For the latest entry in Borealis Philanthropy’s “Storyletter” interview series, PEAK Grantmaking President and CEO Satonya Fair spoke about how PEAK has navigated the challenges of the past year, lessons learned from our racial equity work, and PEAK’s role in advancing more equitable, collaborative philanthropy. Our thanks to Borealis for allowing us to re-post this interview.

Borealis: What are the lessons PEAK has learned from its racial equity work, both internally and externally? What surprised you? Anything you’d approach differently?

Fair: The biggest thing was just understanding that racial equity work is both inside and outside work. The organization has learned that we have to do the internal work, and that includes our board work around racial equity, while not losing what the community is asking of us at the same time. Are you truly living what you’re saying? That’s the key question.

The second thing I would say is a lesson learned is that good philanthropy walks in the door and asks questions. You don’t walk in the door telling them what your solutions already are for what you perceive are their issues. We meet members where they are. They’re not joining PEAK because they’ve got it all figured out. They’re joining to figure it out together. We have to walk in like we don’t know who they are or what’s important to them and just listen.

Read the full article about staying committed to racial equity work by Betsy Reid at PEAK Grantmaking.