Racial Equity Training Resources
Before exploring the details of racial equity as it relates to impact investing, many organizations undergo training to internalize the extent to which racial inequity fundamentally shapes U.S. systems, policies, and society. Below is a list of training resources that MIE has itself used or came recommended by other committed organizations. Please visit each site to learn more. Visit our Racial Equity Library for a growing list of resources on this topic as it relates to impact investing.
Not all organizations have the exact same types and styles of training. In order to determine which trainings fit the culture and values of your organization, consider developing criteria that you can use to apply to the selection process for trainings. In addition to reaching out to the organizations below, consider connecting with colleagues that have begun their training for additional advice and resources: if you hear of any that others in the MIE community may benefit from, please reach out to us! We will post them here.
Transformative learning in racial equity can be personal and difficult. In addition to reading about what racial equity is, before participating in your first trainings, it can be helpful to spend time preparing for the training itself, to build sensitivity and understand where your colleagues may be coming from.
Committing to long-term impact requires changing how we think, rather than completing a set of prescribed actions. While we feature examples of deals and projects in racial equity and impact investing in our Racial Equity Library to demonstrate how these behavior changes may manifest, the deepest work occurs in disrupting thinking and behavior patterns that happen every day.
Changing how we think and act takes years. No single training on its own will be successful in shifting training and culture. Consider a long-term plan for change, drawing on consultants and/or hiring professionals with specialized expertise.
Racial Equity Trainings and Workshops
Race Forward's Racial Justice Training (In-Person): These interactive trainings are for individuals hoping to better understand structural racism and advance racial equity. They help build learners develop a clear understanding of key concepts, such as racial equity and structural racism and learn to talk about race constructively within their organizations and with their constituents.
Learning Modules, by Racial Equity Tools and World Trust Educational Services (WTES) (Online): This collection of modules was developed by WTES in collaboration with leading racial justice organizations. Designed to facilitate deep learning, the modules are intended to help individuals new to ideas about fairness and equity both learn and and train others. Each module comes with a facilitator guide and PowerPoint Presentation. Additional materials can be found at the WTES site.
Racial Equity Institute (In-Person): The Racial Equity Institute Groundwater Approach helps learners "internalize the reality that we live in a racially structured society, and that that is what causes racial inequity." Embracing these truths helps leaders confront the reality that all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from a racial hierarchy on which the United States was built. In other words, we have a “groundwater” problem, and we need “groundwater” solutions. Starting from there, we begin to unlock transformative change.
People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) (In-Person): PISAB is a collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators. Their workshops seek to undo racism by "learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression, and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism."
Unconscious or Implicit Bias Training
Unconscious bias training often focuses on understanding the underlying cognitive psychology driving our biases and providing tools and/or training to help us disrupt deeply held patterns. Drawing on aspects of cognitive behavior therapy, these trainings are more geared towards helping us see that our beliefs may not be entirely in line with our behavior and that re-training the brain takes time and practice. Although related issues, trainings associated with unconscious bias may or may not fully address racial equity, including racism and structural racism. Kirwan Institute's Implicit Bias Modules offer an online course introducing participants to how the mind works, uncovering some of your own biases and offering strategies for addressing them.
Pre-Reading for Trainings
In addition to exploring the resources above, these reading materials can help you prepare for in-person trainings:
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism: This book by Robin Diangelo explores the ways in which white people in North America are insulated from race-based stress and how this insulation shapes their ability to respond in constructive ways when in dialogue on issues of racism, particularly in conversations with people of color. In addition to seeking to explain why and how this insulation manifests, the book provides capacity-building strategies for white audiences to engage in healthy ways.
- Teaching Tolerance Guide: Facilitating difficult conversations, notes Teaching Tolerance, takes courage and skill —"regardless of who we are, our intentions or how long we’ve been teaching." This guide is designed to help educators in America's school system facilitate healthy and open dialogue on racism and social inequality with students. Although it is geared for a different audience than MIE, all of the topics it explores —including how to assess comfort levels, embracing vulnerability, and paying attention to the emotions being expressed— apply to all of us. This project of the Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences children in America.