Racial Equity for Culturally Specific Organizations: An Assets-Based Evidentiary Assessment

Ann Curry-Stevens


Culturally specific organizations have been missing out on the racial equity and cultural responsiveness initiatives that have been prominent in nonprofits and government, both due to the absence of relevant assessment tools, as well as discourses within these initiatives which have overlooked the sector of culturally specific organizations and subsequently provided a competitive advantage to culturally responsive organizations. This paper reports on the development of a culturally specific organizational assessment, and the results of a four-site pilot study of the tool. The assessment tool is based on the results of a Delphi and Consumer Voice two-part study into the assets of culturally specific organizations and their valuation by clients. Developed with the input of four organizations serving a range of communities of color, we have confirmed that the Successful Families Tool achieves its objectives (centering primarily on creating actionable insights and quality improvement plans). Additional benefits emerged from the pilot’s participants: that an evidence-base for the organization’s assets is initiated, that organization-wide identity is strengthened, that staff have been energized by relevant equity dialogues and relationship deepening, and that motivation for research and evaluation that captures the fullness of the organization’s impacts be undertaken. A sampling of tool questions and standards is included, along with listing of its ten domains.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v10i1.20952


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