The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise is committed to educating leaders to use business knowledge, skills, and tools to address social and environmental challenges. The worldwide protests and Black Lives Matter movement have mobilized attention on the persistent problems of racial inequity that exist across America and in many countries. This movement has also highlighted the shared values and desire in our communities to advocate for social justice and an end to anti-Black violence, bias, and unequal treatment. In the United States, these racial divides are evident in education and health outcomes, income and wealth disparities, and the lack of representation across many spheres in society.
Social enterprise and business leaders should actively strive to be anti-racist in their own lives as well as within their organizations. This includes marshaling strategies, policies, people, and resources to more aggressively tackle the systemic racial inequities that exist in society, including within and across organizations. Our mission is integrally tied to training the next generation of effective social enterprise leaders. This means helping leaders to develop greater self-awareness of racism and its historical and systemic effects. It means providing spaces for deeper listening to voices of people who have been marginalized due to racism, and opportunities to practice and improve communication skills and have sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race. These are necessary conditions to help leaders to develop and implement a racial equity lens that can be infused in strategies and social justice initiatives at organizations, and for the constituencies that they serve. Centering this lens, to ensure these perspectives are not pushed to the margins, can help achieve inclusive and sustainable solutions that social enterprises are focused on achieving.
Whether you are working in business, public or the nonprofit sectors, are a social entrepreneur, sit on a nonprofit or company board, or are a volunteer, an intimate understanding of anti-racism, racial justice, and racial equity issues are critical first steps. It is our hope that these resources below will serve as a starting point to help you be an effective leader, ally, advocate, and change agent in any sector.
For business leaders and students interested in the intersection of race and the mass incarceration crisis in the United States, we also encourage you to engage in our ReEntry Acceleration Program (REAP). REAP has two main initiatives. The first involves training Columbia Business School MBA and EMBA students to teach business courses for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. The second initiative is to develop tools for potential employers and forums to dramatically improve post-incarceration employment and entrepreneurship. We also partner with Columbia University's Center for Justice on Justice Through Code, which aims to expand the pipeline of talent for career track employment in the tech sector.
Columbia Business School's Executive Education also offers an open enrollment course: Advancing Racial Equity: Harnessing the Power of Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations, that may be of interest to leaders and managers looking to overcome the barriers that organizations face in increasing diversity and racial equity, and to explore a range of solutions and hands-on tools for creating more inclusive organizations.
The center is actively working on integrating racial equity in courses, experiential learning programs, research, and outreach activities that we offer on campus and beyond. Please contact us if you have suggestions on resources, organizations, or tangible initiatives not covered below.
What Data and Research Exist on the Economic Impact of Racism in the United States?
- Economic Policy Institute on the pre-existing conditions of racism and inequality and the impact of the pandemic
- The Economist on how economic research documents black Americans’ struggle for equality, featuring research on the suppression of black political power by Columbia Univesrity Professor Suresh Naidu
- Historical Research on Black/White Disparities, curated by an economic historian
- New York Times visual data on the gaps between White and Black America
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation on the $8 trillion economic impact to the economy
What Does it Mean to be Anti-racist?
- Being Anti-racist (National Museum of African American History and Culture)
- How To Be An Anti-racist (Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and leading scholar of race and discriminatory policy in America)
- How We Arrived Here (Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative)
- Let's Get to the Root of Racial Injustice (TED Talk by Megan Ming Francis, political science professor)
- Racism Has a Cost for Everyone (TED Talk by Heather C. McGhee, public policy expert)
- 'White Fragility' (Dr. Robin DiAngelo, academic, lecturer, and author)
- Antiracist Resources for Human Services Organizations
- Anti-Racist Resource Guide: For anyone looking to broaden their understanding of anti-racism and get involved to combat racism, specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence.
