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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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"Endless Walk!" by Rayhane saber licensed through Unsplash

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Four Mindsets for Funding Economic Mobility in the Black Rural South

August 24, 2023

The Black rural South is more integral to most philanthropy than it might appear. Tapping into opportunities within this historically underfunded region requires new thinking, ranging from dispelling framings and misconceptions that deter funding to encouraging mindsets that can help fuel economic mobility for young people. This new report from National 4-H Council and Bridgespan highlights exciting opportunities for philanthropy to be a force for economic mobility in the region.

Diversifying Suppliers, Vendors and Business Partners as Part of DEI Strategy: Beacon Capital Partners Case Study

June 28, 2023

This case study is part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Expanding Equity program, which helps workplaces become more racially equitable places of opportunity. The program supports and inspires companies to take action using four pillars: Attract, Belong, Promote and Influence. Each pillar offers unique opportunities for advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in companies. This case study lifts up actions from the Influence pillar, which focuses on advancing racial equity through a company's products, services or relationships externally.At Beacon Capital Partners, having a workplace that prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) means being intentional with choosing external business partners who share those same values. The firm recognized that United States' real estate industry as a whole is an overwhelmingly White, male-dominated business. They initially looked at its recruitment practices to expand their DEI efforts. In doing so, they learned that creating a space of inclusion and belonging went beyond recruiting practices and should also include all the firm's functional engagements. The firm works with numerous vendors and suppliers in its work and saw an opportunity to expand business partner diversity by working with firms holding Minority Women Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) certification and increasing its total spend on diverse vendors and suppliers at its properties. This led Beacon Capital to pilot its business partner diversity initiative, which lead to an increase in their total property spend on diverse vendors and suppliers from about 4% of controllable operating expense spending with diverse business partners in the pilot properties in 2017 to around 27% of controllable operating expense spending in 2022.

Introduction to Racial Inequity as a Systemic Risk: Why Investors Should Care and How They Can Take Action

June 20, 2023

This report outlines how the financial industry can manage the systemic risk of racial inequity and promote the equitable distribution of resources, power, and economic opportunity across all races and ethnicities in the U.S. – to advance racial justice and to protect their bottom lines.The report was developed in partnership with TIIP's Racial Equity Working Group. It recommends how investors can leverage conventional investment techniques and more advanced approaches to manage the risks of racial inequity and embed racial equity across portfolios.

The Next Reconstruction: Examining the Call for a National Reparations Program

March 30, 2023

In this brief, we examine the evolution of reparations proposals in the United States, connect a national reparations program to the United Nations' international human rights standards around reparations, and discuss the potential of a national reparations program to close long-standing racial gaps in wealth, housing, education, criminal justice, and other areas. We focus in part on the reparations commission proposed by H.R. 40, the most comprehensive reparations legislation in US history. We also make recommendations for strengthening the research and policy-development infrastructure for reparations.We argue that in addition to compensation for past harms, conceptualizations of reparations should involve looking at present practices, policies, and barriers to economic security and wealth building for Black Americans. We can account for historical injustices and prioritize how they have contributed to and exacerbated present inequalities while considering how current policies continue to exacerbate and reproduce those inequalities.In addition to exploring early reparations efforts in the United States, we review selected policy proposals that have involved efforts to make progress on reparations for Black Americans, analyze the current reparations policy landscape, and recommend ways researchers can identify approaches to make reparations effective at eliminating key racial gaps for Black Americans. This research can inform policy discussions and analyses of reparations, especially as governments continue to explore them.

“It’s Not For Us”: Understanding How Meta-Oppression Influences Black Americans’ Experiences with the Credit System

March 23, 2023

For many Black Americans the doors to critical wealth-building tools that easily open for their white counterparts are locked or obstructed because of centuries-long discriminatory policies and practices. Without these same opportunities, Black Americans are often left behind, perpetually playing against a stacked deck.Structural racism not only shapes the outcomes that people experience in all sectors of life, but it also has psychological effects on what Black Americans think is possible. This psychological stress from dealing with persistent structural racism across society is called meta-oppression, a concept developed by Dr. Jacqueline Scott.Through a study of Black Chicago residents' experiences with the credit system, we found that Black Americans internalized feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and despair, all of which hindered their willingness to further engage with the credit system. By illuminating the diverse effects of structural racism on the lives of Black Americans, we hope to reveal key opportunities for policy and practice to interrupt meta-oppression and advance racial equity across society.

