Most organizations that focus on issues of race and ethnicity in relation to their board of directors focus exclusively on diversity, that is to say, they are concerned only with who actually serves as a member of the board of directors. This is a very important part of creating an inclusive organization. However, it is not the only thing that matters. It is equally important that the organization focus on developing a culture that is respectful of diverse communities within the board of directors and that the board establishes a commitment to integrating values related to inclusiveness in its ongoing work.

Organizations that recruit board members of color but do not also establish a culture of inclusiveness within the board sometimes find that the board members of color leave prematurely and have less investment in the work of the organization because they do not find the experience personally satisfying. This section is designed to help you prevent this problem.

You will learn how to create an inclusive culture that helps you retain board members of color, how to establish a pipeline of individuals of color who can serve as members of the board of directors in the future, and how to recruit board members of color.

Complete Developing an Action Plan for Board of Directors.

Why Board Composition Matters

Setting Goals for a More Diverse and Inclusive Board

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Creating the Pipeline

Recruiting Board Members of Color

Retaining Board Members and Utilizing Exit Interviews

What To Do When a Potential Board Member Says “No”


Visit Related Links and search under "Board Diversity" for more on this topic.


Visit Discussion Forum Notes: April 14, 2011: Recruiting Board Members of Color



If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
     Margaret Mead