As an organization founded on over 30 years of grantmaking based on learning, humility, and trust, we at Thousand Currents are not immune, nor phased by fundamentally uncomfortable questions, including those surrounding racism, colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy.

The people who can best “solve” deeply-rooted social, political, and economic problems are the people whose lives are most affected by them. This requires us as Thousand Currents to step away from the usual role of “expert” or “changemaker.” Our first duty is to listen. Listening is about honoring each others’ dignity and supporting people to use their own power. For white folks, this means learning first to speak less and be willing to give up their own power.

We can address racism, all -isms, and implicit bias in all that we do by making changes — right now — within our teams, programs, organizations, foundations, agencies, social enterprises, funds, etc. This includes very concrete actions to dismantle internal and external power structures that perpetuate inequality and prejudices. These include:

  • Making different hiring and promotion decisions, learning the difference between diversity and inclusion, and challenging who is at the decision-making table.
  • Funding “front-line” community organizers and getting money directly to grassroots leaders. But only if we’re ready to get out of their way.
  • Dare to redefine the notion of results and accountability — no longer just for our funders or boards or by our staff.
  • Do your personal healing work so you can “show up” in solidarity.
  • Be brave! Brave funders will fight for what their grantees have identified as what they need to succeed.

Read the full article about racism in philanthropy from Thousand Currents at Medium