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The Other Half of the Equity Equation: the Role of “white” People in Transforming Impact Investing Systems towards Racial Justice

Elizabeth Woodson Reckon With

We are now 4 years from 2020, when the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery forced the United States and its people to again reckon with the persistent state of racial harm in our society. In response, many companies made commitments to interrupt inequity and institute just policies.

This interactive workshop will engage attendees to reflect on where we are today, and where we are going. We will examine the six conditions required to achieve systems change, which FSG identifies as policies, practices, resource flows, relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models. Black, Indigenous and Leaders of Color continue to develop, advocate for, and implement vital DEI initiatives that are transforming the first three conditions, including changing racially unjust hiring policies, transforming inequitable practices for sourcing and assessing potential investments, and sharing demographic data across portfolios to increase transparency. It is critical that we celebrate and elevate this important work, as SOCAP continues to do.

Despite this progress, the absence of change in the latter three conditions continues to impede our collective progress. Transforming relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models requires that we take seriously the call of SOCAP24: to go deeper. Whose responsibility – and opportunity – is it to transform these areas? As BIPOC leaders have long made clear, that responsibility lies with the dominant group who disproportionately holds power and mostly interacts with one another. In investing, as in all systems in the United States, that continues to be “white” people. The Knight Foundation reported in September 2021 that 98.6% of total U.S.-based assets under management are managed by white- and male-owned firms.

Attendees will be invited to move from discussion into generative action. In groups of 3 people, participants will engage with two practices designed by Reckon With to activate transformation in our relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models. We’ll conclude by seeking attendees’ reactions to these practices and frameworks, and their input on the role of European Americans in achieving systemic racial equity in impact investing.

Track

DEI, Ownership and Impact

Format

Workshop (Up to 3 Facilitators/Instructors)

Speakers

  • NameElizabeth Woodson
  • TitleExecutive Director
  • OrganizationReckon With

Description

We are now 4 years from 2020, when the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery forced the United States and its people to again reckon with the persistent state of racial harm in our society. In response, many companies made commitments to interrupt inequity and institute just policies.

This interactive workshop will engage attendees to reflect on where we are today, and where we are going. We will examine the six conditions required to achieve systems change, which FSG identifies as policies, practices, resource flows, relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models. Black, Indigenous and Leaders of Color continue to develop, advocate for, and implement vital DEI initiatives that are transforming the first three conditions, including changing racially unjust hiring policies, transforming inequitable practices for sourcing and assessing potential investments, and sharing demographic data across portfolios to increase transparency. It is critical that we celebrate and elevate this important work, as SOCAP continues to do.

Despite this progress, the absence of change in the latter three conditions continues to impede our collective progress. Transforming relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models requires that we take seriously the call of SOCAP24: to go deeper. Whose responsibility – and opportunity – is it to transform these areas? As BIPOC leaders have long made clear, that responsibility lies with the dominant group who disproportionately holds power and mostly interacts with one another. In investing, as in all systems in the United States, that continues to be “white” people. The Knight Foundation reported in September 2021 that 98.6% of total U.S.-based assets under management are managed by white- and male-owned firms.

Attendees will be invited to move from discussion into generative action. In groups of 3 people, participants will engage with two practices designed by Reckon With to activate transformation in our relationships and connections, power dynamics, and mental models. We’ll conclude by seeking attendees’ reactions to these practices and frameworks, and their input on the role of European Americans in achieving systemic racial equity in impact investing.

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