Lauren Samblanet published What We're Reading on Racial Equity, Justice, and Liberation in Funder Resources 2022-01-31 10:30:08 -0500
When we named racial equity as a priority in our strategic plan, we also named it a value to start our own internal learning journey as an organization and as individuals. Starting in 2019, each month, we feature a "What We're Reading" section in our Member News that highlights what people in the Funders Together network are reading to expand their understanding of racial equity. This page is an archive of past articles, blog posts, and books that were featured in past editions of the FTEH Member News. We hope this will spur inspiration for your personal or organizational racial equity work and that you'll learn alongside us.
What We're Reading: Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto by Tricia Hersey
Who's Reading It: Tia Smith, Director of Membership and Programs, Funders Together to End Homelessness
Rest is resistance is not just a call to rest. It is a call back to self, a call to community, and a call to our humanity. This self-proclaimed manifesto begins with a series of affirmations: “Your body is a site of liberation. It doesn't belong to capitalism. Love your body. Rest your body. Move your body. Hold your body.”
As I reflect on our new strategic framework that includes our call to organization wellness and "love and disruption," I feel challenged. I feel challenged to accept rest as a birthright and a necessary tool for liberation and justice - not a time to be earned. The book calls us to rest as a deliberate action, or inaction in some instances. It offers us an opportunity to be fully present instead of detaching into task lists, to tune into our inherent knowing, and to embrace rest as a portal for liberation.
These principles remain: "Rest as imagination, pause, awe, stillness, joy, liberation, space to refrain." I invite you to join me as I linger in these new found truths.
What We're Reading: A Call to Attention Liberation: To Build Abundant Justice, Let’s Focus on What Matters by adrienne maree brown
Who's Reading It: Jason Satterfield, Executive Director, Arlene and Michael Rosen Foundation
Recently, members of the California Homelessness & Housing Policy Funders Network read an article by adrienne maree brown on principled struggle. Principled struggle is a powerful, and challenging, idea that asks us to become more self-aware, examining our thoughts, feelings, and motivations while working in coalition with others. When engaging in principled struggle, we may not feel comfortable AND we may also realize that a particular meeting table is not the place to attempt to address that discomfort. Instead, we might choose to seek deeper understanding of those we work with, engaging with thoughtfulness and compassion, rather than attempting to convince others (and maybe ourselves) that we are right.
White dominant culture taught me to see interpersonal conflict as problematic. Historically, I have sought to avoid conflict all together or attempted to silence people with whom I disagree. But lately I’ve begun to try something new: viewing disagreement as an opportunity to deepen connection as part of the work towards justice and liberation.
Through the lens of principled struggle, I am becoming more authentically open to other points of view and seek opportunities to co-create something with others that I couldn’t necessarily see or imagine before we started. And what a gift that has been.
What We're Reading: The Fight to Redefine Racism by Kelefa Sanneh
Who's Reading It: Foundations for Racial Equity participants
Earlier this month, Foundations for Racial Equity met in person for the first time as a cohort. As part of this convening, participants read this piece in preparation for a training on white dominant culture, led by Jonathan Lykes and Tashira Halyard of Liberation House. We encourage you to read this piece and reflect on the question: What are the strengths and challenges of conceptualizing “racist” as a simple descriptive rather than a pejorative?
What We're Reading: 2022 Funders Institute Resources
Who's Reading It: Funders Together Staff
During our 2022 Funders Institute this week, our sessions covered a variety of topics including connecting narrative change and policy efforts, alternatives to policing in our vision for housing justice, authentic collaboration with people with lived experience, and cross-sector engagement for youth homelessness policy wins. In the next few weeks, we will be sharing out learnings, resources, and recordings from our Funders Institute. In the meantime, here are a few resources mentioned during the sessions that staff are reading and sitting with after the many great thought-provoking conversations throughout the week:
- A Way Home America's A New Deal to End Youth Homelessness
- Washington State Lived Experience Coalition
- What America Believes About Homelessness: Barriers to Progress
- A Participatory Evaluation of the Housing Justice Narrative Fellowship
- Under One Roof: Building an Abolitionist Approach to Housing Justice
- 'CAHOOTS': How Social Workers And Police Share Responsibilities In Eugene, Oregon
What We're Reading: The Alternative to Police That is Proven to Reduce Violence
Who's Reading It: Michael Durham, Funders Together Director of Networks
Mother Jones’ recent article The Alternative to Police That Is Proven to Reduce Violence follows San Francisco’s Street Crisis Response Team, one result of dozens of jurisdictions across the country that looked to Oregon’s CAHOOTS model for solutions to police violence after George Floyd’s murder. The violence to which the title alludes is not crime, but rather the harm and deadliness a 911 call can result in, especially threatening Black people, who are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people. The article recognizes that the most effective way to reduce police violence is to minimize interactions with law enforcement, regardless of whether police serve any social good.
