Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

by Support KC

“It may not be too much to claim that the future of our world will depend on how we deal with identity and difference.”

Miroslav Volf, Bosnian Theologian

The face of America is rapidly changing, and the rate of change will only increase.  According to the Pew Research Center, 54% of the American population will be non-white by 2065.  Our notions of minority and majority will be challenged, and even reversed, in the years to come.  As stewards of public trust, the nonprofit sector should be guideposts for diversity and inclusion in a society experiencing deep cultural shifts.  There will be tremendous opportunity to be leaders in this conversation, but nonprofit organizations must first assess the state of the sector in order to know where to begin.

Though the face of America is shifting, nonprofit board of director demographics continue to remain unchanged.  BoardSource’s Leading with Intent report found that boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago despite reporting high-levels of dissatisfaction with current board demographics.  Moreover, current recruiting priorities indicate this is trend unlikely to change. Support KC’s vision for a high-performing, sustainable nonprofit community cannot be achieved without the inclusion of decision-makers that represent the diverse communities that nonprofits serve, which is why diversity, equity, and inclusion will continue to be a priority for us.

Does your nonprofit health plan include embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion on the board level?  Last month Nonprofit Connect hosted Inclusion 2019, a conference featuring Dr. Shirley Davis that provided nonprofit leaders with practical resources on inclusion and strategies for addressing implicit bias.  During her presentation, Dr. Davis unpacked the 6 C’s of Inclusive Leadership: commitment, cognizance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence, collaboration, and courage.  If diversity, equity and inclusion is a new for your board and leadership, courage may be the first place to begin.  To start a conversation with your board, Dr. Davis has created this free resource for executive leadership, focusing on organizational culture transformation.

Stay on the lookout for more updates on board diversity and inclusion and how you can propel this crucial work.  If civic leaders, nonprofit partners, and the corporate sector begin to organize around board diversity and inclusion, we can create board leadership opportunities that are aligned with the goals of the next generation.

Sincerely,

Debra Box, M.A.
President and CEO
Support Kansas City, Inc.