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This is the fifth volume of the Critical Issues Forum series, which aims to deepen the discourse around important progressive racial justice issues within philanthropy. As PRE celebrated our 10th anniversary last year and engaged allies within the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to mark the occasion with us, we heard "Have you seen any progress?" repeatedly and knew it was important to take stock of what many of us have been collectively aiming to move for decades. Through focus groups, webinars and direct interviews, our team has sought to get a strong sense of both funders' and activists' perspectives on progress particularly over the past two decades. We have heard real frustration, especially as the needs are so critical and the level of urgency among activists and communities is so high. However, in spite of these very real concerns, we have also seen clear commitment and depth of understanding in other quarters. We are pleased that through funder case studies and activist essays about structural racism analysis, intersectionality and media justice, we're able to share real progress, even as each piece recognizes there is still much more to be done.
This historical timeline attempts to capture, in one place, many significant moments, events, controversies and victories that have defined the racial landscape since the turbulent days following the LAPD/Rodney King beating verdict over two decades ago. When communities in Los Angeles rebelled, "race riots" exploded the commonly held myth that our nation had progressed from the explicitly unjust conditions that had defined earlier generations. And in the decades since, the history chronicled in this timeline belies the notion that the U.S. is a "post-racial" society.For funders seeking to understand and provide resources in support of racial justice work, this timeline also includes some of the key events in philanthropy that were shaped by the incidents, policies and cultural manifestations of race and racism during these years.
A focus on racial equity can increase your effectiveness at every stage of the grantmaking process. Blending experience and candid advice from grantmakers, this guide explores how a racial equity lens can help you scan your field or community, cultivate new leaders, encourage creative approaches, get people talking, and nourish change inside your own foundation. HighlightsThree tools for activating a racial equity lensYour Race/Your RoleQuestions to ask inside your foundationWhat's in the Guide?What Is a Racial Equity Lens? For grantmakers and foundation leaders, using a racial equity lens means paying disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while analyzing problems, looking for solutions, and defining success. Some use the approach to enhance their own perspectives on grantmaking; others adopt it as part of a commitment endorsed across their foundations.How a Racial Equity Lens Works: A racial equity lens is valuable because it sharpens grantmakers' insights and improves the outcomes of their work. People who use the approach say it helps them to see patterns, separate symptoms from causes, and identify new solutions for their communities or fields.Applying a Racial Equity Lens: Skills and Strategies: Where, specifically, does a racial equity lens get put to use by individual grantmakers? The answer is simple: everywhere. A keen awareness of race and ethnicity, and of their impact on access to power and opportunity, is a distinct asset when applying the classic skills of effective grantmaking.Implementing a Commitment to Racial Equity: Policies and Practices: When a foundation decides to focus on racial equity, how does that commitment get translated into the organization's goals and routines? Foundation leaders and program staff share examples of what they have learned about applying a racial equity lens to their programming, operations, and external affairs.Looking Inward: Using a Racial Equity Lens Inside Your Foundation: Grantmakers who have championed racial equity within their foundations describe a handful of tactics for getting over the predictable hurdles. Ground the discussion of racial equity in the foundation's mission, they say, be open to learning, and be upfront about your goals. But don't lose sight of the possibility of resistance and setbacks.