- Civic Hall is a center for learning, collaboration, and technology for the public good. They have compiled the following useful resources on anti-racism:
- Columbia resources addressing racism:
- Economic Inequality & Equitable Growth - Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Resource hub for income inequality, which has deep intersections with race
- Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus
- Race/Related: A weekly newsletter from the New York Times that focuses on race, identity and culture
- Racial Justice Investing: Support racial equity and justice organizations
- 13th, by Ava DuVernay, a Netflix feature length film
Faculty Insights on Overcoming Racial Inequity
- How Diversity Makes Us Smarter, by Katherine Phillips, management professor
- Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Pains of Diversity: A Policy Perspective, by Adam Galinksy, Andrew Todd, and Astrid Hogan, management and psychology professors
- Stereotypes Harm Black Lives and Livelihoods, but Research Suggests Ways to Improve Things, with Modupe Akinola, management professor
- The Urgency of Intersectionality, TED talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor
- Why Diversity Programs Fail, by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, sociology professors
- 3 Myths Plus a Few Best Practices for Achieving Diversity, by Victoria Plaut, law professor
Additional Faculty Resources
- Toward a Racially Just Workplace, by Laura Morgan Roberts and Tony Mayo
- Leadership Book List, on race and other dimensions of diversity, recommended by Katherine Phillips
Career / Sector Areas
Corporate Responses, Commitments and Action
- Antiracism Statements (List of corporate statements on BLM, as well as a Business Roundtable statement that is updated daily)
- Billionaire Robert Smith ’94 Explains the 2% Solution to Structural Racism in America (Forbes, featuring Robert Smith ’94)
- Corporate America Agrees Black Lives Matter. What Comes Next? (New York Times)
- Corporate America Has Failed Black America (New York Times)
- JPMorgan Commits $30 Billion to Fight the Racial Wealth Gap (Axios) (Data: Fortune 500, Axios analysis of company statements, get the data)
- US Investors Demand Data in Fight Against Racial Discrimination (Financial Times)
- We're Entering the Age of Corporate Social Justice (HBR)
- 10 Commitments Companies Must Make to Advance Racial Justice with measurable goals and actions
- Give Blck exists to elevate all Black organizations in America and create an easy-to-use, comprehensive database to advance racial equity in giving.
- How The Philanthropy World Should Use This Moment To Actually Help Black People (Fast Company)
- New Fund Seeks to Put Racial Equity at the Center of Philanthropy (Triple Pundit)
- Progressive Donor Susan Sandler to Give $200 Million to Racial Justice Groups (The New York Times)
- Racial Equity In Philanthropy: Closing the Funding Gap (The Bridgespan Group)
Nonprofit and Public Management
- Race and Schools: The Need for Action (National Education Association)
- Race in Education | Black America (Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, author)
- Unequal Opportunity: Race and Education (Brookings)
- Digital Promise works at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, and technology developers to improve learning opportunities for all and close the digital learning gap.
- EdBuild brings common sense and fairness to the way states fund public schools.
- The Education Trust works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families.
- UrbEd advocates for fully-funded, safe, and healthy public schools in order to provide students with an equitable and quality education we deserve.
- Black Workers Face Two of the Most Lethal Preexisting Conditions for Coronavirus — Racism and Economic Inequality (Economic Policy Institute)
- COVID-19 Lays Bare How Racism Fuels Health Disparities Among Black People (STAT)
- Huge Racial Disparities Found in Deaths Linked to Pregnancy ((The New York Times)
- Race and Medicine: The Harm That Comes From Mistrust (The New York Times)
- Racism Is a Health Crisis. Why Aren’t We Treating It Like One? (Healthline)
- Research: Having a Black Doctor Led Black Men to Receive More Effective Care (HBR)
- Strong Children Wellness is an integrated health care delivery model for socially high-risk populations.
- Cartography: A Black Woman’s Response to Museums in the Time of Racial Uprising (Dr. Porchia Moore, museum critical race theorist)
- Four Black Artists on How Racism Corrodes the Theater World (The New York Times)
- Museums as White Spaces (WNYC)
- artEquity offers training and consulting services to individuals and organizations on creating and sustaining a culture of equity and inclusion through the arts and culture.
- Unchained Stories is a social impact production company and media consulting firm that is creating a more just world through the power of stories.
- We See You W.A.T is a collective of multi-generational, multi-disciplinary, early career, emerging and established artists, theater managers, executives, students, administrators, dramaturges and producers, addressing the scope and pervasiveness of anti-Blackness and racism in the American theater.
Community Development and Financial Inclusion
- Investment Crowdfunding as an Economic Development Tool (Crowdfund Mainstreet)
- The Case for Accelerating Financial Inclusion in Black Communities (Mckinsey)
- The Case for Reparations (Ta-Nehisi Coates, author and journalist, for The Atlantic)
- Trying to Correct Banking's Racial Imbalance (The New York Times)
- Why We Need Black-Owned Banks (NPR)
- Real Estate and Housing
- A 'Forgotten History' of How the US Government Segregated America (Fresh Air interview with author Richard Rothstein)
- Race for Profit: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on Housing Discrimination in America (Vox)
- The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods (Brookings)
- US African American Redress Network: Columbia and Howard University are developing a project that explores historic racial injustices in the United States and examines recent efforts to address these wrongs.
