Expanding Leadership Initiative
The Community Foundation’s Expanding Leadership Initiative (ELI) is a priority for Foundation Trustees and reflects the Foundation’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.The Community Foundation acknowledges that diversity encompasses, but is not limited to, ethnicity, race, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic factors, physical and mental abilities and characteristics and philosophy. The Expanding Leadership Initiative focuses on addressing diversity and inclusiveness in organizations specifically focusing on issues of race and ethnicity. The Expanding Leadership Initiative will continue to expand programming to address and support organizations on their path to being comprehensively inclusive and representative of the community. ELI explores questions and answers to promoting authentic inclusiveness and addressing diversity issues, as they relate to Boulder County's nonprofit sector and engagement of communities of color.
The drastic difference between the mostly white makeup of our recognized leaders countywide and our diversifying population initiated our interest in increasing diversity at the highest leadership levels. As with many other areas of challenge, change has been slow to realize. In the 2007 TRENDS report, we reported that Boulder County had just one person of color serving in an elected public office, out of 95 total positions. In 2011, the situation does not look much better. Despite people of color representing close to one out of every four of us living in Boulder County, there is still only one person of color holding elected office.
The Community Foundation has been proud to serve Boulder County residents since 1991. Since our first grants in 1991, The Community Foundation has distributed more than $35 Million in Boulder County and beyond. In 2010, we awarded more than $5.1 million to nonprofits. But we are also very proud of the fact that our leadership includes more than providing grants. At the heart of the Expanding Leadership Program is our collective belief that as transformational leaders, we must work to help Boulder County leadership more appropriately reflect and represent the whole community.
We want to explore ways community members of color can share their experience and knowledge in these discussions. There are many talented people of color in the community, most of whom have lived here for a long time. They are not necessarily plugged into the non-profit governance structure which is currently being asked to respond to changing demographics and needs. The Community Foundation frequently fields calls from nonprofits asking for our recommendations to fill board and staff positions, and we have found our own pool of references stretched thin. With its focus on increasing diversity and inclusiveness in Boulder County leadership, our ELI program is one step toward combating the gaps in our community.
ELI is not currently accepting proposals but please check back regularly for updates.