Speaking of research from our publisher, you should also know about a recent study on leadership in the movement for racial justice. As this election season gears up, I’m reminded of the sad aftermath of Proposition 8 in 2008, when mainstream media and white LGBT leaders wrongly blamed communities of color for the outcome. It took much too long for voices of reason in the broader progressive community to step in and counter that narrative. The whole mess revealed just how far we still have to move in order for the leadership of mainstream progressive organizations to take more seriously matters of racial inclusion and equity.
The report How to Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice, released last week by Leadership Learning Communities and co-authored by the Applied Research Center’s Terry Keleher, offers strategies for how nonprofits can create leadership development programs that are accessible to people of color, mindful of structural racism, and supportive of collective leadership. It’s the first report to analyze the link between philanthropy investments in the racial equity and leadership development fields.
Terry explains: “As racial demographics rapidly change and deep racial disparities grow, we need new ways to develop and support leadership that moves us to greater racial unity and equity. The Leadership and Race publication provides concrete tools and recommendations to help leadership programs move in that direction.”
The report’s findings and recommendations are not likely to affect the outcomes of this year’s elections. But the framework it offers–consciously and strategically addressing inclusion and equity in all facets of leadership development–could help build the unity we need to win longterm electoral and policy victories.