What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Michele Kumi Baer reminds donors to focus on giving with a racial equity lens during the coronavirus crisis.
• How can you maintain a focus on giving with racial equity in mind as coronavirus continues to spread?
• Learn more about why you should increase your racially equitable funding today.
We are witnessing a proliferation of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic from the philanthropic sector, as private foundations, other grantmaking institutions, and philanthropy-serving organizations design and launch a variety of efforts.
For those funders that have articulated a commitment to racial equity in their work, the call to prioritize equity is all the more imperative during times of crisis. We know from experience that when institutions act fast, they are more likely to act on biases that reinforce, generate, and/or exacerbate inequities that negatively impact people of color, disabled people, and queer people.
In order to curtail the harmful impacts that acting fast often has on communities of color, in particular, I offer a list of questions that funders prioritizing racial equity should be asking.
Is your response race-silent or race-explicit? Experience tells us that race-silent analyses and strategies often reinforce and exacerbate racial inequities. Race-silent language in philanthropic work also tends to reinforce racial biases among staff, grantees, donors, and organizational partners.
Are you addressing multiple systems of oppression, in addition to racism — for example, hetero-patriarchy and ableism? In other words, is your approach intersectional? Racism does not work in a silo. Rather, racist systems and structures have a co-dependent, conspiratorial relationship with ableist, patriarchal, and capitalist ones.
Are there non-funders at the table? Funder-only teams exclude your MVPs. Effective and needed expertise resides within the grassroots, community-based leaders who often are themselves people of color, disabled people, and/or queer people.
These questions are intended to be an exercise in better priming our funding institutions to be racially equitable in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, asking different questions is a means of arriving at different answers — the kinds of answers we need from philanthropy to actualize racial justice in our communities.
Read the full article about giving with racial equity by Michele Kumi Baer at Philanthropy News Digest.