How Structural Racism Shapes Black Americans’ Sense of Self: Understanding Meta-Oppression and Its Effects in the Credit System

March 23, 2023

For many Black Americans the doors to critical wealth-building tools that easily open for their white counterparts are locked or obstructed because of centuries-long discriminatory policies and practices. Without these same opportunities, Black Americans are often left behind, perpetually playing against a stacked deck.Structural racism not only shapes the outcomes that people experience in all sectors of life, but it also has psychological effects on what Black Americans think is possible. This psychological stress from dealing with persistent structural racism across society is called meta-oppression, a concept developed by Dr. Jacqueline Scott.Through a study of Black Chicago residents' experiences with the credit system, we found that Black Americans internalized feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and despair, all of which hindered their willingness to further engage with the credit system. By illuminating the diverse effects of structural racism on the lives of Black Americans, we hope to reveal key opportunities for policy and practice to interrupt meta-oppression and advance racial equity across society.

Financial Health Pulse 2022 Chicago Report

January 31, 2023

Chicago is known as one of the most segregated cities in America, with pockets of both deep wealth and extreme vulnerability. Even compared with the country as a whole, the city's legacy of race-based discrimination and decades of disinvestment and marginalization is extreme. Today, that legacy manifests in starkly different financial opportunities and realities for its citizens, falling largely along racial and ethnic lines. In partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, we examine the factors that contribute to financial health disparities among Chicagoans and residents of surrounding Cook County.Key TakeawaysCook County, including Chicago, demonstrates both greater financial health and greater financial vulnerability than the U.S. as a whole.The disparities in financial health across race and ethnicity are dramatically larger in Cook County than in the U.S.Black and Latinx households in Cook County are far less likely than white households to have access to wealth-building assets, yet are more likely to hold most kinds of debt than white households.Black and Latinx people in Cook County are far more likely to be Financially Vulnerable than their counterparts nationwide.Racial gaps in financial health of Cook County residents can't be explained by household income alone.

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.

Gaps and Opportunities: Supporting Boston’s BIPOC Small Businesses

July 20, 2022

Small businesses play a central role in cities: they foster growth and innovation in local economies, provide critical jobs for residents, contribute to the vibrancy of urban corridors, and help to anchor neighborhoods. However, over the last two years, the pandemic has devastated the small business community, forcing many to shutter their doors. Nationally, the number of active business owners fell by 22 percent from February to April 2020. Black-owned businesses closed at almost twice the rate of other businesses, experiencing a 41 percent drop during that time.Against this more recent backdrop, the racial wealth gap continues to persist, as systemic bias contributes to white households both earning more and having more — and more valuable — assets on average than households of color. These gaps not only manifest in personal and household wealth, but in small business creation and operation as well. Boston has the potential to be a model for other cities by moving aggressively and intentionally to close these gaps, including by addressing biases that limit the opportunities of small business owners and entrepreneurs of color.Based on in-depth, structured, qualitative interviews with leaders across 30 nonprofits, community-based organizations, city agencies, and others, this report seeks to:reveal the strengths and weaknesses of Boston's ecosystem of small business advocates, funders, and technical assistance providerscapture their views on the challenges confronting our region's BIPOC small business owners and entrepreneurs, andcollect their ideas for changes in the future. It endeavors to provide new intelligence and insights, not just for Boston but for other cities.

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.

Championing Leaders of Color in Housing Equity and Community Development

April 26, 2022

Community development unites people to take collective action to build stronger, more resilient places to live. Its roots are embedded in the backyards, living rooms, and church halls of people who, out of sheer will and perseverance, found ways to advocate for change in their neighborhoods. Over time, though, the field of community development has shifted from grassroots movements to the careers of specialized professionals. This shift has led to less racial diversity across the field and too few people of color in decision-making positions, leading to laws, policies, and practices that have perpetuated white supremacy—delivering excessive privilege to whites while disadvantaging Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.Championing Leaders of Color reflects an effort to uncover and disrupt the systems that perpetuate racial inequity in the communities we serve and the organizations where we work. Through this work, we aim to identify tactical strategies to promote equitable leadership in the field of community development where leaders of color are welcomed, supported, and equipped to succeed in advancing their careers as well as their organizations' missions.This report presents findings from a national survey distributed to stakeholders in the community development field, provides insights into data and trends gleaned from responses, and deliberates implications for leaders in, funders to, and supporters of the community development field to consider in service of equitable results. This work takes a narrow focus specific to community development and identifies barriers to equitable leadership opportunities while offering reparative solutions.

Building Trust Through Practice: A Shared Journey Toward an Inclusive Economy

April 13, 2022

In this new report, Building Trust Through Practice: A Shared Journey Toward an Inclusive Economy, the Surdna Foundation's Inclusive Economies team shares how they implemented a new strategy with and for their grantee partners. And the practice, insights, and lessons learned along the way.