Giving Compass’ Take:
• At Stanford Social Innovation Review, Mekaelia Davis tells philanthropists why reimagining risk is imperative in order to win the fight for racial justice.
• How have racial injustices been carried out for generations in the philanthropic sector? What are you doing to reimagine risk in how you support communities that need it the most?
• Read more about examining your giving through a racial justice lens.
Over the last six weeks, thousands of people across America have been arrested at protests, with millions marching in the streets. Long-time fearless activists, timely global protests, and many actions of solidarity have taken the Black Lives Matter movement mainstream.
It has been thrilling to see large foundations, financial institutions, impact investors, and other resource holders commit to increasing their financial support to Black leaders, nonprofits, and communities. However, if we don’t fundamentally reimagine our relationship to risk—which dictates who we fund and how aggressively we address systemic barriers—we will be doomed to repeat the results of the past.
The racial disparities in funding that stymie social change remain broad: Organizations led by people of color receive less money—and funders trust them less to decide how to use the money—than those led by white people.
To eliminate the interconnected systems that allow racism to plague the world, we, philanthropy and impact investors must build a new lexicon for risk and stronger muscles for taking it. Our risks should push back against decades of inequitable policies that have prioritized profits over people, especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, decades of failed employment policies that have not protected workers’ rights and compensated them their due share of the wealth they’ve generated for others, and decades of underinvestment in Black, Brown, and Indigenous entrepreneurs and fund managers because they are deemed too risky to be job creators and investors.
What risks are we in philanthropy and impact investing willing to take to make lasting change? Are we willing to continue to sacrifice the lives, livelihoods, and well-being of entire communities for the comfort of our well-polished theories of change?
Read the full article about reimagining risk by Mekaelia Davis at Stanford Social Innovation Review.
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