Racial Equity

The Appalachia Funders Network Steering Committee commits of 10% or more of the Networks’ annual budget towards racial equity. This dedicated funding will accelerate our collective work, learning, and focus on centering equity in the Equitable Appalachian Transition. As a member, you will have unprecedented access to deepening your personal and organizational understanding of racial equity and implementing that learning. 

Spearheading this work will be Dr. Akuoma Nwadike of Inclusivity Education. Dr. Nwadike is a scholar and reacher-practitioner dedicated to Liberation through increasing Inclusivity. Dr. Nwadike uses scholarship, research-based best practices and originally designed frameworks to advocate for, design, implement, and measure Inclusivity development.

Current Work for Members

  • Listen & Learn Sessions (April-June 2021): 2-hour synchronous sessions focused on scholarly frameworks—always intertwined with Liberation Theory—that, when applied, move us towards more liberatory thinking and living. Time is split between receiving direct instruction, engaging in reflection and/or discussion, and beginning to apply processes based on the learning. Listen & Learns emphasize that work will not be done by the end of the sessions, always including post-session work and tools to continue personal and organizational journeys towards Liberation. 
  • Anti-Racist Development Course (Fall 2021): Project-based learning DEI course experience that will use Critical Race Theory, Identity Development Theory, and Allyship and Accompliceship working groups to foster anti-racist leadership development. This more in-depth work will be conducted in small group cohorts on a semi-monthly basis.
  • Inclusivity Appraisal and Implementation Cohort (2022): In-depth cohort dedicated to improving their internal policies/procedures, measuring impact more effectively, and funding more equitably. Activities include an Inclusivity Appraisal and an Individualized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Professional Development Plans. In addition, cohort members participate in monthly peer-to-peer learning calls with each other at a deep level.

Upcoming Work for Members

  • Lecture and Lab Series (fall 2022, dates tbd)--3 Sessions:
    1. A Liberatory Intro to Anti-Racism - Explore how identify each of our roles--as individuals and within our organizations--within established inequitable systems. Learn the foundations of the systems aligned to Liberation Theory.
    2. Liberation Theory Meets Organizational Culture - Hone the critical consciousness required to interrogate and address organizational cultural development, the socialization required, and the cultural gaps within.
    3. Cycle of Liberation Development - Combine ecological systems theory with liberation theory to develop one’s critical consciousness towards upholding and promoting anti-racism. Deconstruct intersectional socialization to reconstruct it centered in critical transformation.

You can read more about the current Network plan by viewing these slides

Stay tuned for more details and registration for the fall 2022 offerings. We invite you to consider including others within your organization to participate, beyond those individuals currently active with AFN. This could include new staff, board members, volunteers and operations staff.