Groups committed to diversity, justice, and equity work, like my own team at Philanthropy Together, know that this is not something we can solve overnight. Our internal and institutional racial equity work is something we examine, restructure, and commit to each and every day. And one of the many ways we’re continuing our climb toward racial equity is through our Racial Equity Community of Practice.

In July 2020, we introduced the Racial Equity Community of Practice (RE CoP) in partnership with Community Investment Network and CommunityBuild Ventures as a resource- and education-sharing program for giving circles around the world. From July to December, we cultivated critical conversations around racial equity theory, as well as actionable plans for creating, empowering, and activating commitments to racial equity work in giving circles and beyond.

And as we get ready to relaunch this program, it’s critical to take a look at where we started, where we are today, and how we can build on everything we’ve learned so far to make this community as collaborative and forward-thinking as possible.

  • Giving circles are committed to the hard work that’s necessary to ensure we live in a more just and equitable world. I’ve spoken often about the community-focused nature of circles. It bears repeating that the circle structure, built on human experiences shared and differing alike, offers us unique opportunities to examine each other’s perspectives.
  • The inaugural Racial Equity Community of Practice culminated in $1,000 awards to 25 different participating giving circles. This funding allowed giving circles to align their strategies for racial equity work. Eleven of our participating circles leveraged their grant money to engage in racial equity training for their members. Another three circles introduced member education programs about racial equity work, while the final 11 circles utilized their funds to hire racial equity/JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) facilitators and coaches.

Read the full article about building the giving circle movement by Sara Lomelin at Medium.