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FAQs | Racial Equity Action Institute

What is the Racial Equity Action Institute? 

The Racial Equity Action Institute is 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 REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) within their institutions. We center racial equity with an intersectional framework that recognizes the ways race is shaped and informed by class, gender, sexuality, and ability. In 2019, Northern California Grantmakers created this cohort learning program and the inaugural cohort met in-person. In 2020, NCG partnered with SoCal Grantmakers to offer REAI to the Southern California region.  

This year, we are offering REAI through Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), through a cohort of 20 people chosen to participate in REAI with opportunities to reflect, share, and act. 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. 

How do NCG define racial equity? 

  1. Borrowing from the Center for Social Inclusion and Race Forward, we define racial equity as both an outcome and a process. As an outcome, we achieve racial equity when race no longer determines one’s socioeconomic outcomes; when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter where they live. As a process, we apply racial equity when those most impacted by structural racial inequity are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the institutional policies and practices that impact their lives. 
  2. When we achieve racial equity: 
  • People, specifically people of color, are owners, planners, and decision-makers in an equitable system that governs their lives.  
  • We acknowledge and account for past and current inequities, and provide all people, particularly those most impacted by racial inequities, the infrastructure needed to thrive.  
  • Everyone benefits from a more just, equitable system. 

Why is the Racial Equity Action Institute needed? 

  • Current and historic policies driving dramatic inequality in our region 
  • Rising and continued racial violence, hate, and intolerance  
  • Discussing race, racism, and racial equity continues to be an enduring challenge  
  • Increased interest and action in multiple sectors to address race, racism, and racial equity  
  • Desire to act together, as a cohesive community  
  • Increased interest from NCG membership and stakeholders on how to operationalize racial equity 

What will you get out of REAI? 

  • A space to learn from each other and to craft and try out approaches to the challenge of advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) within our institutions   
  • Opportunity to meet like-minded specialists and leaders across sectors to build a network of colleagues and create community with each other for support and advice   
  • Hear from field leaders and community experts across multiple sectors on REDI    
  • Tools, resources, and knowledge to advance REDI--personally, institutionally, and in our communities    
  • A shift in your personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural perspectives on REDI   
  • Opportunity to create an Racial Equity Action Plan to move REDI efforts for your institution   
  • Opportunity to build and connect with a cohort in the Northern California region comprised of 20 people.  

What is the time commitment for REAI? 

  • Participants will be expected to attend 8 virtual sessions (10:00 am - 4:00 pm with 90 minutes for lunch and rest breaks throughout the day) starting in September 2023 through April 2024 (Note: sessions will not be recorded)  
  • Participants are required to participate in all 8 sessions to help build relationships and community with cohort members  
  • Participants will engage in optional community conversation between the cohort sessions and will be asked to fill out evaluations for each convening. There may be an occasional pre-reading (an article or a report) for 2 two convenings, at most.  

What is the cost of participation? 

  • Nonprofit and Government sectors: $2000 
  • Business and Philanthropy sectors: $4000  
  • NCG memberships gets $500 off the fee
  • If the cost of participation presents a financial barrier, please contact us to explore alternative options.

Target Audience

What are we looking for in participants?  

  • Participants are responsible for the implementation of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts at their current institution and have a minimum of 2 years of overall experience working on these issues;  
  • Understand their 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 racial equity, diversity, and inclusion;  
  • Seek a space to connect with others for support, to build relationships, and to problem-solve on racial equity challenges.  

What’s the difference between REAI and other racial equity trainings/programs? 

  • REAI is multi-sector cohort focused on bringing racial equity specialists and leaders together from the philanthropy, government, business, and nonprofit sectors  
  • Targeted to people responsible for implementing and engaging in racial equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts within an institution  
  • There is a mix of personal, interpersonal, and institutional learning with a focus on creating a racial equity culture  
  • There is an emphasis on change & action with the creation of an action plan on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion for your institution  
  • Focus on issues impacting the Northern California region

What will participants do? 

REAI will utilize a “Learning to Action” framework—that consists of several components:  

  • Develop an understanding of how to operationalize racial equity and how our respective sectors have been thinking about, discussing, and practicing racial equity  
  • Craft, test, and refine solutions to shared challenges  
  • Engage and learn with each other across sectors and build relationships to seed future work together  
  • You can view the full curriculumhere.

Who should I contact if I have more questions?

  • Haewon Asfaw, REAI Coordinator |
  • Melissa Nop, Manager of Equity and Practice |
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