Cascade Public Media


  • Ruth Sessler Bernstein Pepperdine University
  • Tony Aspin University of Washington Tacoma



equity and inclusion, nonprofits, Board of Directors, Leadership, Theory of Action, Institutional Theory, Framework for Inclusive Interactions


This case study focuses on Cascade Public Media (CPM), a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire a smarter world through public broadcasting, which chose to deliberately change their organizational and board culture to be more equitable and inclusive. In this case, students and practitioners will learn the importance of adopting diversity, equity, and inclusion to better serve their audience and improve board and organizational performance. CPM, using careful and deliberate actions, was able to address systemic injustices and inequities within their board of directors. Over a multi-year period, the CPM board was able to build an accountability-driven strategic framework that brought an equity lens to all aspects of governance. We introduce two theoretical frameworks—Institutional Theory (Powell and DiMaggio, 1991) and Inclusive Interactions Framework (Bernstein, Salipante, & Weisinger, 2022)—as a means of highlighting the imperative of adopting actionable practices designed to transform board culture, power dynamics, policies, and structures to generate impactful results. The case is designed for undergraduates, graduates, and DEI and governance practitioners.





Governance Case Studies by ARNOVA Governance Section and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management