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August 29, 2022

Converge Offers a Free Racial and Intersectional Equity (R.I.S.E.) Board Matrix

Boards are the backbone of many organizations. A board must reflect the community an organization serves. Board membership also should be equitable and inclusive of considerable expertise, experiences, and demographics. 

Converge prides itself on providing multiple service streams including Board Development, which is rooted in racial and intersectional equity analysis and methodology.  

Why Converge Uses This Board Matrix 

After years of offering Board Development services, Converge designed a Board Composition and Recruitment Matrix to evaluate current and prospective board membership. This free tool incorporates our equity values, and is easy to use and effective for tracking purposes.

Converge identifies the following categories for consideration. On the horizontal axis: Current Members, Prospective Members, and Recruitment Priority. On the vertical axis: Skills/Competencies, Social/Relationship Capital, Qualities/Politics/Values, Personal Demographics, and Committee Membership.  

How You Can Use This Board Matrix

First, identify current board members with the horizontal axis. Then, use the vertical axis categories to determine the relevant qualifications. Refer to the example matrix to see the qualifications of Board Member A. 

In the Skills/Competencies category, Board Member A contributes legal, reproductive rights and justice knowledge, policy/advocacy, and public speaking skills. Continue down the column and fill out the necessary information for each category. 

For example, Board Member A identifies as a white woman between the ages of 30-49 who earns $175,000-$199,999. After completing the information for current board members, repeat the process with prospective board members. 

When accounting for demographic information, it is crucial that this information is self-identified by the board member. Also, allow for the selection of multiple identities at once. For example, board members can be Latinx and Black or Trans and woman. Remember, we want our board members to feel represented accurately and celebrated for all they bring to the table. 

Acting on Results

After analyzing the current results, share this information with board leadership. The board matrix can provide the opportunity to have conversations around the current governance culture. Board leadership can reflect on who is missing from the board, what skill sets they should invest in strengthening, and how they can recruit more inclusively. Revisit the mission and strategic direction of the organization and identify areas for racial and intersectional equity. 

Boards centered in R.I.S.E.: 

  • Make impactful decisions that are intentional, strategic, and inclusive about ensuring a diverse pool of member prospects. 
  • Conduct periodic analysis of R.I.S.E. across the organization and modify or enhance when and where appropriate. 
  • Develop and regularly review bylaws and other policies and procedures to ensure that the board and organization are demonstrating their equity commitments and values. 

Selecting board members that are reflective of the community and bring a diverse set of perspectives, experiences, and connections is necessary for the success of the organization. In acknowledging the importance of people power in organizations, Converge prioritizes intentional and equitable board development.  

Click here to download the RISE Board Matrix.