Lest the dots go unconnected, alternatives to policing are necessary in pursuit of both housing and racial justice: policing does little to keep communities safe, as it claims to, and instead embroils people without homes in cycles of traumatization, criminal-legal-system involvement, and prolonged homelessness – cycles that intentionally and disproportionately oppress Black and brown people. While couched as a program addressing public safety and behavioral health, 60% of CAHOOTS clients are people without homes.
The article understandably dwells with the obstacles San Francisco’s and others’ CAHOOTS-like programs have encountered, but that should not distract from the rare glimmer of hope it uplifts: options that benefit everyone exist.
What We're Reading: Homelessness Is a Housing and Racism Problem
Who's Reading It: Lauren Bennett, Funders Together Director of Communications & Policy
In this article, Bill Pitkin synthesizes research from a recent book, Homelessness is a Housing Problem, and rightly calls in the need to name and evaluate how structural racism has and continues to contribute to homelessness and housing insecurity. Without doing so, the three recommendations outlined in the book will not only miss the mark on ending homelessness, but exacerbate racial disparities.
Bill points out: "Additional resources and greater coordination across systems supported by a better understanding of homelessness as a housing problem are all important, but unless they are accompanied by systems, policies, and practices to redress historical racism, they will likely reinforce racial disparities, not repair them." He then goes on to offer how the movement can form a pathway to racial justice through housing justice.
Who's Reading It: Funders Together's Foundations for Racial Equity cohort
Native communities have been severely underfunded by both government and private philanthropy. In fact, just 0.1 percent of philanthropic giving in Colorado was awarded to Native American community organization. Recognizing this Funders Together member, The Colorado Health Foundation launched a new initiative to address this underinvestment by providing a $1.5 million grant to the First Nations Development Institute. This grant will support the creation of a Native American Fund for Health Equity to support Native America community-based organizations who are advancing health equity for Native Americans in Colorado. The initiative is an example of how philanthropy can shift its power to create pathways to advance justice and liberation.
Sean Dollard, Program Officer at the Colorado Health Foundation and a member of Foundation for Racial Equity (FRE) shared that he sees this initiative as a direct result "of being steeped in justice-centered work within Foundations for Racial Equity. This deferred-power pathway to advance Native sovereignty—though not specifically centered on housing—was only possible from internal learning and folks’ I’ve learned from within the FRE cohort."
What We're Reading: Sustaining Support for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Don Chen, President of Surdna Foundation
Who's Reading It: Stephanie Chan, Chief Strategy Officer at Funders Together
On the one year anniversary of the murders of eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian, Don Chen, President of the Surdna Foundation, writes that one of his top priorities is to "promote multi-racial solidarity, as well as solidarity with trans people, individuals experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, and other members of our communities.
Like Don, I am also working to do my part to address the AAPI community's short term needs through co-chairing a local AAPI giving circle that has focused its grantmaking on anti-Asian racism and cross-racial solidarity, as well as tackling structural root causes of injustice through my work at Funders Together. It's been helpful to find ways to meet immediate needs while working on long-term structural change. If you are finding ways to do both, I'd love to hear about it.
Who's Reading It: Funders Together Staff
Our partners at True Colors United recently released their Racial Equity Toolkit. It was designed through the lens of youth homelessness but learnings in this toolkit can "apply to all individuals from all sectors, because no American system or institution is exempt from its history of racial inequity." The intersectional approach True Colors United takes in its work and within this guide is critical to understanding and reconciling how we move through and operate in systems that are designed to further oppress people and communities who have been historically marginalized. The toolkit guides us through the history of anti-Blackness in our housing and homelessness systems as well as its present day forms, and provides concrete actions our organizations and communities can take to dismantle white supremacy, including celebrating and supporting Black joy.
