Building Blocks for Equity – Establishing a Foundation

Establishing a Foundation  Establishing a Foundation

Increased equitable access and engagement begins with creating a solid foundation and internal structure that supports these efforts. Each organization needs to determine what equity means and why pursuing it is important. Much of this work involves identifying and removing barriers that limit a community’s full participation.

Resources and Tools  
Organizational self-assessments can help guide you to establishing a foundation. Which tool is right for you depends on a number of factors, such as your organization’s size, needs, and evaluation capacity.


Several available assessments and resources can help you get started:
  • Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist, Multicultural Institution illustrates and specifies the critical elements of an organization’s transformation from exclusive to fully inclusive.
  • Race Matters: Organizational Self-Assessment by The Annie E. Casey Foundation is an assessment designed for any organization that wants to raise organizational awareness and start focused conversations. The assessment results can contribute to the development of equity action plans and track organizational change.
  • The Coalition of Communities of Color and All Hands Raised have developed the Organizational Self-Assessment Related to Racial Equity to help organizations of any size evaluate their current practices and policies as they relate to racial equity.
  • Multnomah County’s Equity & Empowerment Lens is a quality improvement tool to guide organizations toward more equitable policies and programs at all levels.
  • The Diversity Toolkit from the Mississippi Arts Commission provides a questionnaire to help organizations self-assess their diversity and cultural proficiency and help identify activities and practices that are in place or need to be implemented.
An extended view of this building block is available in PDF format. LEARN MORE