At Philanthropy Northwest, we are thinking more expansively about our unique role as a philanthropy-serving organization and how we use our influence and privilege to advocate for systems change, center new voices and challenge our sector to build a new vision of philanthropy. We are focused on the work of dismantling white supremacy in our own policies and actions and disrupting narratives that hold us back from thinking creatively about systems change. While we’re having challenging conversations internally, we know that we still have much work to do in our journey to become an anti-racist organization.

Last year, we pledged $50,000 of CEO strategic funds towards Black-led organizing as part of our response to dismantling racist and unjust systems. These funds went to Social Justice Fund Northwest’s Black Led Organizing Giving Project, a participatory grantmaking process that puts decision-making power into the hands of Black community members and gives grants to Northwest Black-centric organizations on the front lines of social change. This funding decision was led by our Black staff, choosing an existing giving project cohort with deep connections to grassroots organizing groups so that the money would get to the community quicker than if we developed our own internal process. Black- and Indigenous-led organizations are already doing the work to fight systemic racism and oppression, and philanthropy must trust instincts and abilities to deliver on a much larger scale.

We are asking ourselves and our peers, beyond reimagining philanthropy, how will we build momentum for the long view of meaningful systems change? How will we shift power to Black and Indigenous communities to create true relationships and trust? Will philanthropy use its privilege and voice to challenge “normal” as a response to dismantling systemic inequities and racism? Without collective action, Black lives will continue to be lost on our watch.

Read the full article about anti-racism work in philanthropy at Philanthropy Northwest.