Since 2000, Mando Rayo has been developing a project to address the leadership gap between Latinos, African-Americans and Asians and mainstream nonprofit boards. Concurrently, GivingCity has been promoting social innovators of color through a regular feature called the New Philanthropists.
In the fall of 2014, GivingCity Austin and Mando Rayo + Collective formed a partnership to launch The New Philanthropists Project by meeting with some of Austin’s leading nonprofit and membership organizations. We wanted to understand the landscape in which we would embark on this initiative and discuss our shared commitment to the goals. In that time, we met with the RGK Center, which offered to partner with us on a series of community events. Together, GC, MRC and RGK are pleased to bring you the first in that series that, a panel discussion to identify key topics and gather a community around this cause.
The New Philanthropists Project is dedicated to increasing racial diversity across mainstream nonprofit boards in Central Texas. To accomplish this, the New Philanthropists and its partners will identify and prepare more people of color for nonprofit board service and more nonprofits for board members of color, while also advocating for data transparency, accountability and increased resources to ensure that nonprofits increase their boards’ racial diversity. Tonight’s event marks the beginning of a long-term initiative.
Right now, many of Austin’s most pressing social issues disproportionately affect people of color and, in fact, people of color constitute more than 50% of the Austin population. At the same time, according to a 2011 study by Greenlights, a nonprofit resource and research organization, only about 10% of Austin-area board members are people of color. We believe Austin’s nonprofit sector has a moral and programmatic imperative to keep pace with the city’s growing diversity, and that more people of color, specifically Latinos, African-Americans and Asians, should respond to the call of board service.
We invite your questions, comments and ideas. Please take our questionnaire! With your help, we can increase racial diversity and inclusion among nonprofit leaders and create a more effective nonprofit sector.
Mando Rayo, Mando Rayo + Collective
Monica Maldonado Williams, GivingCity Austin