I connected with Tanir Ami, CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation, and Michael Heil, Board Chair, during the final week of NCG’s learning series Unconscious Whiteness for Board Members & Trustees, where a cohort of 15 white-identifying board members and trustees came together to learn. We discussed their motivation for participating, the challenges and opportunities CARESTAR has encountered in attempting to center racial equity, and what’s next in manifesting their commitment.
On my very first week of work in philanthropy, I was tasked with hand delivering an important document to the board chair. His office was located in a big, beautiful, glassed skyscraper in downtown San Francisco. It didn’t matter that very few people in the building looked like me. I was in awe and I felt like I belonged. Until I didn’t.
In California, the Newsom administration recently made a bold pronouncement that opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Californians 16 years and older on April 15th — an incredible milestone after a year of challenges that fueled a renewed drive for economic, political, and social equity. However, when it comes to achieving vaccine equity, California has a long way to go. https://hiponline.org/As funders, we need to meet this moment with an even more urgent sense of social justice and equity. We must trust and invest in grassroots organizations that are working to ensure equitable vaccine distribution.
The COVID-19 vaccine will help keep communities healthy and safe and holds promise to bring an end to the pandemic that has had the most severe impacts on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, AAPI, immigrant, and low-income people. Systemic racism created the conditions that put people of color at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing more severe health outcomes, and despite this urgency, California’s vaccination effort so far has fallen short of equity goals. We must reach and authentically engage local communities to remove barriers to access and address concerns to increase vaccine acceptance.
CCJFG Steering Committee members are excited to share the following books and podcasts that have accompanied us as we settle into Spring 2021. The content ranges from writings on indigenous forms of justice and healing to a podcast tracing the connections between hip-hop and mass incarceration to a mixed media collection of responses to the question, what does it mean to be Black and alive? These stories are rigorous, compelling, and bring us closer to understanding the intersections of history, justice work, and future-making.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’ve arrived as NCG’s CEO on the shoulders of many others that came before me. Two of the strongest shoulders belong to my first professional mentor and a heavyweight in philanthropic circles, Joe Brooks. During my seventeen years as a work partner and friend at The San Francisco Foundation and then PolicyLink, I learned more from him than I could ever adequately describe. He had a habit of saying things that were increasingly profound the more you thought about them. One of those sayings was, “how much do you need to know to act?”, often dropped in a setting surrounded by other foundation colleagues where he was about to propose bold action to engage some of the Bay Area’s most vexing social challenges.
This has been a hard week of swirling emotions since I learned six Asian women and two other people were shot in Atlanta amidst the rise of anti-Asian violence here and nationwide. The names identified so far are: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Julie Park, Hyeon Jeong Park and I am sending my deep condolences to their loved ones, families, and communities. Rage, grief, and sadness course through me as I wake up and tend to my work, check in with kin and kindred, read the news, and skim social media. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed.
We're sharing climate justice issues, ranging from climate feminism to health impacts of climate change to accountability of philanthropy to BIPOC climate justice innovators. We hope these articles inspire you to delve in deeply about how you can take part in advancing racial, gender, and economic equities.
Putting CARE into Action for our Rural Older Adults