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Saturday, June 3, 2023

BIPOC ED Coalition Launches Sabbatical Program, Prioritizing Well-Being Of Black, Indigenous And People Of Color Nonprofit Leaders 

The BIPOC ED Coalition, a multicultural collaborative of 240+ nonprofit executive directors across Washington state, today announced a new Sabbatical for BIPOC Leaders program to support healing, renewal and capacity building for individuals and their organizations. The program provides up to $60,000 grants to each organization to cover salary and benefits, sabbatical expenses and organizational development assistance for leaders to take three-month sabbaticals.

“BIPOC leaders are at the forefront of taking care of our communities, while grappling with inadequate resources and the compounding effects of multigenerational racism,” said Victoria Santos, co-founder and co-executive director of the BIPOC ED Coalition. “Social indicators of health, education, housing and wealth are clear evidence that our societal systems are harming BIPOC folks.”

Healing and wellness are core to the mission of the BIPOC ED Coalition, which aims to nourish well-being and generate shared abundance. The new Sabbaticals for BIPOC Leaders program provides nonprofit executive directors and senior leaders the opportunity to step back from the challenges, exhaustion and stresses of work to deeply rest, cultivate healing and re-connect to their own vitality and balance. 

“In a culture rooted in white supremacy, prioritizing rest and renewal for BIPOC nonprofit leaders dismantles normalized oppression,” Santos said. 

The coalition recently published a paper, Sabbaticals for BIPOC Leaders: Capacity Building, Healing, Renewal, that makes the case for supporting sabbaticals, highlighting that overwork and lack of rest impedes productivity and negatively impacts people’s physical and mental health.

“Having to earn rest is a common narrative in our western culture,” said Jodi Nishioka, co-founder of the BIPOC ED Coalition, who recently took a three-month sabbatical from her executive director role at Communities Rise. “I believed that I needed to earn self-care through my competence at work. But the space, time and awakening away from my job allowed me to work on releasing this harmful belief.”

​​According to Creative Disruption: Sabbaticals for Capacity Building & Leadership Development in the Nonprofit Sector, commissioned by the Barr Foundation and the Durfee Foundation, sabbaticals are one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to prevent burnout from the stresses and demands of nonprofit leadership. And for BIPOC nonprofit leaders navigating racism and racist structures, they are especially critical.

Sabbaticals create opportunities to grow the capacity of organizations and develop additional leaders within them, fostering long-term organizational health and sustainability. They can prompt succession planning that strengthens organizations’ abilities to navigate transitions or unforeseen challenges. Sabbaticals also help shift workplace cultures to create better work-life balance, leading to improved employee satisfaction and performance.

“Sabbaticals are something we all can benefit from—individually, organizationally and on a societal level,” said Nishioka. “And, sabbaticals are especially vital for BIPOC nonprofit leaders. In light of historical and present-day inequities, it is a radically reparative act to support BIPOC changemakers to take sabbaticals and cultivate deep renewal.” 

More information, eligibility checklist and steps for how to apply are online.


The BIPOC ED Coalition is a multicultural, cross-sector collaborative of 240+ nonprofit executive directors working in solidarity to promote wellness and restore resources to Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and other People of Color communities. Through healing and advocacy initiatives, the coalition is recreating the fabric of society to nourish collective well-being and generate shared abundance for all.





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