“This time of the year is always one of deep-reflection for me too and I want to take this time to share a few thoughts on the current state of philanthropy and where we must head in 2019 and beyond”, wrote President and CEO of ABFE, Susan Taylor Batten, in a reflective letter written in light of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
The following are key points from her letter:
1. Philanthropy must put more emphasis on hiring people who are competent on issues of racism in America.
2. We need to make a stronger connection between undoing racism, achieving racial equity and building power through philanthropic action.
3. More emphasis needs to be placed on understanding anti-Black racism.
“While these reflections sound more like challenges, we remain optimistic at ABFE about the work ahead and look forward to working with all of you.”
Read the full letter here.
The excerpt below is from the essay The Persistence of False and Harmful Narratives About Boys and Men of Color.
“Stories that ‘dehumanize’ young men of color and question their value to society abound. And stories that ‘super-humanize’ the physical characteristics of boys and men of color create fear and distrust. The common denominators in these stories are dominant narratives — stories about boys and men of color that are distorted, repeated, and amplified through media platforms, both traditional media and social media, which fuel negative and vilifying perceptions and bring them to scale…. Dominant narratives of boys and men of color constrain how we perceive their potential and limit our expectations of them. In a sense, narratives become reality as boys and young men of color have their opportunities for advancement truncated throughout their lives.”
To find out more, read the complete essay and check out the guide, His Story: Shifting Narratives for Boys of Men of Color: A Guide for Philanthropy, from which this essay was adapted.
“A sequence of recent high-profile shootings has sparked a national conversation on the treatment and perceived value of black males, as well as the legitimacy of lethal force by police.”
The Race, Prosperity, and Inclusion Initiative at Brookings joined in on this conversation by hosting a moderated discussion which focused on the theme of “excessive police force against black males.” The discussion comprised of a panel of experts with legal, academic, and advocacy backgrounds.
This blog post in Brookings Now by Fred Dews highlights key points that were discussed during the event.
“Recognize that the leadership this country needs to move forward will come from those communities that have been part of the resistance throughout their histories — but that also have excelled at innovation, community building, and recognizing and appreciating the interdependence needed to make progress.”
Read this blog post in Philanthropy News Digest by Mitch Nauffts detailing his conversation with Lori Villarosa, Founder and Executive Director, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, on the topic of racial equity, racial justice, and the challenges surrounding this work in the “Age of Trump”.
“Centuries-old wounds are still raw because they were not healed right in the first place. Here is the essential truth. We are better together than we are apart.” – Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans
Read this blog post in Philanthropy News Digest by Michael Gee discussing the economic impacts of racial equity, how philanthropy is addressing racial equity, and why we must act urgently to address structural racism.
Read this blog post by the CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Shawn Dove, about the work they have accomplished over the last ten years and the challenges they face going into the next decade.
“We cannot embrace a celebratory mindset when we consider the paradox of promise and peril still facing America’s black men and boys — on the one hand, a groundswell of activity and investments in support of black male achievement; on the other, continued racism, concentrated poverty, police violence, and systemic injustice.”
See the Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s top 5 moments from 2017, and share your own top list using the hashtag #BMAmoments.
Emmett Carson, CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, wrote the foreword to a new report from Foundation Center and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement titled Quantifying Hope 2017: Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys. In it, he asserts that philanthropic foundations must use their voices to correct racial inequality and social injustice.
“Foundations can no longer espouse mission statements that commit them to pursue a better world as it relates to some particular endeavor and turn deaf, blind, and mute on issues of social injustice that threaten our democracy,” he writes.
Read the complete text of the foreword on the Silicon Valley Community Foundation blog (also available in a PDF version).
Read Broderick Johnson’s LinkedIn post regarding the work that former President Obama’s My Brother Keeper initiative has done and continues to do.
“Established in February 2014, MBK grew out of an understanding that the disparities that separate young people of color from their white peers, in terms of performance and success, stem substantially from huge gaps in resources and opportunity. Gaps that begin in life’s earliest days and continue through childhood and into early adulthood. It was President Obama’s firm determination that government (federal and local) and the private sector could do much better. And that fundamentally what was needed was greater vision and rigor, more resources, and more targeted collaboration”
Read this PND blog post by Shawn Dove and Dr. Phyllis Hubbard, CBMA’s CEO and director of CBMA’s Health and Healing Strategies, respectively, on why philanthropy plays a critical role in “promoting healthy behaviors and strengthening the wellness of leaders and caregivers, so that they, in turn, can create healthier environments for the young people of color they serve.”
“At the same time, leaders in philanthropy and the BMA field must look in the mirror and ask themselves how they can set an example by integrating health, wellness, and self-care into their collective and organizational ethos and culture. Only by embodying the type of leadership we want others to exhibit will we successfully create the transformative change needed to close America’s racial health gap.”