Building Anti-Racist Boards: Three new white papers from DJA and colleagues

At DJA, we’re always thinking about how to reduce the impact of systemic bias. In many ways, equity lives in the process: the systems, structures, and processes that we operate within carry enormous implications for how equitably people are able to participate.

Board governance is a great example. Countless organizations are talking about how anti-racism should look, but far fewer are identifying actions that de-bias systems, build in inclusive practice, or define what it means to be anti-racist. The processes and structures of our organizations define how much people are able to bring their full selves and abilities to their board work.

The work that we put into building inclusive systems will, with time and persistence, pay off with better systems for all.

Over the last few months, DJA has been working with two non-profit partners, Code for Science & Society and Invest in Open Infrastructure, to build guidelines for anti-racist non-profit board governance. After we completed our recommendations for CS&S and IOI, our three organizations together decided to generalize and publish the documents so that the wider community can use and build upon them.

DJA, CS&S, and IOI produced three white papers related to board governance that prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion:

  • Board Nomination: Learn a defined, research-rooted method for carrying out board nominations and selections that prioritize equity
    • A template worksheet is also provided to help you enact this nomination and selection process.
  • Board Onboarding: Connect your new board members to the knowledge and colleagues they need to shepherd your organization well, and with an EDIAR lens
  • Best Practices for Board Governance: Discover crucial ways to operate for inclusion, individually and collectively, that prioritize effective group process and shared understanding

We look forward to seeing how you build more equitable boards with these documents. Please let us know at [email protected] how you’re making use of them!

P.S. Also take a look at the fabulous write-ups of this project and its outcomes from IOI and CS&S!

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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