Our institutions are slowly starting to take note. In recent years, local governments in Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Illinois have explored reparations as a form of racial healing after generations of institutionalized racism. In the San Francisco Bay Area, individual residents and businesses can pay to help restore Indigenous land to Indigenous stewardship as a land tax for reparations. Even in the halls of Congress, representatives have introduced legislation to fund the first commission to study and develop proposals for providing reparations to African Americans. At every level, our institutions and leaders are responding to this moment and acknowledging how reparations can help heal our country.

But a moment also needs a mission. For us, that mission is an understanding that truth, reconciliation, and healing are all necessary to transform how wealth, land, and money are allocated in this country. This transformation is essential because those who hold the bulk of ill-gotten resources and influence — including philanthropy — must bear responsibility for repairing the harms done.

This also means trusting the Black and Brown people on the ground already doing the work. As explained in a recent open letter to the philanthropy community from people of color-led public foundations, including Decolonizing Wealth Project, our communities benefit most and can do the most good when they have the ultimate decision-making power.

Taken together, the moment and our mission inspired us to change how and why we give. Modern philanthropy is shifting away from focusing solely on "scale" and "impact" toward a bigger goal — to unearth, support, and trust organizations that are committed to racial healing and repair and are already doing the work on the ground. While our grants are barely out the door, we've already seen the effects of this shift. Reparative giving is resonating with donors and foundations, especially after the past few years of social reckoning.

Read the full article about reparative giving by Edgar Villanueva at Philanthropy News Digest.