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Racial Equity Action Institute

Photo of two people in conversation. Titled: Racial equity Action Institute

NCG’s Racial Equity Action Institute (REAI)  — a program connecting racial equity specialists and leaders in philanthropy, government, business, and nonprofits to learn, network and develop a mix of actionable strategies with field experts and each other to advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion within their institutions. Each year, a 20-person cohort will be chosen to participate in REAI with opportunities to reflect, share, and act.

The Racial Equity Action Institute is a multi-sector space to test and deepen racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) practices. We center racial equity with an intersectional framework that recognizes the ways race is shaped and informed by class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Twenty participants will attend 6 in-person, six-hour sessions from August 2020 through February 2021. Whether your institution uses “racial equity” or “DEI” the Racial Equity Action Institute will focus on moving your institution towards equitable practices and supporting you in creating the conditions for action.  

One sector on its own cannot solve the challenges of racial inequities. NCG recognizes we can achieve more together by organizing a multi-sector space for discussion, learning, and innovation. Through the Racial Equity Action Institute, participants will gain knowledge, lessons, and tools for making change in their institutions on REDI and to create solutions for our shared challenges in the Bay Area.

Goals and Outcomes



Watch below to learn more about REAI from the 2019 participants.

Power of Community

Objective: Learn approaches to building community and relationships with cohort members with a focus on defining shared language on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Power of Systems Change

Guest Speaker: Darlene Flynn, Director, Department of Race and Equity, City of Oakland

Objective: Learn how to make institutional change on a systems level. Gain tips and tools on how to engage with peers and leaders on making racial equity, diversity, and inclusion change in your institution.

Power of Framing 

Objective: Learn how to frame narratives, messaging, and case studies to advance racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Power of Culture

Guest Speaker: Kerrien Suarez, Equity in the Center

Objective: Learn how to create a race equity culture in your institution that values and prioritizes racial equity.

Power To Leverage Change

Guest Speaker: Erica Hines, Equity in the Center

Objective: Learn how to identify levers for change and create the conditions for action in your institution to advance racial equity.

Power of Working Together 

Objective: Focus on what participants will bring back to their institutions, development of Racial Equity Action Plans, and discuss opportunities to work collectively in the future.


The cost of participating in the Racial Equity Action Institute below. The cost is based on sector and supporting individuals as well as those a part of an organization in this work. 

Nonprofit and Government
$750 individual
$1,500 institutional
Business or Philanthropy
$1,500 individual

$2,500 institutional 

The individual cost is for those who will pay out of their own pocket and the institutional cost is for those who will have their institution pay on their behalf. Northern California Grantmakers is pleased to subsidize a portion of the Racial Equity Action Institute. The cost structure covers the remaining expenses of the program including: consultants, speaker honorariums, food, and materials. We invite our business and philanthropy participants to make an additional contribution of $1500 to help further subsidize the participation of our nonprofit and government colleagues.

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

Target Audience

  • 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;
  • understand your institution’s operations, systems, programs, and leadership structure, and have a level of influence/authority to introduce new ideas, programs, etc;
  • embrace reflection and are open to being challenged/inspired by new/different ideas on practicing REDI work;
  • seek a space to connect with others for support, to build relationships, and to problem-solve on REDI challenges.


In-person sessions: There are six, in-person six-hour sessions (10:00 am - 4:00 pm) required as a part of the Institute. All sessions will take place at NCG’s offices in San Francisco. At one session, there will be an opportunity to network with alumni of REAI. The dates are:

  • August 28, 2020
  • October 2, 2020
  • November 6, 2020
  • December 4, 2020 
  • January 22, 2021
  • February 26, 2021

Optional Check-ins: There are three 60-minute optional check-in calls (11:00 am - 12:00 noon) to dive deeper into the content, connect with cohort members, and offer open space for REDI challenges. The dates are:

  • September 18, 2020
  • October 23, 2020
  • January 8, 2021

The Racial Equity Action Institute (REAI) application process is tentatively scheduled to launch in May 2020. If you are interested in joining REAI, please sign up here to be notified when applications become available. 

Meet the Inaugural Class of 2019

Learn more about the 2019 Racial Equity Action Institute participants, below.
Will you or one of your colleagues be a 2020 participant? 

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