Why Are POC leaders Leaving Their Executive Director Jobs (and What To Do About It)
Executive directors/CEOs of color are leaving their positions and, as Vu Le puts it in a recent blog post, this is an "urgent issue" that "will have serious implications for our sector."
The fact that leaders of color are leaving is an urgent issue, but we’ve been boiled-frogging it. We all need to freak out about this because the more leaders of color we lose, and the more up-and-comers refuse to even take up leadership roles in the first place because they see all of these challenges, the less effective our sector will be. We need our leaders to look like the people we serve, or there’s no way we can effectively tackle systemic injustice.
From talking to leaders Le knows, and his own experiences, here are some of the reasons why leaders of color are leaving their positions:
- "The ED job is impossible for one person to handle without burning out"
- "Funders’ lack of trust is demoralizing"
- "The constant need to fundraise and lack of funding stability is exhausting"
- "Having to deal daily with racism, inequity, fragility, and unconscious bias wears you down"
- "Foundations must make big bets on organizations led by and serving communities of color"
- "White-led colleagues, please understand your power and privilege and be willing to give up some of it"
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