For-profit

Racing To Equity

Website:

www.racingtoequity.org/

Location:

Seattle, Washington

Type:

For-profit DEI Consultancy

Founders:

Anita Garcia Morales, Bernardo Ruiz

Formation:

2015

Racing To Equity is a for-profit consulting group that was founded in 2015 by Anita Garcia Morales and Bernardo Ruiz. [1] It offers leadership training programs for school districts and other government and private institutions that draw on critical race theory principles. [2]

Racing To Equity incorporates critical race theory in its six-month leadership training program it operates and lists critical race theory as a “core component” of its training. [3] One of Racing To Equity’s “founding beliefs” is “if you are not actively involved in combating oppression, you are complicit.” [4]

Overview

Racing to Equity was formed in 2015 by Anita Garcia Morales and Bernardo Ruiz [5]  and lists nine employees on its website. [6] The group offers a six-month racial ideology-training program at its Transformational Leadership For Racial Equity Institute. [7] It also provides race-based “strategic planning” and “leadership development.” [8]

Leadership

Anita Garcia Morales is the co-founder and executive director of curriculum and instruction as well as the co-principal consultant. [9] Morales was a teacher with the Seattle Public Schools [10] and worked in numerous positions, including spending 35 years as an Equity, Race and Relations Specialist. [11]

Bernardo Ruiz is the co-founder, CEO, and co-principal consultant. [12] Ruiz spent 15 years in various administrative roles with the Seattle Public Schools. [13]

School District Work

In 2021, Racing To Equity released a report that stated racism existed “without a doubt” in the Surrey school district in British Columbia, Canada. [14] One of the problems noted in the report was “a lack of safe space to discuss experiences of racism and microaggression among” black and indigenous people of color. [15] Other signs of racism noted in the report were the mispronunciation of names and letters sent to the homes of English Language Learners whose families do not have children in that program. [16]

Brad Kenning cited Racing To Equity as a reason he was running to be on the Kent School Board in the state of Washington. [17] Kenning told the Kent Reporter in October 2021 that critical race theory was the most frequently asked question he had been asked as a candidate. [18] Kenning said that the school district was not transparent in telling the public that critical race theory was not being taught within the district, despite hiring Racing To Equity, which stated that critical race theory was a major component of its instructional lessons. [19]

Portraits of Indigenous People Controversy

The Schack Art Center in Everett, Washington named Bob Fink as its Artist of the Year in 2021. [20] Fink had a collection of portraits of indigenous people that was to be displayed, but the show was postponed in part because Fink, who is white, wanted to call his collection “Primitive Tribes: Now But for How Long?” [21] The Schack Art Center “balked” at calling people “primitive” and postponed the exhibit until 2022. [22]

Racing To Equity was working with the gallery at the time, and the gallery director said that Bernardo Ruiz had compared the exhibit to showing “monkeys in a zoo.” [23] Ruiz stated that his comment was taken out of context and that he told the gallery that “indigenous people are NOT monkeys in a zoo.” [24]

Ruiz asked the gallery to consider whether the tribal elders consented to be photographed and exhibited, whether Fink was an anthropologist who was aware of “how to work with tribes in a way that maintains their sovereignty and dignity,” and whether the tribes were paid. [25]

References

  1. “Anita Garcia Morales.” LinkedIn. Accessed Jan. 2, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anita-garcia-morales-a8167094/ ^
  2. Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  3. Racing To Equity. Transformational Leadership For Racial Equity Institute. Accessed Dec. 29, 2021. https://www.racingtoequity.org/transformational-leadership ^
  4. Racing To Equity. About Us. Accessed Jan. 1, 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  5. “Bernado Ruiz.” LinkedIn. Accessed Jan. 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardo-ruiz-673305196 ^
  6. Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16, 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  7. [1] Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  8. Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  9. Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  10. Racing To Equity. About Us. Accessed Jan. 1, 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  11. “Anita Garcia Morales.” LinkedIn. Accessed Jan. 2, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anita-garcia-morales-a8167094/ ^
  12. Racing To Equity. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.racingtoequity.org/about-us ^
  13. “Bernado Ruiz.” LinkedIn. Accessed Jan. 16, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernardo-ruiz-673305196 ^
  14. Lauren Collins. “Racism Exists ‘Without A Doubt’ In Surrey School District Superintendent Says Of Report Findings.” North Delta Reporter. Nov. 24, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.northdeltareporter.com/news/racism-exists-without-a-doubt-in-surrey-school-district-superintendent-says-of-report-findings/# ^
  15. Lauren Collins. “Racism Exists ‘Without A Doubt’ In Surrey School District Superintendent Says Of Report Findings.” North Delta Reporter. Nov. 24, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.northdeltareporter.com/news/racism-exists-without-a-doubt-in-surrey-school-district-superintendent-says-of-report-findings/# ^
  16. Lauren Collins. “Racism Exists ‘Without A Doubt’ In Surrey School District Superintendent Says Of Report Findings.” North Delta Reporter. Nov. 24, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.northdeltareporter.com/news/racism-exists-without-a-doubt-in-surrey-school-district-superintendent-says-of-report-findings/# ^
  17. Steve Hunter. “Q&A With Kent School Board Candidates Farah, Kenning.” Kent Reporter. Oct. 5, 2021. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.kentreporter.com/news/qa-with-kent-school-board-candidates-farah-kenning/ ^
  18. Steve Hunter. “Q&A With Kent School Board Candidates Farah, Kenning.” Kent Reporter. Oct. 5, 2021. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.kentreporter.com/news/qa-with-kent-school-board-candidates-farah-kenning/ ^
  19. Steve Hunter. “Q&A With Kent School Board Candidates Farah, Kenning.” Kent Reporter. Oct. 5, 2021. Accessed Jan. 16. 2022. https://www.kentreporter.com/news/qa-with-kent-school-board-candidates-farah-kenning/ ^
  20. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
  21. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
  22. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
  23. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
  24. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
  25. Sara Bruestle and Rachel Riley. “Unaware Of Sex Scandal, Schack Named Him Artist Of The Year.” Herald Net. Oct. 3, 2021. Accessed Jan. 10, 2022. https://www.heraldnet.com/news/unaware-of-sex-scandal-schack-named-him-artist-of-the-year/ ^
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