No matter our color, background, zip code or political views, our democracy should work for everyone. Democracy in the United States is premised on the notion that every voter should have the freedom to cast their vote. Through the act of voting we make our voices heard elect representatives who govern in our name and enact our priorities.
It is with bittersweet emotions and heartfelt congratulations that NCG wishes Varisa Tantiwasadakran, Communications Associate, success as she departs for graduate studies. Varisa heads off to New York to pursues not one, but two Columbia University Graduate Programs: Master of Science in Urban Planning at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation alongside a Master of International Affairs in Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs.
Thanks, Marcus and Dwayne, for your inspiring words and your leadership. As good discussions go, you’ve both got me thinking. And thanks to Marcus for tagging me and inviting me to jump into the conversation. Marcus’s “meet the moment” question for me is a good one: How does philanthropy need to work differently in these complex and turbulent times?
The realities, challenges, and larger context of what Black and brown trans communities are facing locally and nationally are not well-known to funders or to our society in general. The list of articles here showcase Bay Area trans leaders and their organization’s work.
Truth is, I’ve been skeptical of membership groups for funders. Why should foundations put precious resources toward these groups — philanthropy-serving organizations? Is it helping the communities at the core of our missions? But then I experienced NCG, and I saw the power of funders coming together for good.
We are now excited to announce the launch of the California Community-Owned Real Estate (CalCORE) Program – a five-year, state-wide initiative to increase community-controlled and mission-driven real estate for Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color across California.
We were grateful for Ayanna Albertson to write a custom piece for the NCG community at the 2021 Annual Conference. Read her poem and watch her performance here.
As the movement moment that emerged in 2020 continues to expand in its breadth and importance, the entirety of the philanthropic sector wrestles with a fundamental question: what can we do that will make meaningful change in the conditions that have led us to this precipice of racial reckoning?
Recently, Dwayne Marsh, CEO of Northern California Grantmakers, and I were reflecting on how many foundations in our memberships are looking to change direction and move toward racial equity. In an ice-bucket-style challenge, Dwayne posted his thoughts and then tagged me with the question. I’ll post my answer here (minus the ice and the bucket) and tag one of my favorite thinkers at the end. The answer, from where I sit, begins with leadership. I’ll reflect on my own, as a start.
This May marks the anniversary of what many have referred to as the beginning of new moment of racial reckoning in the U.S. On May 25, 2020, a world confined by a global pandemic witnessed George Floyd, a Black, 46-year-old, father, son and brother, be callously murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George Floyd was one of many victims of anti-Black violence whose name rose to national attention last summer, alongside Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and countless others. Their murders furthered the already deepening unrest in the U.S. due to COVID-19, the inequities it laid bare, its disproportionate impact on the physical, emotional, and economic well-being of BIPOC communities, and the increased prevalence of white supremacist fueled violence, mainly against Asian American communities.