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.
The Libra Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to funding grassroots justice movements led by and for marginalized communities of color. The Libra Foundation’s guiding principle is that those who are closest to the issues understand those issues best. Impacted communities are not only the most equipped to build solutions, they are the most effective at implementing those solutions. We fund frontline organizations led by and for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) transforming the criminal justice system and advancing environmental and climate justice and gender justice.
Recently, Northern California Grantmakers and philanthropic research and strategy firm Open Impact released Get it Right: 5 Shifts Philanthropy Must Make Towards an Equitable Region, a report funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The report outlines what we need from decision-makers in philanthropy – board members, trustees, high net worth individuals, CEOs, and executive directors –to listen to communities, catch up to the moment, and align grantmaking support.
My first executive director position was with MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana in San Jose, CA. I distinctly remember the day I started, it was May 7th, 2003 and I had just taken on the role with all the energy and confidence of an almost 28 year old, artist and recent youth center leader can and should have.
In Get It Right: 5 Shifts Philanthropy Must Make Toward an Equitable Region, we've highlighted 5 case studies from regional leaders who are already doing this work. Read about how the Libra Foundation, Tipping Point, Latino Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation are creating donor collaboratives to leverage more capital.
Resources from Healing Justice: An Integral Approach to Advancing Racial Equity.
We recently lost a powerhouse in our field. Gwen Walden was the Senior Managing Director at Arabella Advisors' San Francisco office. She had a long history in our community and sector serving on the Boards of the East Bay Community Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Fund.