This is a letter from a white individual seeking advice about what to do after getting burned out working on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for a large nonprofit. Around 60% of the nonprofit’s staff and 95% of its clients are people of color. She spends half of her time almost every day on DEI initiatives, such as attracting and retaining employees of color and addressing racist incidents in the workplace.
The administrative work of this person is the backbone that ensures employee-of-color initiatives get off the ground. But hearing about the priority given to people of color and how damaging white employees are made her feel like the organization no longer needs her. She spends many overtime hours on DEI-related tasks, but nobody cares to check how she’s doing or make sure she still wants to stay. These are taking a toll on her self-worth and self-esteem.