What We're Reading: The Lightmaker's Manifesto - How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy by Karen Walrond
Who's Reading It: Katie Mulcahy, The Owens Foundation
Being an advocate can bring us great joy, but it can also lead to emotional burn out. Over the holidays I read this book, which re-ignited my passion and optimism for advocacy and underscored the importance of self-care in this line of work. My personal favorite exercise was writing my very own “Spark” statement or personal mission statement, and in January I had an opportunity to lead this exercise with my peers in Foundations for Racial Equity.
“By unearthing our passions and gifts, we learn how to joyfully advocate for justice, peace, and liberation. We learn how to become makers of light.”- Karen Walrond
o. This is the only America some of us know."
Lauren Samblanet published Announcing the participants in Foundations for Racial Equity in Blog 2021-04-29 09:59:30 -0400
Learning with others and building relationships is at the heart of creating change. Funders Together is excited to announce the thirty funders in our second Foundations for Racial Equity community of practice who will work together to advance racial equity in their homelessness and housing work.
Lauren Samblanet published Giving for Housing and Homelessness in In the News 2021-04-27 15:55:29 -0400
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Housing Policies and Partnerships Rooted in Justice in Blog 2021-04-20 10:26:43 -0400
"When all is said and done, I hope we use this as an opportunity to really imagine the things we thought were impossible that are actually possible." -- Jeremie Greer, Executive Director of Liberation in a Generation
Membership & Program Coordinator
Myassa is the Membership and Program Coordinator. She gained her administrative and coordination skills working in various sectors including the school system, government agencies and property management (to name a few). She first experienced working with nonprofit organizations in 2008 when she interned with a grant organization at The Executive Office of The Mayor. This sparked a passion within her to become more involved with human rights especially in regard to women’s empowerment, youth and child development and racial equity. She is currently building a women’s support group that promotes positive relationships between women, community outreach and personal development.
She is a DC Native. She enjoys spending time with her children and close friends and creative outlets like painting, singing, tattooing and writing.
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Plenary Recording: A New Deal to End Youth Homelessness in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-08 10:25:06 -0400
Ending youth and young adult homelessness will require transformation and re-orientation toward justice in the nation’s major systems serving young people—systems currently rooted in structural racism. The New Deal to End Youth Homelessness is a federal policy proposal that offers a roadmap to transform how young people, particularly Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ young people, are supported in our society.
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Pop-Ups in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-08 10:24:58 -0400
“Pop-ups” are a way for our network to quickly hear work that philanthropy and our homelessness and housing partners are engaged in across the country. These were brief, 5-minute presentations designed to share information and invite follow-up conversations after the program is over.
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Breakout A2: Supporting Community-Led Work and a Vision for Change in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-08 10:24:40 -0400
Philanthropy has been having more and more conversations about building relationships and trust, funding grassroots organizing, and shifting power to communities and people to get us closer toward equity and justice. Incrementally more and more funders are starting to shift their strategies and grantmaking to do this, but we also know that this work, while crucial, is also not easy.
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Breakout A1: Mobilizing Philanthropy at the Local Level to Advance Housing Policy in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-08 10:24:27 -0400
2021 Funders Forum: Breakout A1: Mobilizing Philanthropy at the Local Level to Advance Housing Policy
Local policy and advocacy efforts are critical to implementing policies and processes that will support people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. We know that funders all across the country are working together locally and are increasingly engaging in policy and advocacy.
Lauren Samblanet published 2021 Funders Forum: Plenary Recording: Advancing a National Policy Agenda for Housing Justice in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-08 10:22:42 -0400
With a new presidential administration in office, housing and homelessness advocates have new opportunities to push for policies and processes rooted in evidence and justice. To kick off this year’s Funders Forum, national homelessness and housing leaders discussed their top policy priorities and how the work happening in local communities can both support this national advocacy and be informed by it.
Lauren Samblanet published Funder Call Recording: California YIMBY's Housing Working Group in Webinar Recordings 2021-04-01 17:20:22 -0400
FTEH and California YIMBY hosted a briefing to introduce funders to Black and Latinx led/serving grassroots organizations that want to work deeper in housing affordability issues and center racial equity in the process. These are organizations with political influence, but they are not (yet) engaged in policy-making in Sacramento.
