Race Matters Institute

Publication date: 
June, 2015

The Race Matters Institute helps nonprofits, government units, community organizations and philanthropies develop policies and programs to achieve more diverse, equitable and inclusive results. Tools for foundations include the Advancing the Mission Toolkit, The Race Matters Toolkit, and Guidelines for Achieving Staff and Board Diversity.

From the organization's website:

Diversity refers to the wide array of differences among people and their perspectives on the world.  Diversity is an important organizational goal in its own right, but it may or may not be linked to the issue of equity.  A diverse workplace is not necessarily an equitable workplace.  Nor does the presence of people who are diverse necessarily produce decision-making that optimizes results for the groups their diversity reflects.

Inclusion is reflected in the ability of diverse peoples to raise their perspectives authentically, and for those voices to matter and impact decisions, where the organizational culture has been enabled for that to happen.  Inclusion promises a broader view of the world and a more democratic process of decision-making.  Inclusion is an important organizational process goal, but it does not on its own guarantee equity in an organization’s mission-critical results.

Equity refers to achieved results where advantage and disadvantage are not distributed on the basis of race and ethnicity. Strategies that produce equity must be targeted to address the unequal needs, conditions, and positions of people and communities that are created by institutional and structural barriers.  Equity requires a set of informed policies and practices, intentionally designed to promote opportunity and rectify disparities, as well as informed people positioned to implement them effectively.