Webinar: Lean into Disruption: Advancing Racial Equity Requires Challenging the Status Quo of White Culture

September 12, 2018 — 12:00 PM EST

Maggie Potapchuk

Gita Gulati-Partee

Mary Harrison







Engaging a foundation that has made the decision to advance racial equity can be fraught with challenges from the start, since it immediately disrupts the typical relationships, practices, and expectations between client and consultant. It begins with negotiating the scope of work – the client wants concrete deliverables and a predictable timeline. But racial equity is adaptive change – it will require changes to core beliefs, priorities, and habits, even ones that have contributed to past success – and deliverables are not always concrete nor timelines predictable. They depend on many unknowns, like the culture and appetite for change and risk-taking, the strengths and liabilities of current leadership, and past harms that must be addressed and repaired. Even foundations who sincerely want to engage in a racial equity change process don’t know what they don’t know – so they fall back on familiar expectations that better suit more technical processes and that reinforce white dominant culture characteristics. Some tell-tale signs include minimizing the discomfort to those holding power (“Will this be a safe process?”), narrow expectations of quantitative data (“What is the evidence that your approach will work?”), and an urgency for action without time for learning, analysis, and relationship building (“When will we see concrete results?”). The role of racial equity consultants is complicated – consistently holding up the mirror to white dominant culture practices while navigating them in order to build a successful relationship and make progress toward racial equity.

The webinar will include discussion between consultants Gita Gulati-Partee, OpenSource Leadership Strategies and Maggie Potapchuk, MP Associates and client Mary Harrison, formerly the Vice President of Programs at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Maggie and Gita will share their approach (and battle scars!) and Mary, who was one of their partners in a recent and ongoing client engagement, will share her perspective from the internal side of responding to consultants, as well as the dynamics that can occur when white culture is disrupted within the organization. There will be time for questions and answers as well as for participants to share their stories and lessons learned.

Register Today!


NNCG Members:  FREE
Non-Members: $55.00
2-webinar package*:  $100.00
3-webinar package*:  $135.00
*Purchase of a 2 or 3 webinar package allows the buyer to attend this plus additional NNCG webinar(s) for up to 1 year from purchase date.  Please email lori.jane@nncg.org with your additional selections.