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ComNet15 Recap: Let’s Talk About Race

This presentation was given at the ComNet15 breakout session “Let’s Talk About Race: Communicating Effectively for Social Change After Baltimore and Ferguson.” The session was led by Kate Shatzkin, Rebecca Noricks, Diane Camper, Rachel Godsil, and Alexis McGill Johnson. 

America is urgently confronting issues of race – and nonprofits and foundations need the right communications tools to seize the opportunity of this historic moment for lasting change. Racial disparities and inequities are at the heart of many ideas that funders seek to move, yet the sensitivity and complexity of these issues makes them hard to discuss. How can funders talk openly and effectively about race while balancing the considerations of board members, policymakers on both sides of the aisle, stakeholders in the field and communities where they are working?

This session offers messaging examples, graphic tools, and lessons from philanthropic efforts including the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color; the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s launch of the Race for Results data index and Race Equity and Inclusion portfolio; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s America Healing project; and Public Welfare Foundation’s work to reform juvenile and criminal justice. The panel will also build on the groundbreaking findings emerging out of the mind science community. In essence, these findings make the case that if we — as a country — want to find a different place, a better place on race, we must address the overlapping dynamics of implicit bias, racial anxiety and stereotype threat.

You’ll learn:

  1. Working understanding of the social psychological phenomena implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat and their link to the continuing racial polarization in our country.
  2. How to use effective language and graphics with various audiences to promote race equity and inclusion as part of a mission.
  3. How to lead/promote a national conversation about the impact of racism and unconscious bias on a key issue like law enforcement’s relationship with communities of color.

Want to learn more? Take a look at this resource sheet from the session.


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