Changing Narratives about Leaders of Color in the Social Sector

The equitable future we seek requires celebrating the genius of today’s leaders of color. These leaders’ assets go beyond experiences of oppression or marginalization to include the connection, meaning, and joy they can draw on from their respective cultures and communities.


What Everyone Can Learn From Leaders of Color

Black woman leader presenting to audienceOur article in Stanford Social Innovation Review explores the assets that leaders of color bring to their organizations. Here are three ways your organization can lean in:

  • Shift organizational culture and structures to create an environment where BIPOC staff can bring their full and authentic selves. This requires embracing a wide range of styles and voices and making cultural differences a resource for learning. Embrace the equitable practices and anti-racist principles that might already drive your external work to also shape internal decision making.
  • Revisit how you assess leadership competency in hiring and talent development. For philanthropy, examine your diligence practices. It is important to change organizational structures to appropriately recognize and reward the assets of BIPOC leadership. In other words, does your assessment criteria imply a narrow view of the pathway to develop leadership skills and/or how those skills manifest?
  • Look to leaders of color as role models to inform your own learning and development. There’s a lot we can all learn from the stories of these leaders. Identity plays a role in leadership, but through intentional learning and engagement, anyone can develop the right skills and relationships.

Read on

Podcast: Dreaming in Color

The equitable future we seek requires celebrating the genius of today’s leaders of color. In Dreaming in Color, hear from champions in the charge for equity and justice. Hosted by Bridgespan Partner Darren Isom, this podcast offers leaders of color space to share how they have leveraged their unique assets and abilities to embrace excellence, drive impact, and more fully define what success looks like.

Explore the Podcast