The murder of George Floyd and resulting racial justice movement forced many people and organizations to confront the inequities baked into their everyday lives and business practices. The COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate effects on the health outcomes of people of color because of deeply embedded structural racism only added urgency to identifying health solutions by and for communities of color.

Private and public health funders are now acknowledging what people of color have long known: funders rarely provide grants to organizations led by people of color or from other marginalized communities.

For decades, funders have argued they did not know of effective organizations led by people of color, and though these organizations lacked the infrastructure to demonstrate progress with grant funding, funders seldom supported infrastructure development. On top of this, communities of color are less likely to trust the health system because of the historic exploitation of Black people in medical research and racism embedded in the health care system.

Finally, many public and private health funders have recognized that to help achieve health equity, they must build authentic community partnerships and fund organizations led and trusted by the groups they seek to serve. Private funders, such as the Borealis Philanthropy, which practices this partnership-based approach, have doubled down on their grantmaking strategies and have invited new funders to learn how to best support community-led grassroot, service, and advocacy organizations. But similar changes are still needed within federal and state grantmaking and even reimbursement programs.

Read the full article about funding racial health equity by Kimá Joy Taylor at Urban Institute.