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 leaders 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 Black 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 Samblanet 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.
Last month, 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.