Racial equity can be defined as "the condition that would be achieved if one's race identity no longer influenced how one fares." (from "Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture" by Equity in the Center). This collection focuses on racial equity and also includes works that explore the larger diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) framework. Our aim is to raise awareness about funding for racial equity efforts as well as activities in the social sector meant to realize racial equity. The collection is part of Candid's Funding for racial equity special issue website.

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Building a Housing Justice Framework

August 17, 2022

Having a safe, affordable, and quality place to call home is fundamental to individual, family, and community life. Across the US, however, people and communities experience high rates of housing insecurity, a reality fueled by historical and ongoing discriminatory practices and racist housing policies. To remedy these and other inequities, a growing number of advocates, organizers, policymakers, and researchers are calling for a structural overhaul of the country's housing system. They aim to dismantle the factors that contribute to housing instability, so that everyone—regardless of their race, income, gender identity, disability, and/or sexuality—can live in a safe, affordable home.This report explores the concept of "housing justice" as a framework for confronting and repairing housing inequality and community harm on a structural level. We unpack key principles and precedents of the housing justice framework, arriving at an initial working definition of housing justice: "Increasing access to safe, affordable housing and promoting wealth-building by confronting historical and ongoing harms and disparities caused by structural racism." Altogether, this framework aims to strengthen our toolkit for addressing housing injustice, a social problem that impacts all systems and that is rooted in historical and current structural racism.


Changing the Frame: Civic Engagement Through a Racial Equity Lens

August 2, 2022

This report challenges past narratives suggesting Chicago's civic life is precarious and offers a broader analysis of civic life using a racial equity lens. According to the analysis, race and class differences in civic engagement disappear or reverse when including a wide range of less formal activities and forms of collective organizing practiced among Black, Latinx, and working-class people in Chicago.Since the 1960s, traditional measures of civic engagement have shown declining rates of civic health. These accounts of civic decline often focus exclusively on voting and donating one's time, talent, and income to traditional nonprofit organizations. This report provides new ways to assess civic life in Chicago, including participation in social movements like the immigrant rights movement, the growth in the number of nonprofits established, and social cohesion as captured through the hosting of block parties.Through interviews and analysis of nonprofits in Chicago, the report captures the perspective of organizers, academics, and funders who provide their unique perspectives on the state of civic engagement in Chicago. By framing civic engagement through a racial equity lens, the report provides a broader view of civic participation that can be used to catalyze and drive action.


Poor Job Quality Keeps Women of Color from Economic Opportunity

July 8, 2022

More than two years into the public health emergency, individuals and families continue to experience the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent job numbers show that the U.S. economy is on a path to recovery as jobs return and labor force participation increases at a steady pace. However, even with these positive trends, women of color continue to face disproportionate challenges.To create an equitable path forward in economic recovery, we must ensure that the quality of jobs grows alongside the number of people employed. Building a resilient and sustainable recovery for women of color requires addressing the lack of benefits, worker protections, and well-paying jobs so that women of color can thrive.


Necessary Conversations: Understanding Racism as a Barrier to Achieving Health Equity

June 24, 2022

The story of our nation is one of justice and freedom, but the unspoken truth is too many people are shut out of equal opportunities because of the color of their skin. Civil Rights laws and advocacy movements have brought racial inequities to light, but have not solved urgent problems caused by structural racism. This inequity has led to wide-scale poorer health outcomes and shorter life spans.Structural racism refers to the persistence of inequity in communities of color while others benefit from a disproportionately larger share of the nation's resources. There is indisputable evidence that the impacts of this inequity are generational. Structural racism has led to a lack of basic healthcare, education, housing, and other needs for too many in our nation.Authentic conversations about racial inequities are essential, difficult, and urgent. There are many forces that prevent people from talking about racism. Without honest reflections on race and the history of this nation, conversation and narratives often generate unproductive fear, shame, guilt, avoidance, and denial. We need to move past that to a place of healing and action. A book by RWJF's chief science officer, Dr. Alonzo Plough, shows us how. 

Black Voices, Black Spaces: The Power of Black Innovation

August 15, 2022

This report explores the philanthropic dynamics affecting Black social innovators and concludes with lessons for the social entrepreneurship field to meaningfully fund and support Black innovation and impact. The learnings are informed by more than 15 interviews and case studies with social innovation field leaders and Black leaders supported through Echoing Green's Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship – the world's first fellowship for social entrepreneurs creating systemic change for Black men and boys in the U.S.

Patterns in the Introduction and Passage of Restrictive Voting Bills are Best Explained by Race

August 3, 2022

Over the past 18 months, there has been an unprecedented wave of anti-voter legislation introduced and passed across the country. In 2021, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont. By early May of this year, nearly 400 restrictive bills had been introduced in legislatures nationwide.Legislators and researchers have given different explanations for this wave. The mostly Republican lawmakers supporting these bills often argue that the new provisions are necessary to protect election integrity, despite the absence of widespread fraud in American elections. Commentators argue that Republican legislators are pushing to change election laws to guarantee political advantages for their party. Some past research supports this argument, demonstrating that certain restrictive voting policies are most likely to be adopted in electorally competitive states controlled by Republicans. Other scholarship shows that states pass restrictive voting laws when Americans of color have strong and growing political power.The Brennan Center has developed a unique data set for testing these explanations. Specifically, we tracked every restrictive voting provision introduced in every state legislature in 2021 (as we do every year) and used Legiscan data to identify the sponsors of these bills. We then examine which district-level characteristics are most correlated with whether a lawmaker sponsored a restrictive voting bill.We tested several factors, including the partisan and racial makeup of legislative districts and states as well as the racial opinions of constituents. Our research shows that racial factors were powerful predictors of sponsorship. This is consistent with the theory that "racial backlash" — a theory describing how white Americans respond to a perceived erosion of power and status by undermining the political opportunities of minorities — is driving this surge of restrictive legislation. To be sure, the data also confirm that partisanship is a powerful predictor of sponsorship. But even after accounting for racially polarized voting in the United States, we show that racial demographics are a powerful factor independent of party in determining where restrictive voting laws are introduced and passed.

