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Strengthening Nonprofits: Diversifying Nonprofit Boards: Are We Focusing on the Wrong Things?

Adar Ayira, Senior Director Strategy and Racial Equity, Associated Black Charities

Multiple reports assessing racial diversity of nonprofit boards in the region attest to lack of racial diversity being an on-going challenge – despite a shift of values and attitudes that may support increasing racial diversity. So, what is happening?  Why can’t nonprofit boards – despite our best intentions – recruit and keep people of color? And what can we learn from those boards that do?

Speaker: Adar Ayira, Senior Director Strategy and Racial Equity, Associated Black Charities.

A. Adar  Ayira is Senior Director, Strategy & Racial Equity at Associated Black Charities (ABC). ABC’s focus is to strengthen Maryland’s economy by broadening economic opportunities and access and reducing structural and institutional racialized barriers that impede the health and economic growth,  inclusion,  influence,  and well-being of African  Americans.  Associated  Black Charities is the region’s only African American philanthropic organization providing coordinated leadership on issues impacting Maryland’s communities.

Prior to her tenure with ABC, Adar was Founder -- and for 19 years Principal Consultant -- at Core Concepts, a nonprofit-specialist consulting firm that provided skills development; strategic planning; technical assistance; organizational, board, and program development; and project management for nonprofit organizations. Ms. Ayira is also an experienced IED (Interim Executive Director) in the field of Interim Executive Leadership, working with grassroots organizations to provide effective leadership during times of organizational transitions. At Associated Black Charities, her portfolio includes strategy development and implementation regarding educating and training in the policy and institutional realms regarding the impact of racialized structural barriers and the ways in which racializations and implicit biases operate in our workplaces -- and on the economic and societal benefits of working to eliminate them. Adar also provides nonprofit board presentations, facilitation, and executive coaching for board leadership. In addition, she also developed, and for more than 5 years managed curriculum and trainings for, ABC’s successful Board Pipeline Leadership Development Program (which has trained more than 175 Board Pipeline Professionals with more than 150 area nonprofits that recruit from the Board Pipeline).

For 20+ years, Adar has been a facilitator and trainer on racial equity and has provided presentations, facilitation, and trainings for nonprofit organizations, community groups, and individuals in the region, including Baltimore Integration Project, Community Foundation of Prince George’s County,  Deutsch Foundation’s “Moving MD Forward Network”, DHR-SSW, Humanim, Jews United for Justice (Jeremiah Fellowship), Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, Primary Care Coalition, The Baltimore Grassroots Criminal Justice Network, Kennedy-Krieger, Women of the World Conference, University of MD School of Social Work, Towson University, and Patterson Park Public Charter School, among others.

A founding member and Advisory Board Member of Baltimore Racial Justice Action – a network of Maryland professionals committed to the transformation of systems to achieve social and economic equity, with an emphasis on racial equity -- Adar also continues her work with them as Senior Facilitator/Consultant and a Trainer of their trainers. Adar also analyzes trends/manifestations of racism, intersectionalities, and their impacts on society.

The 2011 recipient of the YWCA Baltimore's Racial Justice Award, Adar is a popular racial equity speaker, presenter, frequent radio guest, panel moderator, and facilitator/trainer in nonprofit, business, community, and other forums. A Poet/Spoken Word Artist in the Baltimore-Washington area, she has been a featured performer at Center Stage, the Spotlight Theatre, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Maritime Museum, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, among other venues. Adar has also created and guided programming using poetry as a healing and empowerment tool for Catherine’s Hearth and for women residing at Jessup Correctional Institution.

She was a contributing author to the national teaching text “Lessons from ‘The Color of Fear’: Field Reports” (Volume IV), Baltimore Open City, and various poetry publications, as well as being a contributing blogger for Rooflines, the National Housing Institute’s Shelterforce blog. With degrees in Sociology and Public Communications, she has also worked in three major radio markets and was host of a popular public affairs show called “Public Notice” in the Washington DC market.


May 20, 2019

Location | Chesapeake Bay Foundation 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis MD 21403
Time | 9:00am to 10:30am
Questions | 4102801102

May 20 - 9:00AM


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