Diversity and Inclusion Work for White Professionals in the Nonprofit Sector

This article from www.afpglobal.org is written by Tracy Vanderneck, MSM, CFRE; Featuring: Sebrena Pawley, Rafael Robles, Jim Taylor, MBA.

There is a long-standing debate about whether the legendary Robinhood really stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Let’s assume for our purposes that he did. Would that have made him a hero or a villain? A champion of the people or a thief? How a situation is characterized can vary wildly depending on who you ask and what their personal experiences have been. Life isn’t always stark black and white; the societal prism looks different from every angle and your view depends on where you’re standing. And I am one hundred percent sure that the view from inside the prism looking out is entirely different and is probably impossible to explain to those on the outside.

I think of this analogy when engaging in activities involving inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) work in the nonprofit industry. Because I am a cisgender straight white female, there are mixed opinions on what it is appropriate for people like me to do in the IDEA arena. At times, it can be difficult to tell whether I should wade into a given situation; some say “use your platform” while others say “stay out of the way.”

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