I invite donors to act as boldly as the Black and brown women whose bodies are the front lines of change.

In Georgia, long before the 2020 elections were part of the national news cycle, Nse Ufot, Stacey Abrams, LaTosha Brown, Phyllis Hill and many other Black women saw the threat that was coming for their families.

They activated their vast networks, at first with very few resources to support the work, and they did the slow, tedious work of building a base of everyday people.

Their successful efforts will reverberate to benefit millions of families. In Arizona and Nevada, Latinas including Alejandra Gomez, Alicia Contreras and Denise Lopez changed the course of history, generating record election turnout numbers.

Yet still too few foundation dollars are being devoted to centering the leadership of Black and brown women.

My colleague Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and I met in 2003 when we were both organizers in Florida.

In an early conversation about my upcoming book Thriving in the Fight: A Survival Manual for Latinas on the Front Lines of Change, he encouraged me to include a list of tips for donors who want to support the leadership of Latino women. Most of these tips also apply to investing in leaders of color more broadly.

  1. Trust Black and brown women.
  2. Don’t wait for us to call you.
  3. Invite us many times.
  4.  When we do call you, we’ve needed your help for a long time.
  5. Make it easy for us to access funds.
  6. Give us other ways to communicate with you.
  7. Ask us how we are investing in our own development and consider paying for it in some way.

This country is in a moment that requires accountability. I am grateful for groups like NCRP who are calling for greater accountability for donors who are seeking to do the most good. By following these 7 steps, funding partners can help create environments in which women of color thrive. When Black and brown women thrive, we all thrive.

Read the full article about funders supporting Latina leadership  by Denise Collazo at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.