Organizers and advocates won groundbreaking victories in investments through the American Rescue Plan. The bill notably moves away from trickle-down economics and instead gives direct support to households in need and makes tremendous progress prioritizing the needs of people who are struggling with unemployment, housing instability, and health care coverage.

These investments, however significant, are investments in systems that were built on structural racism. It will require continued organizing and advocacy to ensure that these investments advance us toward racial equity.

We know that any investment in status quo structures, policy, and practice bolster and perpetuate structural racism. Like the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the passing of the American Rescue Plan is another moment for us to be proactive and stay focused on advancing racial equity to prevent further harm, knowing that true equity will not be possible without justice and liberation.

The Role of Philanthropy

A year ago, Funders Together emphasized the need to focus on racial equity in our COVID-19 Response and System Redesign Recommendations for Philanthropy. Many of these recommendations still hold true and are even more timely. Below, we have pulled out some of the actions philanthropy can take to ensure that the American Rescue Plan dollars do not exacerbate inequities.

  1. Leverage Public-Private Partnerships and Broker Relationships
  2. Advocate for Systems Change
  3. Identify and Fund Capacity Needs
  4. Keep Racial Equity and Housing Justice at the Forefront

Read the full article about the American Rescue Plan by Stephanie Chan at Funders Together to End Homelessness.