Greater Kansas City Community Foundation donors and community leaders recently gathered for a discussion on race and equity led by Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward. Race Forward is a social justice nonprofit organization that helps people take effective action toward racial equity. It is the largest organization of its kind in the country. Race Forward works to involve community groups, foundations and government agencies across the country in promoting a more inclusive democracy.
The event was co-hosted by the Community Foundation and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and continued a conversation that kicked off in November. Glenn led an interactive session on how to effectively communicate the importance of racial equity. Part of navigating the discussion, he says, is making yourself clear about what you want and what you expect.
Glenn addressed the importance of understanding equity versus equality. Equality means treating everyone equally, whereas equity means “closing the gaps” so that race does not predict one’s success, while also improving outcomes for all.
Attendees practiced implementing these topics into conversations about race using a three-step model developed by Race Forward.
Affirm: Start by talking from the heart. Appeal to the emotional side of the discussion and explain why equity and inclusion are a community effort.
Counter: Take on the issue directly and explain why there is an equity problem.
Transform: Change the perspective on the idea of “winners” and “losers” in the situation. Instead, speak again from the heart and end the conversation with a definitive and accessible solution.
“If we want to be agents of change, we must speak from a place of hope,” Glenn said. “We have to tell people what’s possible.”
Participants say they attended the event in order to better incorporate inclusion and equity in their own communities and workplaces. Many Community Foundation donors are working to improve and support racial equity in their communities, using donor-advised funds as a vehicle for charitable giving. Learn more about donor-advised funds or contact us at email@example.com.
Authored by: Hope Thompson, Communications Intern