How a Racial Equity Lens Works: Sharpening the Focus on Outcomes

A racial equity lens sharpens the focus on outcomes: A racial equity lens can help grantmakers clarify their real objectives, then shape strategies and align resources to meet them.

For example, a grantmaker at a large national foundation told about watching two grantees tackle the same issue — teacher retention in urban public schools — and come up with completely different strategies. One considered the problem and decided to advocate for incentives to keep teachers in their jobs. The other, looking with a racial equity lens, discovered that teachers with short tenures were often white teachers who gained their initial experience in inner city schools but then relocated to jobs nearer their suburban homes. The latter organization funded a strategy to create a “teacher of color pipeline” to recruit and develop teachers with roots in urban communities.

The first strategy, the grantmaker explained, could easily have the unintended consequence of directing resources to mainly white suburban communities: the incentives might persuade teachers living in the suburbs to stay in urban systems somewhat longer, but in all likelihood those teachers would eventually seek jobs close to home. The second strategy would direct resources to the creation of a lasting teaching infrastructure and greater access to the teaching profession for young people growing up in urban communities of color.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by GrantCraft using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens.


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