Three weeks ago, the two of us stepped into our new roles as acting Co-CEOs of Northern California Grantmakers. That was the same day the world learned we would need vigorous hand-washing and distance to protect each other and everyone in our community from a new rapidly spreading virus. A most unusual start in our roles. But, then again, these are most unusual times.
Our partners at Southern California Grantmakers are offering this event. Liberation Festival is coming back for the second year! In honor of Juneteenth, SCG is thrilled to once again host this virtual experience showcasing eight Black musicians, dances, rappers, and poets creating works on the themes of Black joy, expression, and excellence.
Although the missions, strategies, and goals of our foundations are different, we share the belief that the grant application process should be simpler, and it is our responsibility as funders to reduce the burdens we place on grantseekers wherever we can. That is what our newly launched Common Application for the Arts is all about.
Trans leaders need the spaciousness–many of us understand to be provided by sufficient resourcing–to be able to dream even bigger. As funders, we must understand, now is not the time to center our individual agendas; we cannot focus on single program areas, issues, and strategies, or tepid expansion of portfolios. The Right continues to fund for the long haul, and progressive philanthropy needs to expand our funding and our imagination. If we are working toward equity, we must be steadfast in resourcing trans leaders committed to, and creating long-term strategies for, trans people to live with self-determination and full autonomy.
Achieving racial equity and sustaining a viable democracy go hand in hand. NCG defines democracy as the processes, systems, and structures for historically marginalized and underrepresented community members to participate in a political system that fulfills the promise of an equitable multi-racial society. Northern California is a region that can model this approach, ensuring that people of color and other communities historically underrepresented and marginalized in our political process fully engage in the democratic process.
Navigating the threat of wildfire is an ongoing reality of life in Sonoma County. From 2017 to 2020, fires burned more than 300,000 acres across the county, resulting in devastating losses to ecosystems, homes, communities, and human lives.