My Thoughts on Race & Privilege in the Nonprofit Sector

main.jpgRace and Privilege. Two simple words with charged meanings that usually elicit an immediate reaction. It may be discomfort, fear, passion, or been-there-done-that attitude. Whatever your reaction, we want to TALK about it! And, we want to talk about YOUR experience. 

The nonprofit sector can be a change maker for the lives of many in our community through organizations that provide employment training for people with developmental disabilities, higher education access for traditionally underrepresented youth, energy assistance, legal services, among many others. We do good, and that’s why many of us were drawn to this sector. Despite the good, in every nonprofit position I’ve held over the last seven years, race and privilege have been an unaddressed issue. Whether it’s the educational gap between me and my clients in legal clinics, the lack of cultural understanding in work situations, or the opportunity to connect with students over a shared experience related to minority status–race and privilege are prevalent in our sector.

On March 29th, at the Midtown YWCA in Minneapolis, young nonprofit professionals will have the opportunity to explore the connections between race and privilege in the nonprofit sector. Inspired by many one-on-one conversations with nonprofit peers, YNPN-TC wants to bring conversations on race and privilege to the surface, and to dig deeper. Anita Patel, the Vice-President for Racial Justice and Public Policy at the YWCA Minneapolis, will set the tone and guide us through those conversations. 

It’s time to begin understanding, and confronting the hard topics of race and privilege by talking about our own experiences, both personal and professional. By doing this, we hope to create shared responsibility and YNPs that are better equipped to tackle these issues in our personal lives, work, and sector by modeling how conversations on race and privilege can happen. 

If you are registered and plan to join us for the conversation, on the waitlist, or can’t make it, take a look at the following pieces. Consider the stories and experiences the writers share and the concepts they unpack. How do they relate to your life? Your work? 

Are there video clips, writings, blog posts, stories related to race and privilege that have shaped your thinking on these topics?  Please share them with us at the event Facebook page.

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