I found myself, one day, along with my colleague Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, now the ED of MACLA, facing a nine-month delay for a significant grant that supported the work. MACLA was subsidizing the work with no funds. The intermediary was not delivering the grant on time, nor did it seem it was going to be delivered on time in spite of repeated efforts to collect the grant funds. I became aware of the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) and after some difficult deliberation, applied.
When we ask our grantees what they want for themselves, their families, and their communities, they often say one word: safety. That is why – during a time when the national conversation on solutions to harm is embroiled in heated debate – our guiding star continues to be organizing towards interventions that center safety outside of the carceral punishment system.
My invitation to you, as you explore these resources, is to interrogate the role urgency plays in your life and work. Urgency, a feature and symptom of white supremacy culture, especially stands as a major obstacle to centering relationships and pausing long enough to discern our right next move with skillful means. Together, we can transform systems of white dominance, with the aim of engendering more belonging, trust, accountability, and sustained change.
Working in racial equity and social justice in the philanthropic sector is challenging because the “personal is political,” and there often feels like no break from our 9-5 roles. We don’t get to take off our skin or the grief we feel in our bodies from the years of oppression of racism that our people have endured. As a BIPOC woman and a gender non-conforming person who work to advance racial equity, healing justice has multiple meanings and layers for us, and for BIPOC communities. We want to acknowledge the differences and be in solidarity with our Black, Brown, and Indigenous siblings who historically dealt with enslavement, genocide, and currently experience oppressions in materially different ways.
This is a governance moment. We can master governing for all people by bringing a racial equity consciousness to every aspect of how government does business. We have an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our democracy by fully activating our multiracial population and building a nation where everyone participates, prospers, and reaches their full potential.
The Youth Power Fund is pleased to announce a total of $870,000 in grants to 29 youth organizing groups in Northern California. The fund was launched in 2019 by foundations and donors that recognize the importance of youth organizing and its role in sustaining a vibrant, inclusive society. To this end, the fund invests in young people of color, particularly young Black and Indigenous leaders, who are creating the world they want to live in by reimagining and transforming communities and systems.
NCG is excited to officially welcome Nephthali Ramirez (she/her) to the team! Nephthali joins the newly created role as Program and Communications Coordinator supporting program development from beginning to end. She has experience in both nonprofit and philanthropic sectors working most recently as a contractor for NCG where she supported over 100 events and helped implement the transition to virtual programming.
The lunar new year of the tiger began on February 1, so it's still a new year which means we have an opportunity for a fresh start. Leaders and staff in organizations from different sectors use the phrase “racial equity” or “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and talk about it but sometimes there is a disconnect between talking and acting on what it means to operationalize racial equity. Along with this desire for change, there is the inevitable question of, “now, what do we need to do?”
This is not the New Year’s message I was hoping to write. There was a moment this fall when things started feeling like they might just fall into place. We saw progress on the pandemic, and it felt like 2022 might herald a fresh beginning. But reality intervened, as it tends to do.