Lauren Samblanet published Health System Funders for Housing Justice: A New Network to Bridge Health & Housing in Blog 2021-03-04 11:32:04 -0500
Nobody can solve homelessness on their own. But if we work together—health care providers, government agencies, nonprofits that provide needed services, and insurance payors – we can become an outstretched hand to help people experiencing homelessness and prevent others who are struggling with housing instability.Read more
Lauren Samblanet published United Way of Fresno and Madera Counties in Member Profiles 2021-02-22 16:17:01 -0500
4949 East Kings Canyon Road
Fresno, CA 93727-3812
President and CEO
Overall, our goal at United Way is to mobilize the caring power of community to advance the common good of our residents here in Fresno and Madera Counties. We know that together, we can make a lasting impact in our neighborhoods, as well as the world at large.
Lauren Samblanet published Thank you for registering for the 2021 Virtual Funders Forum 2021-01-12 13:06:29 -0500
Thank you so much for registering for 2021 Virtual Funders Forum. You will receive you confirmation/receipt email shortly.
You will receive your unique link to join the Funders Forum from Zoom by March 8th. This email will also contain options to create a calendar reminder for yourself. If you do not receive your link to join the Zoom meeting by March 8th, please email Lauren Samblanet.
Transfers and Cancelations
Transferring Your Registration
If you can no longer attend the Funders Forum and would like to transfer your entire registration to a colleague, please email Lauren Samblanet. We will accommodate transfer requests through 1pm ET on Monday, March 22, 2021.
Please note that this option is only for transferring your whole registration to a colleague. If you can only attend part of the Funders Forum and wish for a colleague to also attend, they will need to have their own separate registration.
Canceling Your Registration
Because we do not need to factor in space and food costs for this virtual Funders Forum, we are able to have a more lenient cancelation and refund policy for this event. We will accept registration refund requests through Friday, March 19 at 11:59 pm ET. There will be no partial refunds.
In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions to Stephanie Chan at [email protected]
Lauren Samblanet published Funder Call Recording: Engaging Funder Networks and Collaboratives in Policy and Advocacy in Webinar Recordings 2020-12-18 10:34:11 -0500
Funder networks and collaboratives provide the opportunity for philanthropy to create a greater impact in communities through advocacy and policy. However, when each foundation has its own advocacy priorities, it can be difficult to create a common agenda for the funder network or collaborative.
The Health System Funders for Housing Justice is generously supported by CommonSpirit Health.
During COVID, we have seen how important housing is to allow people to safely social distance from others and practice safe hygiene activities, such as handwashing, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Given that an analysis on unemployment projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness, it will take coordinated, collaborative efforts to prevent people from becoming homeless, to support the healthcare needs of people currently experiencing homelessness, and to move people experiencing homelessness into safe, stable housing.
Funders Together to End Homelessness, with the generous support of CommonSpirit Health, is launching the Health System Funders for Housing Justice, which will center on the inextricable link between healthcare and homelessness systems and the belief that housing is healthcare.
Health System Funders for Housing Justice participants will:
- Map out and prioritize opportunities for health systems to have an impact on the homelessness system at state and national levels
- Create an action agenda for the network that includes investment opportunities, advocacy and policy priorities, and partnership recommendations
- Build trust and a structure among participants for sustained collaboration after Funders Together’s facilitation formally ends
Who should participate?
This network is open to health systems interested in coordinating resources and strategies to better prevent and end homelessness. Individual participants must meet the following criteria:
- Believe that housing is healthcare and understand how homelessness and housing instability affect health outcomes.
- Have positional authority in their organization to direct or influence how investments are made at a regional or national level.
- Have positional authority in their organization to engage in or direct the engagement of policy and advocacy activities.
- Be able and willing to meet the participant expectations outlined below.
The success of this community of practice depends on the full commitment of each participant. While we understand that conflicts will always arise, we also hope participants will commit to:
- Participating in a pre-survey, an intake interview, and other periodic check-in calls with facilitators.
- Attending monthly videoconference meetings and biannual virtual convenings.
- Sharing and learning in real time with peers and colleagues.
How to Join
If you are interested in joining the Health System Funders for Housing Justice or have any questions about the network, please reach out to Michael Durham at [email protected].
Lauren Samblanet published United Way of Ventura County in Member Profiles 2020-11-02 17:45:26 -0500
702 County Square Drive, Suite 100
Ventura, CA 93003
President & CEO
To improve lives by inspiring and mobilizing the caring power and resources of our community.
