Working With IISC to Advance Racial Equity

Thank you to the many friends and colleagues – near and far – who have reached out to IISC with an inquiry about racial equity consulting and/or training. This continues to be an extraordinary time, indeed. Since the “racial reckoning” of 2020, the continuing public discourse around racism and racial justice in an increasingly contentious political climate, and the disproportionate and sustained impact of the pandemic on communities of color, we have continued to receive far more inquiries than we can support.

In the context of our recognition that substantial change happens when groups are willing to shift power and resources in support of their racial equity and racial justice work, we sharpened our focus regarding where and how we can have the most impact. We are prioritizing future consulting and training engagements based on the strategic priorities detailed below.

If you are interested in one of IISC’s capacity building offerings, please visit this page to learn more about the workshops that are currently being offered by IISC for participation by individuals or small teams, or for delivery within your organization or network.

With appreciation from all of us here at IISC.

IISC’s Strategic Priorities for Increasing our Impact

IISC has determined we can have the greatest impact on advancing racial equity and racial justice by partnering with organizations and networks that:

  • Recognize the need to leverage, build, and shift power, decision-making, and leadership, particularly with BIPOC individuals and communities.
  • Demonstrate sufficient desire and readiness to change, including:
    • The journey has already started.
    • The organization has a demonstrated commitment to and capacity for collaborative processes.
    • Organizational leadership is fully involved; the board is at least informed, supportive, and prepared to engage when the time is right.
    • Sufficient resources – both time and money — have been dedicated.
  • See advancing racial equity and racial justice as central to achieving their mission and integral to their strategy, programs, and operations, not as isolated activities.
  • Understand that this transformative change work:
    • requires the engagement of people throughout the system
    • requires individual and collective willingness to change
    • is very challenging and engages a broad range of emotions, from joy to pain and everything in between.

Pursuing a Consulting Engagement with IISC

IISC is committed to a mutually thorough and thoughtful intake process, as follows:

  1. Watch this recorded webinar – made in the spring of 2021 – describing who we are; our approach to organizational consulting to advance racial equity; the consulting and training services we offer as well as what we do not offer; and how much it typically costs to work with IISC, and consider whether our approach and values align with yours. In the nearly three years since this webinar, we have continued to innovate and refine our approach; however, it remains fundamentally based on what is described here.
  2. Reflect on our strategic priorities for increasing our impact, shared above, and consider if you feel your organization or network is aligned with those priorities and is ready to work with us.
  3. If you believe your organization or network meets these criteria, we invite you to complete this intake form that provides us with information we need to determine if IISC’s facilitative and collaborative approach is likely to have the deep, systemic organizational transformation we believe it takes to advance racial equity.
  4. If we determine there is a strong likelihood of a successful partnership between us, we will contact you to schedule a time for our consulting team to speak with those at your organization who will be leading this organizational change effort.
  5. If we determine that working together does not make sense, we will provide you with resource and referral information that we hope will offer you alternative ways to pursue your commitment to advancing racial equity within and beyond your organization.

A few additional notes as you consider your next steps:

While people often request the following as stand-alone services, we’ve learned that we should only offer them in the context of an ongoing project or working relationship with an organization or network. 

  • Racial Equity 101 or level-setting workshops
  • Retreats for board or staff members, affinity group sessions, town hall or all-staff meetings
  • Individual coaching

We also do not conduct independent equity audits or assessments resulting in our recommendations about how to your change your operations, structure, or programming. Rather, we work with you to design an assessment process and we facilitate your team to analyze the results, develop recommendations, and craft an action plan.

Other Resources

If pursuing a consulting or training engagement with IISC is not the right next step for you, or our timing does not meet your needs, we invite you to take a look at this collection of Resources for the Field that might be of use on your journey toward greater racial equity within your organization or network. Included in this collection of resources is a document that offers thoughts about work you can do on your own to stay committed to racial justice work in the absence of an external consultant. Also, take a look at IISC’s blogs and review the Racial Equity Resource and Referral List on our website.