Giving Compass' Take:
- Sima Parekh shares insights from 2020 about why social justice nonprofit organizations are critical to advancing social movements for lasting change.
- What can donors do to support social justice topics, movements, and the organizations that are behind them?
- Understand how philanthropy responded to the movement moment.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
In 2020, social justice issues moved front and center in ways most of us couldn't have predicted. As some of the largest and broadest demonstrations for racial justice in U.S. history erupted across the country, corporations came under greater pressure than ever before to take an active role in addressing social injustices.
At the same time, the events of 2020 highlighted how essential nonprofit organizations are to efforts to advance social justice.
Understanding equity vs. equality
The ongoing fight for equality in our country has traveled a long and storied road. The related but separate movement for social equity digs deeper into the ways in which opportunities are presented — or are closed — to different groups.
While equality means each individual or faction is given the same resources or opportunities, equity recognizes that each person or faction comes from different circumstances, which may require a restructured allocation of those resources and opportunities. Incorporating those factors into programs serving marginalized populations results in better outcomes; nonprofits make it their business to understand those complexities.
"Equity is a way, not a what," André Ledgister, communications catalyst at Partnership for Southern Equity, told me. "We make sure our efforts reflect equity in that we take into account what specific community organizations need in order to access resources. In that sense, the work of nonprofits is to empower the community to create their own change."
Nonprofit leaders know that fostering allies beyond donors, volunteers, and sponsors is critical to success. Similarly, for social justice activism to effect lasting change, education and advocacy efforts need to cross various divides to become truly multiethnic and multicultural.
"Nonprofit organizations teach, whether the work is relevant in science, in STEM fields, or in humanities and the arts," said Vicki Crawford, executive director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection. "The hope is that this type of education will open people up to exploring the ways in which we are inextricably linked; to open up the conversation around the commonality of all humans across the differences of race, class, gender, religious affiliation."
Read the full article about social justice movements by Sima Parekh at Philanthropy News Digest.