Charitable nonprofits are trusted and central members of their communities and can play an essential role in the movement for social and racial equity. As the state association of nonprofits, Kentucky Nonprofit Network has an important opportunity to lead efforts to address the inequities in and inherent with our nonprofit sector.
Until recently, Kentucky Nonprofit Network has not taken full advantage of these opportunities. While active on some issues, on many issues we have sat on the sidelines and applauded, but we did not fully engage. We’ve noted the lack of people of color in nonprofit leadership roles; the lack of people of color on nonprofit board of directors; and applauded efforts to dismantle institutional racism within the nonprofit sector. Yet we did not stop to ask why there are not more leaders of color; ask how institutional systems in the nonprofit sector are complicit; explore ways we could lead and partner with others in our sector to listen to the voices and experiences of Black people and address the role of nonprofits in eradicating systemic racism and inequity. In short, we have not done enough to name racism and injustice and the role it plays in the nonprofit sector – and now, we are committed to change that.
Kentucky Nonprofit Network is on a journey to do better. Through our work, we aim to advance racial and social equity to create communities where all have access, supports and opportunities to reach their full potential. As board and staff members, we commit KNN to building policies that demonstrate actions that support justice and inclusion for all. Specifically, we are taking these actions now:
KNN's Commitment to Racial & Social Equity
- Increasing access to cultural competency training and resources for KNN staff, board members and KNN members
- Increasing diversity in KNN’s professional and volunteer leadership to reflect the larger community
- Identifying and eliminating racial and social equity barriers in KNN programs, services, policies and practices
- Engage with or serve as a convener of diverse stakeholders, including those with lived experience, and actively participate in conversations and partnerships that develop equitable solutions to address community needs and injustices
- Pledging to lead by example
- Checking our own biases and taking meaningful action to understand and mitigate them
- Initiating meaningful and sometimes difficult conversations with our colleagues
- Continuing to ask ourselves if “our actions and words reflect our values of inclusion”
Adopted by the KNN board of directors on August 17, 2020.
Invitation to members:
Kentucky Nonprofit Network invites others to use this policy and our action steps as a template for considering and crafting your own organization’s policy as we all engage in a collective journey toward racial and social equity.