CNPE’s Role in Ending Racial Injustice*

Influenced and informed by:

  • recognition that the nonprofit sector has played a role in perpetrating racial injustices;
  • heightened awareness of the racial injustices in our community;
  • A Path Forward for Louisville and other community-driven solutions and recommendations; and
  • living and working in one of America’s most racially segregated communities,

CNPE believes that structural racism perpetuates inequities that threaten our community’s well-being. The nonprofit sector must learn what systemic changes are needed to build a more inclusive and just society – and it must learn from those most impacted by these inequities.

CNPE’s Reckoning:

The CNPE Board and staff acknowledge these injustices and their impact on Black communities and the role nonprofits have in creating a just and equitable community. The CNPE Board and staff will work to understand how CNPE, a white-founded and white-led organization, has been complicit in upholding racial inequity. (We define “complicit” as remaining silent about racial injustices and not taking direct action to change the policies, practices, organizational structure, events, and systems that perpetuate racism.) CNPE will commit to change how it works with, connects to, and supports Black nonprofit leaders and Black-led organizations.

CNPE’s First Steps:

CNPE started focusing more on equity and justice in the fall of 2019 as part of its strategic plan­ning process. A major priority in the strategic plan the Board adopted in November 2020 is to have CNPE oper­ate through an equity lens. In pursuit of that pri­or­ity, as of March 2021:

  • Since the spring of 2020, CNPE has maintained an Anti-Racism/DE&I Resource List for curated resources to help the nonprofit community better understand, address, and champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within their organi­za­tions.
  • CNPE has hired Gifted by Design, a Black-led consulting practice, to work with CNPE staff to develop a plan to support Black nonprofit leaders and organizations. (November 2020)
  • CNPE has partnered with Michele Shelton LLC to develop and launch its first cohort of “Nonprofit Leaders Advancing Racial Equity” – 16 white non­profit leaders of influence pursuing a six-month program of learning, self-awareness, and planning. (Class began January 2021)
  • CNPE upgraded its member database to begin collecting data on race, ethnicity, and gen­der. This more granular data will help us understand which voices we are hearing – and which we are not. We will be able to address gaps in service, determine member diversity, create more effective events and training, help members connect, and design new ways of supporting organizations. (Launched January 2021; data upgrade is ongoing)
  • CNPE has piloted and launched the Community Activation Network (CAN) to create a virtual space in our non­profit com­munity where everyone can learn together, be heard, and strengthen connections. (Launched publicly January 2021)
  • CNPE’s board of directors hired The Racial Healing Project, a Black-led consulting group, to guide CNPE through an assess­ment, training, and the development of a three-year equity plan to ensure that our trainings, offerings, and consulting are inclusive and address the needs of Black nonprofit leaders and organizations. (February 2021)
  • CNPE built, staffed, and launched its School for Fundraising & Engagement (in collaboration with Ashley|Rountree & Asso­ci­ates) – a virtual school with diverse advisors, diverse faculty, and generous seed money for scholarships. The school operates through an equity lens to ensure that Black-led organizations have access to affordable training in fundraising and community engagement. (Launched March 2021, with classes beginning in April)

*The CNPE Board of Directors approved this statement on March 11, 2021. The Board will review this statement quarterly and update it as needed. (Last reviewed 5/19/21).