- ABFE promotes effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.
- Accion East makes small loans and provides technical assistance to immigrant or minority-owned small businesses; provides financial counseling at Single Stop sites throughout the city.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard believes that the industrial sector can and will flourish in New York, employing a diverse cross-section of New Yorkers in jobs that offer real career pathways.
- Community Resource Exchange (CRE), where Katie Leonberger ’08 is president and CEO, provides consulting services and professional development for social justice organizations.
- Local Civics, founded by Beverly Leon ’20, empowers students to be involved in their local communities and provides them with the digital resources and tools to grow into civic leaders.
- Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, where Justine Zinkin ’02 is CEO, provides financial-literacy training and financial services to residents of Washington Heights and provides one-on-one financial counseling at Single Stop sites throughout the city.
- The Bronx Community Relief Effort aims to raise $10 million to support effective, on-the-ground operations that are focused on meeting the most essential needs of the Bronx community, including filling gaps in public financing and broader grant programs.
- Venture Forward Now empowers and strengthens impact in the social sector through community building, professional development, advocacy, and innovation.
- We Act for Environmental Justice builds healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices.
- Beyond the Board Statement: How Can Boards Join the Movement for Racial Justice?
- The Awake to Woke to Work: Building A Race Equity Culture (Equity in the Center)
- Virtual Nonprofit Board Showcase — Social Justice Organizations (Tamer Center for Social Enterprise)
- Why Are We Still Struggling with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Nonprofit Governance? (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Racial Equity Investing
- An Investors' Guide to Investing for Racial Equity (NIA Impact Capital)
- HBCUvc is developing a new community of investors and innovators, rooting in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and extending to emerging professionals and fund managers.
- Getting Money off the Sidelines: A Starting List to Invest for Racial Equity (Bridgespan Social Impact)
- How Financial Markets Can Impact Social Justice (Forbes)
- Investing In and With Entrepreneurs and Leaders of Color (Mission Investors Exchange)
- Investing to Advance Racial Equity: Second Edition (Cornerstone Capital Group, founded by Erika Karp ’91)
- Racial Equity & Impact Investing (Mission Investors Exchange)
- Sustainable & Impact Investing: Racial Equity Investing (Glenmede)
- The Financial Activist Playbook for Supporting Black Lives (Medium)
- The Racial Wealth Gap in America: Asset Types Held by Race (Visual Capitalist)
- Blue Ridge Labs: Supports entrepreneurs, designers, and developers that build technology products aimed at helping low-income New Yorkers.
- Impact America Fund, founded by Kesha Cash ’10, makes early-stage investments in tech-driven businesses that create new frameworks of ownership and opportunity within marginalized communities.
- 1863 Ventures is a business development program designed to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and equity.
- Black American Startup Resource List: 200+ Accelerators, Incubators, Investors, and More (Founder Institute)
- Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellowship
- Robin Hood Foundation Launches New Initiative Aimed at Funding Nonprofits Run Only by People of Color (CNBC)
- The Case for Employee Ownership (Project Equity)
- Unlocked Futures Fund is an initiative launched in partnership by New Profit, FREEAMERICA, and Bank of America designed to unleash the expertise and insight of social entrepreneurs who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system.
White Savior Industrial Complex
- Development and Racism Ideology (Berkeley)
- The Aid Sector Must Do More to Tackle its White Supremacy Problem (The Guardian)
- The White-Savior Industrial Complex (The Atlantic)
- What Can We Do about the White Savior Complex? (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Climate Change and Sustainability
- Environmentalism's Racist History (The New Yorker)
- Racism Derails Our Attempts to Fight the Climate Crisis (WaPo)
- Which Racial/Ethnic Groups Care Most About Climate Change? (Yale)
- BlocPower, where Donnel Baird '13 is CEO, is a Brooklyn-based energy technology startup rapidly greening American cities. The organization is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gases and lowering utility rates for families in underserved communities.
- We Act for Environmental Justice empowers and organizes low-income people of color to build healthy communities for all.