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Nonprofit Leadership and Racism in Corporate America

Nonprofit Leadership and Racism in Corporate America

By Cindi Bright

According to recent data, 90% of social sector nonprofit jobs serving underprivileged communities are held by white women. This raises questions about the lack of representation and opportunities for black and brown people in the nonprofit sector. This problem extends beyond just the nonprofit sector and is evident in other industries such as sports where only 8 out of 30 head coaches in the NBA are black.

The issue of diminishing representation of black and brown people in leadership positions is not new and is rooted in the systemic racism that exists in our society. This can be seen in the NFL where franchise owners, like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, are known for their racist views and have the audacity to come out against players who take a knee during the national anthem. This slave/master mentality perpetuates the idea that black and brown people are not worthy of leadership positions.

It is time for us to answer the tough questions and change course. Organizations must be willing to have real conversations about diversity, race, and social justice in order for progress to be made. Leadership must be open to shifting their hearts and thinking differently about people. This means promoting individuals who may not look like them, and recognizing black and brown excellence in leadership positions.

In her upcoming book, Cindi Bright, a Seattle-based speaker and consultant on topics of race, diversity, and social justice, sheds light on the injustices faced by black and brown people and offers suggestions on how to improve diversity within organizations. She hosts HeartBeat radio, a weekly program discussing issues impacting black and brown communities. With over 30 years of experience as a human resources leader and executive in corporate America, Cindi is known for her honesty, humor, and candor. Her work is aimed at personal and business transformation.

In conclusion, it is crucial that we challenge ourselves and our organizations to address the lack of representation and opportunities for black and brown people in leadership positions. We must be willing to have the uncomfortable conversations and shift our thinking to create a more inclusive and equitable world.

Bright, Cindi. "90% of Nonprofit Leadership Jobs Go to White Women. Why?", 23 Dec. 2020,

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