Changing Power Dynamics among Researchers, Local Governments, and Community Members: A Community Engagement and Racial Equity Guidebook

June 22, 2022

Increasingly, local governments seek to partner with research institutions to understand and undo their legacy of racist policymaking and other aspects of structural racism. This legacy includes historical and current policies, programs, and institutional practices that have facilitated white families' social and economic upward mobility and well-being while creating systemic barriers to the mobility and well-being of families of color.This toolkit highlights community-based approaches that can catalyze equitable public policy, programs, and investments by centering a community's expertise. Our aim is to equip local government agencies and their research partners with the tools needed to transform practices, structures, and systems by joining the highly collaborative processes of racial equity and community engagement. The toolkit is designed for local governments but also for researchers and policy experts who partner with local governments.

Sex, Race, and Politics in the U.S.: A Call to Action to Address Racial Justice in Sexuality Education

June 15, 2022

Sex education is not exempt from the evil of systemic racism and white supremacy woven in American Society. In fact, the mythology of white supremacy is based on an idealized goal of the United States (U.S.) as a white nation state that exerts population controls to maintain power over racial and ethnic minority groups through political, economic, and social dominance.State departments of education, individual school districts, and even sex educators themselves must update their sex education provisions and curricula to ensure comprehensive sex education programs utilize a racial justice lens. This will support young people in developing a shared understanding of how racial stereotypes distort public perceptions of sexuality and impact the lived experiences of POC in America. These steps must be taken in order to create a shared responsibility to resist these stereotypes and the racist behaviors and public policies that perpetuate them.Thus, the purpose of this publication is to offer a rationale and a call to action for creating anti-racist sex education programs that purposefully abandon any "color-blind" approaches to sex education. This resource includes: a timeline of historical experiences of racism; an exploration of the formation of racialized sexual identities and how the sexualization of race was used to suppress and impact marginalized communities including Black, Native American or Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latinx communities; ways that systemic racism has impacted the classroom and student experiences of sex education; and, finally, examples of how sex educators can incorporate anti-racist lessons into programs in alignment with the National Sex Education Standards (NSES), second edition.

Clean Energy Neoliberalism: Climate, Tax Credits, and Racial Justice

June 14, 2022

The defeat of the Democrats' Build Back Better (BBB) legislation raises serious concerns about the direction of federal climate policy during a pivotal decade. However, amid renewed negotiations for a new, scaled-down reconciliation package, one major policy from Build Back Better continues to have widespread support: a 10-year, $300 billion extension and expansion of clean energy tax credits. Should the proposal become law it would be among the most significant climate policies of the Biden administration. While modeling indicates substantial positive impacts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, heavy reliance on tax credits for addressing climate change raises deep concerns for another major Biden administration goal: achieving equity and justice for disadvantaged communities--the communities most harmed by the fossil fuel economy and most at risk from climate change.In "Clean Energy Neoliberalism: Climate, Tax Policy, and Racial Justice," co-authors Lew Daly and Sylvia Chi explain how energy tax credits embody a neoliberal approach to climate policy that continues to rely heavily on private incentives and market choices to drive the energy transition. They discuss how this could not only privatize the clean energy future but also squander a once-in-a-generation opportunity for remedying historic harms and chronic underinvestment in communities of color.

Scoring Federal Legislation for Equity: Definition, Framework, and Potential Application

June 6, 2022

Federal legislation is fundamental to building a nation in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Since our nation's founding, in many ways, federal legislation has created and exacerbated racial inequities, leaving one-third of the population experiencing material poverty and preventing our democracy from realizing the promise of equity. To ensure the federal government serves us all, we must accurately understand and assess whether every policy advances or impedes equity. The Equity Scoring Initiative (ESI) exists to establish the foundation for a new legislative scoring regime. By scoring for equity, we can begin to create an accountable, responsive democracy.

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity

May 12, 2022

Partnering with Federal Agencies to Advance Racial Equity is a report by Race Forward and PolicyLink  that describes the work that commenced in partnership with federal agency offices, considers observations and lessons learned along the way, and discusses efforts that must continue at the federal level to fully realize the intentions of the executive order and move this country toward a more racially just future.Race Forward and PolicyLink co-led a Racial Equity Governing Pilot Project with federal agencies in the fall and winter of 2021 and 2022. This report discusses critical elements of these partnership pilots and lessons to inform and support the longer term aspirations of the federal government to become actively antiracist. 

Exposing Hate: The Truth About Attacks on Our Kids, Schools, and Diversity

May 6, 2022

Despite decades of research demonstrating the positive outcomes associated with comprehensive sex education (CSE), there is a small international movement that is well-funded, fear-mongering, and vocal in its opposition to not only advancing this widely supported instruction, but is also starting to attack other school-based programs to affirm the increasing diversity of today's youth. This report reveals the ways in which the anti-CSE movement has morphed with other far-right groups to organize against inclusive programs in public schools, and explores how advocates can best work against these efforts.