Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

Building Movement Project (BMP) will host a briefing to share the report findings from the just released Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap


This new report, the first in the Race to Lead series, is based on BMP's Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race survey of nonprofit professionals. Over 4,000 respondents answered questions about their current nonprofit job, interest in leading a nonprofit, training/supports, views of leadership, and personal background. They were also asked about their views on race and the nonprofit sector.

The report explores why people of color are still under-represented in nonprofit CEO/Executive Director positions. This report, the first in a series to be released over the next two years, compares people of color and white respondents’ background, aspirations to be leaders, training, and attitudes towards leadership.

Here’s a quick look at the findings:

  • It’s NOT about Differences in Background or Qualifications: People of color and white respondents have similar backgrounds in education, position, salary, and years working in the nonprofit sector .
  • It’s NOT about a Lack of Aspirations: People of color aspire to be leaders more than white respondents.
  • It IS the System: Respondents across race squarely identify the lack of people of color in top leadership roles as a structural problem for the nonprofit sector.

Please feel free to download the report and share the link – www.racetolead.org – widely.


Everyone - really, everyone in the nonprofit sector whether you are a CEO or volunteer leader, funder, consultant, staff member, advocate, or intermediary. 


Kara Bobroff is Navajo/Lakota and was raised in Albuquerque. She began her educational career teaching behaviorally disordered middle school students in Albuquerque. She served as Assistant Principal in APS at a low-income urban school for two years and for four years at a “Distinguished School” in Marin County, CA. As principal of Newcomb Middle School in 2003-2004, Kara worked with 250 Navajo students and seven different reservation communities in New Mexico. When she became Principal in 2003, Newcomb Middle School was recognized for its academic achievement by the local school board.

Kara was recently identified as one of the “Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” in the country and awarded a national Echoing Green Fellowship to establish NACA as one of the first urban academies to support language, culture, health and college preparation for youth. Through her work, NACA has been selected as the first “Collaborative Charter” in the state of New Mexico by the Albuquerque Public School District.

Kara received her Master’s in Special Education and an Ed.S in Educational Administration as a Danforth Scholar from the University of New Mexico. As a graduate of Albuquerque Public Schools and UNM, Kara has used her professional training and experience in public education to develop thoughtful curricula, rigorous academic standards and real partnerships with parents and communities. 

Frances Kunreuther co-directs the Building Movement Project, which works to strengthen U.S. nonprofits as sites of civic engagement and social change. She is co-author of two books, From the Ground Up: Grassroots Organizations Making Social Change (Cornell, 2006) and Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership (Jossey Bass, 2009). Frances was a senior fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University for five years and is currently affiliated with the Research Center for Leadership and Action at NYU where she also teaches. 

Ona Porter, MA President and CEO of Prosperity Works, develops and tests high impact strategies that build the opportunities, knowledge and relationships required for all New Mexicans to achieve economic security and prosperity. Ona is known for her powerful, no nonsense approach to problem solving and strategy development in business, education, health and human services. Her tenacity to empower individuals and organizations to name and create the environments that lead to success may be measured by her oft stated remark, "Don't tell me no, tell me how!"  She believes that, "working for what we do want instead of against what we don't want," allows individuals of diverse talents and perspectives to create and invest in high impact goals that change their lives.

Edward Tabet-Cubero currently serves as the Executive Director of the NM Center on Law and Poverty, which focuses on systemic change to improve the lives of vulnerable families in New Mexico. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the education and non-profit sectors. With a Master of Education from New Mexico State University, Mr. Tabet-Cubero has promoted educational equity for diverse learners, first as a classroom teacher in the colonias of southern NM, then award winning school administrator, district office administrator of migrant and bilingual education programs, dual language education consultant, non-profit administrator, and university instructor. His work also includes a variety of published articles, book chapters, and keynote addresses on topics ranging from instructional leadership to teacher evaluation, all with a racial equity lens. In 2014, he was selected as a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow where he is applying his skills in collaboration with a leadership cohort across a variety of sectors to improve outcomes for families in New Mexico. In his role as Secretary for the NM Coalition for the Majority, Mr. Tabet-Cubero has been called on by legislators to share his expertise regarding educational policy focused on diverse student populations. He is active in the community where he serves on various educational and non- profit boards all focused on improving outcomes for New Mexico children and their families. M.A.Ed in Bilingual Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University in 2003; B.A. in Foreign Languages and Latin American Studies from New Mexico State University in 1997.

Sean Thomas Breifeld, co-directs the Building Movement Project, with a special focus on BMP’s work on service and social change. Prior to joining the BMP staff, Sean spent a decade working in various roles at the Center for Community Change. At CCC, he developed training programs for grassroots leaders, worked in CCC’s communications and policy departments where he coordinated online and grassroots advocacy efforts, and lobbied on a range of issues, including immigration reform, transportation equity and anti-poverty programs. Sean holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Multicultural Studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.



July 18, 2017 9:00 AM   through   10:30 AM
Center for Nonprofit Excellence, United Way of Central New Mexico
2340 Alamo SE, 2nd Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87106
United States

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Phone: 505-247-3671

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