Giving Compass’ Take:
• The author discusses the diversity and inclusion work of the organization Equal Measure and it’s commitment to breaking down systemic barriers of racism, sexism, and xenophobia and provide individuals who need support with more equitable opportunities.
• Equal Measure is focused on equity-based outcomes and wants to encourage other funders to empower communities of people who do not have the same opportunities in life as others. What is an effective approach to encouraging others to see problems through an equity lens?
• Read about how to implement racially equitable grantmaking.
Eleven years ago, after permanently residing in the United States since 1993, I became an American citizen. Naturalization is a lengthy process. And as an adult, to “absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity” to your birth country
The contrast between the lifestyle that American democracy seemed to offer and our lived experiences in Poland was stark. Shortly after the collapse of Communism, I came back to the United States to attend college. I began my career working for a United Nations agency, got married, joined the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (now Equal Measure) as a consultant, and began a family. In the more than 20 years I have lived in the United States full-time, I have learned a lot and certainly evolved as a citizen.
Through my daily experiences, my community engagement, and my work at Equal Measure, I am in contact—directly and indirectly—with individuals whose lives are very different from my own. Through the years, I have lived among and advocated alongside communities where the privileges I experience daily are structurally, systemically, and deliberately absent. For too many people, equal opportunity to overcome systemic obstacles and to exercise agency when making decisions that affect their lives can seem a distant ideal.
Direct action, individually and collectively, is the only way we can overcome the suffocating tentacles of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and discrimination based on sexual orientation, religion, immigrant status, socio-economic status, language ability, and disabilities.
Equal Measure has heeded this call to action in several ways. As one of our core diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices, we seek to inspire new and inform current conversations about the role of DEI in the development and evaluation of philanthropic investments.
Read the full article about breaking barriers by Meg Long at Stanford Social Innovation Review
If you are looking for more articles and resources for Impact Philanthropy, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy.
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