I want to hug your neck. I’ve had the pleasure of working in the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades and I’ve faced the same conclusions. I have even had the great fortune of being frozen out of my judicial circuit by an all white “multi-disciplinary” team (which was really code for nothing except “multiplied” layers of varied white people in high places protecting their spots) where I was the only person to speak up for people of color. I lost the battle. It led me to determine there is no winning in this system. I left the sector years ago, and I have no regrets. I’ve spent many-a-nights sick, tossing and turning trying to figure out how these organization meant to serve persons of color won’t allow us to truly have a seat at the table. I’ve experienced every single bullet you noted.
On the flip side, I work at the federal level annually aiding in making decisions on which organizations should get funding. The issue now with POC organizations led my POC’s is that they don’t “speak the right language” or “tell their stories” good enough to get funded by our panels, which are primarily made up of these same women and men who formerly ran nonprofit organizations locally. POC’s will never win playing existing nonprofit sector game. It wasn’t designed for POC’s to run. Only to be a beneficiary of. I always advise POC’s to start their own orgs, learn the systems, then work them! Many who choose the alternative route (joining the gang) fail to realize before it’s too late that it’s a nothing more than a glorified social club for most white NPO leaders.
Thank you so much for making my heart leap sister! This article was amazing, outstanding and over due. I would love to share it with permission and credits of course. Keep fighting!