RFP for Organizational Equity Consultant

November 21, 2022

About Resource Media

Resource Media is a nonprofit communications organization that develops and implements strategies to build power for sustainable and equitable social change. We partner with advocates fighting for access to health, equity, justice, and sustainability, and bring our own set of communications principles to all we do. Our staff of 30 are located in offices across the country, bringing a wide variety of expertise in media relations, digital strategy, content creation, multicultural outreach, narrative development, and effective use of imagery, and we bring a commitment to equity and inclusion to our workplace and partnerships. 

Resource Media opened our doors in 1998 with a focus on communications around conservation issues. As we built on early successes, we came to realize that conservation causes are stronger when considered as part of a broader tapestry of issues. Today, we view these issues intersectionally, and our portfolio spreads across the environment, social justice, equity, community health and global development. Given the U.S.’s historic and ongoing abuses of power and changing demographics, it is both a moral and strategic imperative to imagine a stronger future through the lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Resource Media seeks to connect our team’s skills and experiences working with nonprofit partners, funders, and government agencies dedicated to conservation, justice, and community. 

Our challenge

Several years into our own official equity journey, we’ve made significant progress, but we know there is so much further to go. Our internal Equity Committee and POC Caucus continue to provide critical leadership in addressing equity challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. This leadership has always been provided within the pressure cooker of our day-to-day project work. Until recently, we have received no dedicated funding for our equity work, and therefore it has always been in competition with funded project work. As a result, it is very difficult to carve out the time and space for big-picture planning for our organization. 

We have established a strong base upon which to build, with a more inclusive culture, a more diverse staff and leadership, and increased experiences working on equity-oriented projects in partnership with marginalized communities. As we embrace the next phase of our equity journey with our new equity-oriented strategic plan, we are eager to engage in a deeper level of contemplation, feedback sharing, and ideation with our staff, our board, and our new executive director.

Our equity commitment

Resource Media staff believe equity and racial justice are cornerstones of progress toward a just and sustainable world. We fight institutional injustice in all its forms. Following more than eight years of dedicated work to tackle the impacts of operating in a white supremacist culture and become a far more inclusive organization, Resource Media has changed inside and out, and yet we recognize the work is never finished. 

We have moved to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in all our hiring and contracting decisions. As a result, our staff has gone from 90 percent white to majority people of color. We are a BIPOC-led and women-led organization with a majority-BIPOC executive team, a majority-BIPOC staff, a majority-BIPOC manager cohort, and a Board of Directors that is 40 percent BIPOC. Approximately one-third of our staff identifies as LGBTQ. Our commitment to this journey has transformed our internal culture and focused our practice on anchoring equity in all the work we do in the field along with how we as a team and organization operate as well. You can read more about our approach and experience in our Equity in Communications Practice summary.


What we’re looking for

Resource Media is looking for an equity consultant or consultant team for a long-term commitment who can provide vision, momentum, accountability, and compassion. As we navigate caring for and responding to the needs of a diverse staff, we want to design equity-based solutions that can be enacted throughout our organizational structure, and human-centric, perspective-rich solutions that can be implemented at individual, team, and organizational levels. We envision a day when all of our impact is measured through a racial justice and equity lens, yet we need help identifying where we can measure impact and how to implement these tools equitably across our organization. 

We are seeking an equity consultant well versed in the latest principles and practices of organizational equity to help lead us through regular care, maintenance, and inspiration of our equity journey. This consultant will provide and communicate consistent values and practices that aim toward relationship repair, mediation, and decision-making that impacts our organizational culture, including investment, hiring, policies and infrastructure. We are looking for the following core competencies: 

Consultant core competencies

Highly desired: 

