Challenging Racism

EIN: 81-2305195

Mission Statement

To empower and inspire people to disrupt racism one compassionate conversation at a time.

Program Summary

Challenging Racism (CR) is an Arlington-based 501(c)3 and our mission is to empower and inspire people to disrupt racism one compassionate conversation at a time. CR trains organizations and individuals to disrupt racism in themselves and their community through an intensive curriculum of facilitated conversations about race. Using stories, facts, and local history to dispel racial myths, CR teaches listening skills and how to hold the difficult conversations necessary to advance systems-level change. 

Challenging Racism is a ”small but mighty” non-profit organization, dedicated to advancing intersectional anti-racist work. We are Black-led, staffed entirely by women, and have a diverse Board. We are a hyper-local organization, based and working directly in our diverse but segregated communities across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) to address issues of inequity. 

We offer our signature racial equity trainings and DEI advisory services to a wide range of local partners including government, schools, non-profits, faith groups, theatre companies, and the private sector. We also train facilitators from these sectors to act as resources and change agents for the future. We aim to build the capacity of the organizations we engage with so that they can lead, sustain, and assess their own racial equity programs.

Impact Statement

Conflicts related to the injustices of race, racism, and racial inequities are in the news every day, and it is evident that most Americans lack racial literacy and conversational practice. Our workshops move participants from a belief that racism is the work of bad individuals and individual acts to an understanding that racism is systemic. Moreover, it is a system of advantage that all of us participate in whether we intend to or not, and we can work to eliminate their consequences by working for equity.

Our surveys reveal behavior change in our participants after they learn about the root causes of racial inequities and types of racial bias. Our participants report a greater likelihood of recognizing and interrupting harmful microaggressions, and such behavior change results in a safer, more inclusive work environments for BIPOC staff, and more compassionate, respectful interactions with the community. We have observed organizations adopt a racial equity lens with the language and confidence necessary to identify and challenge discriminatory practices, attract increased staff diversity, and successfully foster authentic relationships with BIPOC colleagues and beneficiaries.

What ways can the public get involved?

Challenging Racism enthusiastically welcomes volunteers to join us as we design and implement a range of fundraising and outreach activities to support racial equity and anti-racism. Our volunteers help plan events, build partnerships, outreach via social media, apply for grants, and design programs for organizations needing our conversations. All skills are needed and volunteers can choose to help with discrete activities or lead on racial equity initiatives. Interested volunteers can fill out our Volunteer Form on our website or contact us for more information at

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

Interest in our racial equity and DEI workshops has never been stronger. However, members of our larger community are left out because of tuition costs, which are required to sustain our organization, pay our professionally-trained racial equity facilitators, and fund the highest quality curriculum writing. 

Contributions make our conversations and workshops more available to every member of our community and more affordable to passionate, committed, and diverse participants.  Your donation enables local leaders and community members from diverse backgrounds to strengthen their facilitation and advocacy skills for racial equity and to go on to teach others and disrupt and dismantle systemic racism in our community.

Information provided March 2024