Guiding Questions to Advance Racial Diversity in an Organization

Have you clarified the value of racial diversity for your organization and, more specifically, for your board of directors and articulated this value in a diversity plan?

Does your diversity plan refer to the racial demographics of the geographic region that your organization serves – including projections of demographic change?

Does your diversity plan set specific racial diversity goals for your board and/or staff? What are the goals based on?

If it will take more than one year for your organization to meet the racial diversity goals for your board and staff, what steps will you take in the interim to be inclusive and to take into account the views and needs of diverse communities?

Have you targeted particular communities of color for outreach that may yield promising candidates for board positions?

Have you considered whether your organization’s programmatic priorities are articulated in ways that are relevant/meaningful to the diverse communities from which you are interested in recruiting board members and/or staff?

Have you considered ways in which current organizational policies and procedures (e.g. board selection processes, meeting dates and times, reimbursement rates) may be hindering racial diversity on your board?

Have you identified a person or a committee with sufficient authority to take primary responsibility for implementation of your diversity plan?

Do you have a process in place to review progress toward meeting diversity goals and to update your plan accordingly?

Have you taken steps to ensure that you can maintain board diversity over time?

Do you have an organized means of gaining input and feedback from members of your board (and staff) from diverse backgrounds?

Have you considered hiring a consultant to help your organization assess the cultural changes that are necessary to become an effective, racially diverse organization?