Facebook - Susan Naimark

Do you really want to go there?

That was the reaction of some community development organizations to NeighborWorks America’s newly launched Race, Ethnicity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Yet, there is also a tremendous amount of good will among community development leaders and staff who recognize the need for, and value of, addressing issues of equity and inclusion head-on. Most agree these issues are critical in the face of stark racial disparities in wealth, continuing discriminatory lending practices, and changing demographics of communities across the U.S. I am pleased to have been selected by NeighborWorks America, along with colleague Barbara Cheives, to help move this initiative forward. We are beginning to compile resources specific to community-based development organizations, recognizing that such organizations must addresses challenges at the individual, organizational and community level. Such change starts with understanding where you are now. Here are a couple of tools for organizational self-assessment that we find most useful for community development organizations.