An anti-racist organization is an organization that helps people of color become more empowered and has an equal platform and non-discriminatory practices within its organization. An anti-racist organization also doesn’t reflect a white-centric work culture, therefore creating a more open and inclusive environment. Organizations that take pride in inclusion and excluding discrimination tend to have a more comfortable and productive environment to work in. There are six different types of organizations as it pertains to diversity, equity & inclusion. Let’s examine them and see how they differ, this is also where you look at your organization from the outside and evaluate yourselves on where your organization is at and where it needs to be or you want it to be.
- An Exclusionary organization is where the organization openly maintains white group dominance, overt discrimination, and exclusion, as well as harassment & hostility. An exclusionary organization is not a safe environment for people of color.
- A Club organization is where the white dominant culture, policies, and procedures are viewed as the only right way to do things. This includes tokenizing people of color to fake the identity of an inclusive organization. The only people of color are those who are perceived as “right” in a stereotypical view in terms of credentials, attitudes, and behaviors.
- A Compliance organization is an org that plays the middle ground by having a ‘race neutral’ approach but maintains a white dominant group & culture. A compliance organization only allows a select number of people of color; they must assimilate to the organization’s white dominant culture.
- Affirming organizations are ones that move towards the right direction when it comes to inclusion and eliminating discrimination. They take a step towards celebrating and acknowledging other cultures outside of the dominant group. Affirming organizations make it a priority to recruit and hire people of color. These organizations also prioritize diversity and inclusion training for new and existing staff members.
- Redefining organizations make it their mission to hire, develop and retain people of color regardless of level. Redefining organizations also prioritize inclusion by creating safe spaces for conversations on race.
- Equitable organizations are fully committed and pride themselves on the contributions and the interests of their employees of color. They shed light on the many institutional and systemic barriers that contribute to oppression. They also take necessary measures to promote equity in the workplace.
All of these organizations exist on a spectrum. Where do you think your organization falls? Do you think your company is making strides and prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion? Or do you see opportunities for growth? If you see room for improvement, then the first thing you need to do is self-assess. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. Identify the opportunities and create a plan of action that will help change your culture.
Knowing how willing and open your staff is to make this change is a good first step in evaluating where your organization sits when it comes to DEI. Having a greater understanding of your organization allows you to see realistic strides, along with reasonable long term and short term adjustments that can be made to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace.