Racial Minorities in the Nonprofit Field: A Reflection on the Field and Personal Experience

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White


Having worked for several nonprofits in the last eight years I noticed two things from organization to organization: lack of racial diversity in staff and an even more disparate number of people of color in management positions. Studies show that staff diversity for 515 foundations (Chao, Parshall, Amador, Shah, & Yanez, 2008, p. 7) was at 23.2% and that, of 130 nonprofits surveyed, “84% of executives are Caucasian [while] only 42% of the nonprofits that they lead serve primarily White communities,” (Teegarden, 2004, p. 2). This means that the people from communities that nonprofits serve are not hired to speak for themselves. It is also a significant sign that institutional racism is alive and well.

This CLC Capstone will explore the lack of racial diversity in the nonprofit field, what it means for the field, and what can be done to combat institutional racism. It will also journey through my experience working for an organization which struggled with institutional racism and the pains it took to name the experience. Lastly, this capstone will address how an individual can cope with the pain of being part of an organization or system that is racist.


Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity | Work, Economy and Organizations

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