Racial Equity Institute

The Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside will provide nonprofit organizations tools to thrive in the midst of challenges presented by COVID-19 and the quest to center racial equity for the region.  San Bernardino County made a big step forward by becoming the first in California to declare racism a public health crisis, and this move highlights the importance for Riverside nonprofit organizations to center racial equity initiatives. The Racial Equity Institute will provide nonprofit professionals with resources and tools that elevate their work and cultivate their leadership potential. This proposal is built upon the successful Douglass Washington Leadership Program in 2019 and our report on the State of Nonprofits in the Inland Empire, and the work of IE RISE that is led by dozens of community partners. The goal of the program is to identify and support bold, emerging leaders in the Inland Empire’s nonprofit sector who seek to advance racial equity. Through the power of peer support, networks, and cutting-edge skills, this program will provide participants with a place to foster engagement and innovation in San Bernardino.

The Racial Equity Institute goes beyond standard frameworks of diversity, equity, and inclusion, adapting to the current moment and calls to combat systemic racism. If we are to combat systemic racism, we need to understand the systems that keep racial disparities in place and to outline a plan of data, narrative, and action (DNA) to enable—and hopefully accelerate—transformations in those systems to produce more just outcomes.