This month finds us with our hearts heavy with the loss of lives through the mass shootings and the passing of a beloved writer, Toni Morrison. The expression of white supremacist violence and hate is overwhelming and we’re trying to find comfort with being in community. We’ve chosen some articles that provide a mix of things to reflect upon regarding immigration, labor, interconnectedness, personal history, and cultural narratives.
Not so long ago, I used the term "natural disaster" in a manuscript for a publication. My PhD supervisor shot back, “There's nothing natural about disasters.” Decades of hazard research and our frontline communities are concluding the same thing: the ever-growing frequency of natural hazards don’t need to become disasters.
Should the “rigor” yardstick, used in traditional evaluation practice, be used to assess an equity-focused mission? Does centering questions of validity, objectivity, and appropriateness advance equity? A growing group of funders and evaluators would answer “no” to both questions.
Census and redistricting – two sides of the same coin. Both take place every ten years and both are integral to determining how each Californian is represented at the federal, state, and local levels. In California, our groundbreaking independent redistricting process offers everyday Californians the opportunity to participate in and shape a fundamental part of our democracy.
In 2018, NCG launched a Senior Fellow program as a platform for philanthropic leaders to advance a body of work, reflect, share insights with our members and the sector more broadly, and provide guidance, mentorship, and support to NCG staff and our member community. This expansion of our community enables us to engage senior leaders and their continued contribution to the field.
As we reflect on Independence Day for the United States, we’re grappling with how history, culture, and the arts are written about and by whom. We’re questioning how terms are used in different ways, where we come from, and the unexpected ways in which we are connected.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the citizenship question cannot, for now, be added to the 2020 Census. While this is an important step forward, significant challenges remain to ensuring that every person in our community is counted. The Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative (BACFC) remains committed to working together to bring resources to trusted community-based organizations to ensure a fair and accurate count.
When NCG stepped into the policy space two years ago, we did so knowing that it would require us to be bold and lean deeply into our mission to bring philanthropy together to build healthy, thriving, and just communities. With the 2020 election around the corner, there is much at stake for California and our region. There has never been a more appropriate or important time for philanthropy to be advocating and using its voice in service of building a Better California for all.
When we announced a few years ago that NCG would be taking up racial equity as a central part of our work we received praise, and we also encountered some skepticism. Many cautioned us that everyone seemed to be “getting into equity” and that we’d better be sure we had something distinct to add. We have taken that to heart.