) in 2019 to do just that. We have shifted our in-person Institute to a useful virtual experience with interactive convenings for those who want to advance REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) within their institutions. One sector on its own cannot solve the challenges of racial inequities – this Institute connects racial equity specialists from philanthropy, business, government, and nonprofits.

Our second annual Institute kicks off in November 2020. During this eight-month, multi-sector training, participants will gain knowledge, lessons, and tools for developing actionable strategies in their institutions with field experts and each other. The curriculum centers racial equity with an intersectional framework that recognizes the ways race is shaped and informed by class, gender, sexuality, and ability. We recognize we can achieve more together and are pleased to partner with Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) this year to create solutions for our shared challenges in the Bay Area and Los Angeles regions.


Target Audience

When thinking about applying, consider the following:

  • You are responsible for the implementation of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) efforts at your current institution and have a minimum of 2 years of overall experience working on these issues;
  • You understand your institution’s operations, systems, programs, and leadership structure, and have a level of influence/authority to introduce new ideas, programs, etc;
  • You embrace reflection and are open to being challenged/inspired by new/different ideas on practicing REDI work;
  • You seek a space to connect with others for support, to build relationships, and to problem-solve on REDI challenges.

The convenings support creating a community reflecting and learning from each other to craft approaches to the challenges of advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and building skills to create the conditions for change within our institutions.

1. Power of Community (Friday, November 6, 2020)

Build community and develop relationships with cohort members with a focus on defining shared language on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) and how REDI is operationalized.  

2. Power of Reflection and Healing (Friday, December 4, 2020)   

Explore how personal and intersectional identities and oppressions based on ability, class, gender, race, and sexual orientation are experienced in our bodies.  Learn practices rooted in radical rest, trauma-informed approaches to healing, and tools for being resilient and avoiding burnout.  

3. Power of Systems Change (Friday, January 8, 2021)

Learn frameworks, strategies, and tools on how to engage with peers and leaders on making racial equity, diversity, and inclusion change in your institution on a systems level. 

4. Power of Culture (Friday, February 5, 2021) 

Learn how to create a Race Equity Culture in your institution that values and prioritizes racial equity, diversity, and inclusion from Equity in the Center’s Awake to Woke to Work framework.  

5. Power To Leverage Change  (Friday, March 5, 2021)  

Identify institutional levers for change and create the conditions for action to advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in your institution. 

6. Power of Communications (Friday, April 2, 2021) 

Learn how to frame narratives, use storytelling, and develop messages to make the case for racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in your institution. 

7. Power of Practice (Friday, May 7, 2021) 

Utilize an organizational assessment to develop a Racial Equity Action Plan. Share racial equity, diversity, and inclusion challenges in your institutions, explore strategies, and create solutions to address these barriers.  

8. Power of Collective Action (Friday, June 4, 2021) 

Refine Racial Equity Action Plans with implementation steps and timelines, reflect on the program experience, engage with REAI alumni, and discuss opportunities to work collectively in the future.  



There are eight virtual convenings (10:00 am - 3:00 pm) required as a part of REAI. All sessions will be hosted virtually.

  • Friday, November 6, 2020
  • Friday, December 4, 2020
  • Friday, January 8, 2021
  • Friday, February 5, 2021
  • Friday, March 5, 2021
  • Friday, April 2, 2021
  • Friday, May 7, 2021
  • Friday, June 4, 2021


  • Nonprofit and Government sectors: $1,500
  • Business and Philanthropy sectors: $2,500

If the cost of participation presents a financial barrier, please contact us to explore alternative options.

County Participation

At this time, we are only able to offer REAI to institutions that reside in NCG or SCG counties: 

Northern California Counties
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, or Sonoma counties.
Please contact Alice Y. Hom ( and Daniel Lau ( with any questions.


Southern California Counties
Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, or Ventura counties.
Please contact Erica Rey ( and Sequoia Thompson ( with any questions.
If you are located outside of these counties, please email us.

The application deadline has passed. Stay tuned for 2021 announcements. 

Before you Apply...

Thank you for your interest in the Racial Equity Action Institute (REAI)! Your application can be started at any time. You can pause and some back to it at any time. 

At this time, we are only accepting applications from the following counties:

  • Northern California: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, or Sonoma counties. Please contact Alice Y. Hom and Daniel Lau with any questions.
  • Southern California: Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, or Ventura counties. Please contact Erica Rey and Sequoia Thompson with any questions.

If you are located outside of these counties, please email us.

Application Timeline

Deadline: We are accepting applications through Friday, September 11. 

Notification: We will notify applicants of their application status by Friday, October 9. If you are accepted we will share next steps and payment dates with you then. 

Meet the 2019 Inaugural Cohort



Director | Informing Change


Assistant Vice President and Community Relations Consultant | Wells Fargo


Manager | County of Santa Clara Division of Equity & Social Justice; Interim Director, County of Santa Clara Office of Immigrant Relations


Librarian | San Francisco Public Library


Project Manager: Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging | Levi Strauss & Co.


Senior Community Development Specialist | San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development


Director of Career Pathways | Hack the Hood


Director, Human Resources and Administration | The San Francisco Foundation


Western Region Program Officer | Asset Funders Network


Equity Officer | County of Marin, County Administrators Office and Health & Human Services


Senior Director of Social Justice | YWCA Silicon Valley


Associate Director – Engage San Francisco | University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center


Program Director for Education | Marin Community Foundation


Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Energy Foundation


Director of Inclusive Food Systems | Capital Impact Partners


Deputy City Manager | City of San Jose


Organizational Development and Human Resources Specialist | Heising-Simons Foundation


Director, Employment Law and SurveyMonkey for Good | SurveyMonkey


Director of Training and Leadership | Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits


Vice President of Engagement, Diversity, and Belonging | Yelp