Just a week has passed since the violence in Charlottesville and, like many others, here at Philanthropy Ohio we are thinking about how we can increase our efforts working with our members toward just, equitable communities. We’ve focused over the past 10 years on diversity, equity and inclusion, adopting a DEI Statement, engaging members in a CEO Circle, educating members about racial disparities and creating the Michael G. Shinn Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Philanthropy. Our October conference has a major focus on equity, from the plenary with Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. to individual breakout and reflection sessions.
Last month, four of our staff attended the United Philanthropy Forum’s conference, where Dr. David Williams presented sobering data on the inequality in 21st century America, saying that philanthropy should play a leading role in:
- Raising awareness levels of the reality of racial inequities;
- Helping to establish a credible voice that is anti-elite, anti-authority and has little trust in social institutions;
- Convening all relevant stakeholders and experts to establish a coordinated and sustained mass media campaign to re-define race in American culture and society;
- Raising awareness levels of deeply embedded, subtle forms of prejudice (implicit biases) that are pervasive and unrecognized;
- Building the political will to address racial inequities in America;
- Working with the public, private and voluntary sector to identify and disseminate feasible and optimal strategies to dismantle institutional racism; and
- Developing and sustaining structures that will identify, nurture, and mentor the next generation of leaders to sustain an agenda focused on truth, racial reconciliation and transformation.
David R. Williams is a Professor of Public Health, African and African American Studies and Sociology at Harvard University.
His talk and the hatred that fueled the violence in Charlottesville reinforce that there is so much work to be done and amplify the important role the philanthropic sector can play. Here are just a few of the resources that can inform and guide philanthropy’s work:
Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities Framework (RPBC) created by the Association of Black Foundation Executives, which builds upon grantmaking with a racial equity lens and tailored specifically to grantmaking in and for Black communities.
Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s work around Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.
The June 2017 webinar from the Association of Black Foundation Executives on The Color of Philanthropy: Southern Leaders, National Potential.
The equity assessment quiz created by CHANGE Philanthropy with questions from the D5 Coalition and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.
The 2017 report from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees about Supporting Immigrants and Refugees in Volatile Times: What Philanthropy Can Do.
On a related note, one of Ohio’s champions for diversity, equity and inclusion retired last week: Sister Sally Duffy, former head of the SC Ministry Foundation headquartered in Cincinnati. Hundreds of people attended her reception last week to recognize and honor her work, including elected officials, colleagues and nonprofit leaders. She was a tireless advocate and while I will miss her participation in our efforts, I know she will continue her social justice work in her retirement.
Claudia Y.W. Herrold