2020 Annual Report

2020 was a difficult year for all of us, but we had some highlights we want to share. Check out our annual report below or download the PDF version.

Race Forward 2020 Annual Report cover with many faces on digital screens.


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  • Facing Race had more than 4,000 attendees — our largest attendance to date.
  • Colorlines reached its highest readership in 6 years with 2.9 million pageviews and 2.2 million readers.
  • Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast concluded its first season with an Apple Top 50 podcast appearance and nearly 80,000 downloads.
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  • GARE membership increased by 100+ jurisdictions, bringing our current membership to more than 360 jurisdictions.
  • We developed GARE Foundations to increase member access to GARE’s training curriculum and to address the needs of jurisdictions new to racial equity work.
  • We created a $1 million fund for grassroots People of Color-led on-the-ground organizations, for distribution during 2021.
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We raised $18.3 million in contributed revenue from foundations, individuals, and businesses—an 85% increase over 2019.


Grants: $10,422,500
Individual Donations: $4,422,250
Business Donations: $2,924,250
Sponsorships: $615,250


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We responded to several crises at hand: Pandemic, Police Killings of People of Color, Trump Administration’s Executive Order to End Racial Equity Training

We provided communications, legal resources, and a toolkit to combat the Trump Executive Order threatening racial equity work.

We provided virtual space for local government racial equity leaders to:

  • share strategies for addressing racial inequities in the COVID pandemic, the economic crisis, and the criminal justice system.
  • focus on the values that guide our work for racial justice.
  • confront the harms racism produces.
  • work toward a multiracial democracy that advances racial equity.

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Through our Building Racial Equity and Organizing Racial Equity training, we trained more than 3,300 people and offered 59 sessions (mostly virtual), an increase from 15 in-person trainings in 2019.


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  • We launched the $1.8 million Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy. The Lab consists of 16 top immigrant justice leaders working to change the narrative around migration and immigration.
  • In partnership with 5 other organizations, we launched the Cultural New Deal, calling for an end to racial and cultural injustice and increased investments in arts and cultural ecosystems in communities of color. It was signed by more than 2,000 artists, advocates, and culture-bearers.
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Narrative, Arts, and Culture provided training on racial and cultural equity to nearly 1,000 individuals in hundreds of arts and culture organizations, including some of the largest and most influential arts organizations across the United States


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  • Facing Race pivoted to a virtual conference for 2020. We had 4,323 attendees—the highest conference attendance to date.
  • The keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. William Barber II, co-chair of The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, political activist, and author.
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  • Facing Race received a 9.7 out of 10 attendee approval rating.
  • The conference’s 3 plenaries and 45 breakout sessions featured many prominent racial justice leaders and activists.
  • A record number, 2,287, of attendees viewed the Race Flicks films.

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We introduced a new webinar series, #RaceAnd, to build awareness and analysis of racial justice issues and offered 5 events, reaching over 3,000 people.


#RaceAnd Pandemics

#RaceAnd Building a Movement with Minneapolis Organizers

#RaceAnd the Gender Binary

#RaceAnd Cannabis

#RaceAnd the Vote

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To support members, GARE:

  • Led year-long Advancing Racial Equity Cohorts with the participation of over 60 jurisdictions in six states.
  • Conducted 12 introductory workshops—Advancing Racial Equity: The Role of Government—to 615 participants across 170 jurisdictions in 33 states over the course of 8 weeks.
  • Launched rapid response sessions and a book club.
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We hosted Abolition in Our Time: A Gathering of Pacific Islander American Communities which centered the experiences and perspectives of those of Pacific Islander descent in partnership with Grassroots Asians Rising and Empowering Pacific Islander Communities and in collaboration with Mass Freedom.

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We co-facilitated a 5-part Racial Equity learning series in Monterey County, CA, featuring local organizers and residents who are leading for racial justice with bold solutions. More than 600 community members, local government officials, non-profit, business, and clergy leaders came together to deepen their understanding of the local impacts of structural racism and to identify how to more actively invest in community of color-driven solutions.


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  • We provided over $600,000 in pass through funding to support local organizers and $60,000 in mini grants to 26 grassroots organizations. These organizations are leading for energy democracy and racial justice.
  • We also offered space for network-building, learning, and collaboration between local groups and government.
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  • We led a project team of five national grassroots climate organizations to produce Seeds, Stories, Strategies, a 3-part web series for climate justice.
  • We distributed $100,000 in funds to families and communities of color to support targeted mutual aid efforts focused on emergency housing, food insecurity, and the barriers to virtual learning during the pandemic.

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We released a new report, Energy Democracy: Honoring the Past and Investing in a New Energy Democracy, that centers the leadership and solutions from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian and Pacific Islander community leaders. The report administered and analyzed 20 racial equity employee surveys for GARE member jurisdictions to assess and measure progress of the knowledge, skills, and experiences of jurisdiction employees related to race and equity.


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2020 Board Members:

Chair: Lori Bezahler
Vice Chair: Dianne Omi
Treasurer: LeeAnn Hall
Secretary: Scot Nakagawa

Members: Kavitha Mediratta, Christi Tran, Rodney Foxworth, Kevin Allis, ALetha Maybank, Ramon Ramirez, Ron Shiffman

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2020 Senior Leadership Team

President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines: Glenn Harris
Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships: Jeyn Levison
Senior Vice President of Programs: Julie Nelson
Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations: Genia Wright
Chief of Staff: Rachael DeCruz


Vice President of Institutional and Sectoral Change: Cathy Albisa
Vice President of Research: Dominique Apollon, Ph.D.
Vice President, Narrative, Arts and Culture: Jeff Chang
Vice President of Movement Capacity Building: Vina Kay
Vice President of Finance & Administration: Randall Oakley, SPHR