Background Information: the Industry Need for ARCC

In 2021, NPH sought deep stakeholder input on the current state of our affordable housing industry in the Bay Area when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We undertook multiple interviews with emerging and established Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leaders as well as seasoned executives in the C-Suites of affordable housing organizations. We sought to understand, from BIPOC leaders and their allies, what they saw as barriers that BIPOC face in their leadership and career growth, as well as the impact it has on our collective vision of homes for all. Here’s some of what we heard:

  • BIPOC leaders are already leading, yet often their work and leadership go unrecognized.
  • BIPOC leaders often find themselves in the uncomfortable position of naming the minor (and sometimes major) racist slights (microaggressions) directed at them and wish that their white senior executives had more skill speaking up in these areas.
  • BIPOC leaders are seriously considering leaving the field for lack of opportunities to move into more influential positions with better pay and benefits.
  • Many senior executives, including those who identify as white, are deeply committed to anti-racist leadership and could benefit from  targeted support on how to lead as a stronger ally.

Our takeaway: Leadership development isn’t an individual endeavor. It requires shifts from those currently in positions of power to re-examine how to share power in ways that foster authentic leadership across positions and throughout an organization. If you’re a BIPOC leader with a vision of transformation for yourself, your organization, and the field, or you’re an executive leader who is ready to lead differently, we’d love to have you in this program!