Vu Le & a Free Webinar

Vu Le & Erica Mills immediately after eating way too much vegan Thai food.











What are you doing on Wednesday, April 26 at 2pm Pacific? I ask because I’m going to be having a candid conversation with the one and only (and very hilarious) Vu Le and I’d love for you to join us.

In case you’ve been buried under a rock in the hinterlands of Siberia, Vu is one of the brightest stars in the nonprofit sector these days.

His blog–Nonprofit with Balls–is a must-read for everyone in the social sector. He’s the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps where they are on a mission to promote social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

Not that any of my webinars are scripted (as you likely know, me and scripts get along as well as me and podiums, which is to say not well at all…scripts and podiums make me feel hemmed in…eek!), but this one will be particularly free-ranging. In a good way.


You will likely hear us talk about:

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion…not just lip service
  • Using language to build trust
  • Hummus and unicorns and martinis
  • Grantee/grantmaker power dynamics
  • Capacity building: doing it and funding it

And a bunch of other stuff.

What I appreciate so much about Vu is his ability to infuse heady topics with belly laughter. Pure genius and goodness.

So sign yourself up. Then when the day/time arrive, kick back with your favorite mid-afternoon beverage and be prepared to laugh and learn.

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Language Lesson: Equity vs. Equality

Equity. Equality. These two words look so similar they could be related. Actually, they are. They both come from the same Latin root word “aequus” meaning “equal”. So, what’s the difference?

At their core, both equity and equality still involve the concept of “equal”. In equity, the outcome is equal. In equality, the means used is equal.

Confused? Don’t worry. This image helps spell it out.

Equality Equity

The image to the left is equality. The same thing (in this case, a crate to stand on) was given to each child.

The image right is equity. Each child received a different amount of crates (0-2), but the end result was that all three children had an equal view of the game.

A mistake many causes and organizations make in their writing (mission statements, value statements, grant proposals, donor appeals, etc.) is using equality when they really mean equity. Imagine an organization whose mission is to make quality education accessible to all school-age children in a community. Each child will have their own circumstances, and some will need the organization’s services much more than others. Some may not need it at all. This organization is creating equity, not equality.

In short, equality is sameness, whereas equity is fairness. Remember this the next time you write about your organization’s work. A few letters can change the meaning of your message.

What do you think? Are there circumstances in which an organization really means equality, and not equity?

Do you communicate as effectively as you think?


Do you communicate as effectively as you think?