Lauren Samblanet published Voices for Justice In the Movement to End Homelessness in Funder Resources 2020-10-28 14:06:34 -0400
As part of our Commitment to Racial Equity and in light of the racial justice awakening in this country, Funders Together is sharing statements, articles, and other resources that highlight the voices of Black, Indigenous, and other leaders of color in the fields of philanthropy, homelessness, and intersecting systems. While it’s important for white leaders to speak up, we can further our commitments to racial equity by listening to, learning from, and incorporating the recommendations of BIPOC leadership into not only our grantmaking but also into the structures of our organizations.
Funders Together features these statements in bi-monthly emails. To be added to that mailing list, please email Lauren Bennett at [email protected]. These emails are only available for members of Funders Together, private funders, United Ways, corporate giving programs, and philanthropy-serving organizations.
This page will be continually updated to include each statement that we highlight.
In their opinion piece in Blavity, Marc Dones, CEO of the King Country Regional Homelessness Authority, affirms that racial justice cannot become reality until we attain housing justice and makes the truthful and historical case why that is.
Marisol Bello, Director of the Housing Narrative Lab, penned a blog post making the case around why narrative work is important if we want to achieve housing justice. The Housing Narrative Lab was created to shift narratives around who experiences homelessness and why, leading with equity and justice in all its efforts.
In the spirit of Black History Month, it is important to name a crucial but all too often overlooked aspect of racial justice and liberation: Black Joy. Author Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts has set out to encourage the Black community to embrace their joy and celebrate it as a form of power for racial justice. Black joy is essential to achieving transformational change and liberation.
Nikole Hannah-Jones released a statement about her decision to decline a tenure offer at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Mimi Fox Melton, CEO of Code2040, wrote a series of tweets in response to Hannah-Jones's statement that demonstrate how philanthropy perpetuates harm through control and paternalism.
Tying together his emotions that stemmed from the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial to the larger social injustices that deepen those feelings, Bobby Watts, CEO of National Health Care for the Homeless Council, clarifies the need for a true reckoning with race in the U.S. in his recent statement, Tears, Relief, Anger.
In February, philanthropic organizations in California launched the Black Freedom Fund. This $100 million fund, co-created with Black leaders and organizers, provides resources to Black-led power-building organizations over the next five years. Shimica Gaskins, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-California, highlighted the necessity of the fund, of power-building for Black communities, and what philanthropy should consider in their funding on the Black Freedom Fund website.
Lindsay Hill: The Raikes Foundation Established a Black Leadership & Power Fund—Here’s What It Took to Make it Happen
In August, the Raikes Foundation launched the Black Leadership & Power Fund, which consists of $1 million in funding to support the dismantling of anti-Black racism. Lindsay Hill, Raikes Foundation's Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the time, shared the process of moving from statements to action in her blog post for Funders Together.
In her recent personal reflection, President of the Melville Charitable Trust and Funders Together board member Susan Thomas, discusses how our nation's policies impact Black and Brown communities, and the connection between healthcare, housing, low wages and homelessness.
Funders Together board member and Executive Director of The Nord Family Foundation, Tony Richardson highlighted in his blog for The Center for Effective Philanthropy, how foundations can be more actively addressing racial bias and working toward racial equity.
In the youth and young adult homelessness space, we often hear the phrase nothing about us without us, which means that youth and young people with lived expertise of homelessness should not just be included in the designing of solutions to homelessness, but also have real decision-making power. True Colors United, a Funders Together partner, put this important value into practice in both the process used to create their statement, True Colors United for Black Lives, and in the statement’s content.
In June, ABFE, a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities and a critical partner of Funders Together, released their statement requesting action from philanthropy against anti-Black racism.
Lauren Samblanet published Thank you for registering for the 2020 Funders Forum and Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults Conference in 2020 Funders Forum 2019-10-18 08:01:07 -0400
Thank you for registering for the 2020 Funders Forum and Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults Conference
Thank you for registering for the 2020 Funders Forum and National Alliance to End Homelessness’s Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults Conference. Here is your receipt. We look forward to seeing you in February! A follow up email with event logistics will be sent closer to the date of the Funders Forum
Hotel rooms fill up quickly, so please register for your hotel room today.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness room block at the Oakland Marriott City Center has sold out. Other nearby hotels include:
- Hampton Inn Oakland Downtown-City Center
- Trending Inn
- There are also two options slightly further away (about a 10 minute walk): Z Hotel Jack London Square and the Waterfront Hotel.
In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions to Stephanie Chan at [email protected]