Finish your Racial Equity Bridges

Some days I can’t believe this year is nearly over. Other days, it feels like I have lived 2 years in one. I want to share a practice that I’ve been using for the past couple of years that I think may help as you close out the year.

I love this idea by Pamela Slim of using this time of year to finish “half-built bridges”. I want you to think about what areas in your areas of work where you have started “a racial equity something,” but you have not finished it.


Do you have a bridge that, with a little intention and effort, can be completed by the end of 2021?


Let me give you an example of a “half-built bridge” in my own business.

I started thinking about my own bridges about 2 weeks ago. I ended up with a list of five projects that I started this year. These aren’t projects where I am at the beginning but have had fits and starts throughout the year. I looked at the list and asked myself, what can I finish with a little time and intentional effort? One of those projects is to change my company’s email list provider. Having already done the research and selected a provider months ago, all I need to do to complete the project is migrate my lists and set them up to use. A few hours of work, and I can cross this off my list and start 2022 with my new provider.


Here is what I would like you to do this week: List your unfinished racial equity projects for 2021. Then, block time in your calendar to finish each one.

In your work, it might be:

  • Enroll in a digital course to teach yourself a new skill
  • Reach out to a colleague in another organization that you’ve been meaning to connect with
  • Watch a webinar replay that you’ve been meaning to watch
  • Write a racial history for something you are working on


Whatever your bridge is — it is not starting something new. It’s a project that you have already started, that finishing would give your work a boost as 2021 closes.

I am not writing this from a space of pushing through to “finish strong” for finishing’s sake. Rather, I offer this strategy as a way to honor existing commitments.

Alright — finish those equity bridges.

Author: Joanna Shoffner Scott
Dr. Joanna Shoffner Scott is an experienced management consultant specializing in helping organizations realize their racial equity aspirations. She has consulted with more than 50 organizations in the public and private sectors. Clients and former clients include organizations from workforce development, research, public policy, social services, place-based community sector collaboratives, government agencies, and philanthropies. She is the founder and Principal of Stamey Street Consulting Group. Joanna helps organizations move forward who are stuck in their racial equity journey.

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