Equity leadership skills for how we will do the work together

  1. Listen actively; listen to understand.

  2. Speak for yourself, share your experience.

  3. Share air space.

  4. Name a dynamic.

  5. My normal may not be your normal.

  6. Intent vs. impact.

  7. Stay engaged, stay in relationship.

  8. Be open to feedback, ask clarifying questions.

  9. Expect and accept non-closure.

  10. Be aware of your feelings and thoughts. Stay present to your experience.

We engage with these skills in the context of power and privilege. Beyond platitudes and ‘nice attributes’, we get to truly grapple with how our dynamics in relationships and systems are based in oppression and hurt. Embodying these ten skills gives us a fighting chance at creating a liberated world.

Organizations & Groups



Power and Privilege

Banjali, Mahzarin: Blindspot- Hidden Biases of Good People

Davidson, Ellen: Open Minds to Equality

Goodman, Diane: Promoting Diversity/Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups

Latner, Teishan ed: The Quotable Rebel-Political Quotations for Dangerous Times

Neito, Leticia: Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment


Racial Equity and Social Justice

Alexander, Michelle: The New Jim Crow

Brown, Adrienne Maree: Emergent Strategy

Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between the World and Me

DiAngelo, Robin: White Fragility

Kivel, Paul, Uprooting Racism; How White People can Work for Racial Justice

Oluo, Ijeoma, So You Want To Talk About Race?

Tochluk, Shelly: Living in the Tension, the Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice

Williams, Angel: Radical Dharma-Talking Race, Love and Liberation


Christian Hegemony

Kivel, Paul: Living in the Shadow of the Cross

Tokumitsu, Miya: Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success and Happiness

Weber, Max: Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism



Adams, Maurianne: Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice

Ayers, William: Teaching for Social Justice

Delpit, Lisa, Other People’s Children

Howard, Gary: We Cannot Teach What We Don’t Know

Milner, Richard: Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There

Moore, Eddie, The Guide for White Women who Teach Black Boys

Schniedewind, Nancy, Open Minds to Equality

Tatum, Beverly, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?

Waston, Dyan; Hagopian, Jessie; Au, Wayne: Teaching for Black Lives

Zinn, Howard, People’s History of the US; Teacher's Edition



Bridges, William: Managing Transitions

Incite!: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

Kanter, Beth and Sherman, Aliza: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit

Kulik, Carol, Human Resources for the Non-HR Manager

La Piana, David: The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution

Lipsky, Laura: Trauma Stewardship

St.Onge, Patricia: Embracing Cultural Competency: A Roadmap for Nonprofit Capacity Builders


Class and Money

Lewis, Nicole and Resource Generation: Between a Silver Spoon and The Struggle-Reflections on The Intersection of Racism and Class Privilege

Pittelman, Karen and Resource Generation: Classified

Tessler, Bari: The Art of Money


Women and Internalized Sexism

Ackerman, Robert: Perfect Daughters

Dellasega, Cheryl: Mean Girls Grown Up

Deak, JoAnn PH.D.: Girls Will Be Girls

Dufu, Tiffany: Drop the Ball

Lipsky, Laura van Dernoot: The Age of Overwhelm: strategies for the long haul

Wiseman, Rosalind, Queen Bees and Wannabes

Podcasts & Interviews


Interviews with Fleur



Podcasts recommended by Fleur

Shared Definitions


“Definitions belong to the definers—not the defined.”  - Toni Morrison, Beloved


A living document of  terms, updated often with definitions based in U.S. current and historical context.


ADVOCACY:  An activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions.

ALLY: A lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency, and accountability with marginalized individuals and groups of people. It is not self-defined; efforts must be recognized by the people we seek to ally with.

ACCOMPLICE:In a social justice context, accomplice speaks to a sense of community or “folding together,” from the Latin complicare. An accomplice will focus more on dismantling the structures that oppress an individual or group—and such work will be directed by the stakeholders in the marginalized group. While an ally work focuses on individuals, and accomplice work focuses on the structures of decision-making agency.

BIAS: Everyone has it. Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person or group compared to another, usually in a way considered unfair. Implicit bias is unconscious, explicit bias is conscious.

CO-CONSPIRATOR: “What we do in action, not just in language,” Alicia Garza, Black Lives Matter. “It is about moving through guilt and shame and recognizing that we did not create none of this stuff. And so what we are taking responsibility for is the power that we hold to transform our conditions.”

CULTURE: Learned and shared values, beliefs, languages, and customs of a social group.

CULTURAL HUMILITY: A lifelong commitment to learning about one’s self as a cultural being in relationship to other cultural ways of being; it is a commitment to self-reflection and self-critique, recognizing and redressing power imbalances and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with and within culturally different communities. 

DISCRIMINATION: Acting on/from bias or prejudice.

EQUALITY: A state, quality, or ideal of treating everyone the same.

EQUITY: A state, quality, or ideal of being fair and just within the context of historical and current power dynamics.

GATEKEEPER: A person or position that controls access and criteria for access to resources.

GENDER: Socially constructed categories of masculinity/manhood and femininity/womanhood not based on biology. Cis gender: person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.

INTERSECTIONALITY: The theory that individuals can face multiple threats of discrimination when their identities overlap a number of minority classes: race, gender, age, ethnicity, health and other characteristics.

INCLUSION: A state, quality, or ideal of being a part of a group or structure where the inherent worth and dignity of all people are recognized and respected.

OPPRESSION: prejudice +power (institutional and historical); systemic devaluing, marginalizing and disadvantaging of certain social identities in contrast to the privileged norm; when some people are denied something of value, others have access E.g., systemic, institutional, and interpersonal.

PRIVILEGE: Unearned advantage. Systemic favoring, enriching, valuing, validating and including of certain social identities over others. Individuals cannot ‘opt out’ of systems of privilege; rather these systems are inherent to society.

POSITIONALITY: Status of a person beyond hierarchy often reflective of dominant and power based norms.

RACISM: A system of privilege based on race. In today’s context that means discrimination of people of color by white people. Internalized racism: internalization by people of color of the stereotypes/myths about members of their own group, including themselves.

SEXISM: A system of privilege based on gender. In today’s context that means discrimination of women/trans women by men (cis & hetero dominant). Internalized sexism: involuntary belief by women that stereotypes/myths about women that are delivered to everyone in a sexist society are true.

WHITE FRAGILITY: The way white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to white peoples racial world views.


Materials sources and adapted with deep appreciation and recognition from CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, Jacqueline Elena Featherston, and VISIONS, Inc.