More than 150 social entrepreneurs, funders, and other leaders convened in Washington D.C. this week for the inaugural Inclusive Impact Action Summit hosted by New Profit.
The two-day event brought together a multi-ethnic, multiracial, and multi-generational community to engage in frank conversations about race, power, and privilege and the role these factors play in unequal access to philanthropic capital for people of color. Here’s a snapshot of what people discussed:
On the value of lived experiences
“We must have lived experience in the production of everything we do. Rigor is a combination of people with different values and experiences.” – Andre Perry, David M. Rubenstein fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
“Be willing to let go of your social connections and spend time to see what works. The talent of people – not from my social community, not from my region of the world – is extraordinary. The likelihood of a wealthy, white solution being the answer is small.” – Dwight Poler, New Profit investor
“There is a deficit-based mindset [among donors and investors] that continuously says ‘these people are lacking, let me help them.’ Change your perspective: Understand the power inside those communities. ” – Jesús Gerena, CEO, Family Independence Initiative
“Data won’t change until behavior changes, and behavior won’t change until mindsets change, and mindsets won’t change until we do the hard, personal work of interrogating our beliefs about identity and privilege.” – Xiomara Padamsee, founder and CEO, Promise54
On risk and return
“Power is the ability of someone to create, limit, or make choices for themselves or other people and as soon as you orient that way, it shifts the way you think about investing. Philanthropists need to get better at looking for great investments, recognizing that people who are proximate to the work are actually safer to invest in because they have a better sense of what the opportunity is.” – Jim Shelton, chief investment and impact officer, Blue Meridian Partners
“No one has been able to define why I’m more risky than my peers in metrics or in words that make sense.” – Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and CEO, Beyond 12
On building bridges
“When you bring communities together that haven’t connected in the past, magic happens. We have millionaires here with formerly incarcerated people. You can have both talking about issues that matter. Instead of making head connections, we have the benefit of creating space to make heart connections.” – Val Mosley, New Profit board member and investor
“We must be seen by each other … that’s the work, that’s the discipline. The lie we’re being told is that nothing can connect us, but that’s not true. I know it’s systemic and it’s hard, but we actually can do this.” – Tulaine Montgomery, managing partner, New Profit
On what donors can do
“Acknowledge and lift up the brilliance, the genius, the opportunity, and the capacity of young advocates.” – Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director, Equal Justice Initiative
“[People of color] don’t have to participate in [systems] that were designed to kill us. Support organizations to create their own systems and do their own work,” – T. Morgan Dixon, co-founder and CEO, GirlTrek
Interested in learning more about Race and Ethnicity? Other readers at Giving Compass found the following articles helpful for impact giving related to Race and Ethnicity.
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