  • Previous experience working with organizations dedicated to social change, power building, and/or movement building 
  • Familiarity with organizational structures that reduce workplace hierarchy and emphasize democratic, accessible, and transparent feedback loops 
  • Experience facilitating open, positive meetings and safe spaces that allow for various staff and board input to work together, ranging from vision, alignment and/or execution 
  • Expertise in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion not just from a personal perspective but an organizational one 
  • An ability to understand and propose ways that evaluation and accountability can translate into practices and policies that benefit staff who represent historically marginalized communities
  • Majority BIPOC representation, as well as LGBTQIA+ representation, with your core team working on this project 
  • A demonstrated ability to adjust, adapt, and customize working approaches to meet an organization where they are in their equity journey, and identify and provide recommendations for where there are areas of opportunity 
  • Experience with conflict resolution, mediation, and principles of restorative justice and collective care
  • Demonstrated knowledge of mental health, intergenerational trauma, and adverse childhood experiences, practiced at recognizing unhealthy interpersonal patterns that affect relationships, and communicating repair and healthy practices in ways that make people feel heard and understood 
  • High degree of emotional and contextual intelligence, and a deep understanding of the lives and experiences of living with marginalized identities 
  • Up-to-date and incisive understanding of intersectionality among race, class, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, and how to address and share these experiences for greater understanding amongst all staff, without tokenism or performative diversity 

Bonus points if you: 

  • Have an understanding of the landscape of major players in our universe of clients, funders, nonprofits, and community members working toward equity, policy change, and systems change, and/or the field of media and communications
  • Have an orientation towards accessibility for different types of adult learning styles and information absorption through your antiracist education facilitation experience

Timeline

We are seeking an ongoing consultant who will be paid monthly based on hours worked, or a regular monthly retainer. We are hoping that this consultant can be hired by the end of the first quarter of 2023. 

Budget

Resource Media has budgeted $50,000 per year for this work. 

Services and deliverables 

If you are selected, you will be expected to perform the following services and provide the following deliverables: 

  • Organize and facilitate orientation meetings, getting-to-know-you work, and process setup with key staff, including one-on-one interviews with staff of color
  • Work with RM’s equity committee to design an onboarding process for new staff and Board members that includes readings, videos, and/or trainings
  • Conduct research to gain an understanding of  RM and its context, position, and potential, which may include  review of existing materials including our equity strategic plan,  stakeholder surveys, and/or  a written memo that summarizes findings and provides recommendations
  • At least three facilitated sessions per year with all staff and other facilitated meetings with smaller groups, some based on affinity
  • Ongoing, scheduled meetings for staff groups such as caucuses, affinity groups and strategic plan committees
  • Development of impact measurement tools that can be implemented by Resource Media staff
  • Contract period is for over the course of a year with a strong desire for renewal year over year, following evaluation by Resource Media

Rubric/evaluation criteria

Resource Media will select a consultant based on the following criteria: 

  • Written description of qualifications and ability to  achieve progress, understanding, buy-in, and integrity with staff
  • Demonstrated knowledge and commitment to inclusion and anti-racism; you should demonstrate a facility in working with and applying core equity principles and concepts toward organizational growth and progress and be able to demonstrate your success in doing so with past projects 
  • Previous experience working with organizations in a similar capacity, with similar challenges, or engaging similar communities and working on related issues, with positive results
  • Experience engaging with the staff as a group and facilitating safe, trust-building conversations with staff and Board in a way that engages people in various positions and with varied learning needs
  • Demonstrates innovative, fresh thinking and inspiration in doing this work in partnership with Resource Media 

Application components 

An “About Me” sheet addressing the following questions: 

  • The theory, philosophy, or inspiration behind your approach, and why you believe in it
  • Your knowledge, skills, and relationships that you bring to this project, including dates of service, past/current clients, past/current positions held and lived experience that contribute to your expertise
  • Any other personal details or biographical information that contribute to your outlook on the world and your workin the equity space

In addition to your “About Me” sheet, please send: 

  • Case studies: provide descriptions of at least three of your past clients/projects that are applicable to this work (not exceeding two pages).
  • References: provide three professional references who consent to potentially being contacted to discuss your work with them.
  • Staffing: describe your plan for staffing this project, including the names of any other staff (other than yourself) or consultants, and please be sure to include bios of your core team on this project.
  • Budget: Describe your compensation structure (e.g. project-based or hourly), budget detail, including cost estimates for major milestones of work, hourly rates, and hard costs, if any.

Selection process

After a review of written proposals, our team may reach out with additional clarifying questions. We anticipate the finalist will be asked to attend one to two interviews held via Zoom. References will be reached by phone. 

Deadline: Please submit your applications no later than Dec. 31, 2022. We anticipate selecting the consultant within the first quarter of 2023.

Submit questions and/or applications to this RFP to info@resource-media.org with the subject line “RFP response: Equity Consultant.”