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. The conversation has been edited for brevity.
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.
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 Akonadi Foundation is building Black movements.
California Criminal Justice Funders Group is honored to welcome our newest Steering Committee member: Sabina Gonzalez-Eraña, Senior Program Manager with The California Endowment. We are excited to learn from and alongside Sabina. Learn more about her below!
I’ll be honest: I’ve been putting off answering your question “How do foundation leaders stay clear-eyed in this moment?” As I sit to write, our Northern California skies are hazy with wildfire smoke. It strikes me as a metaphor for this moment, 19 months into COVID, when our visions of a post-pandemic future are shifting yet again. I definitely don’t feel clear-eyed.
Philanthropy California (Philanthropy CA) is an initiative of Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), SoCal Grantmakers, and Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties. Our combined membership represents more than 600 foundations, corporate funders, philanthropic individuals and families, giving circles, and government agencies investing billions every year to support communities across the state, the country, and worldwide. Learn more about our alliance.
First, let’s get honest about the historical context we are operating in. Philanthropy exists as a result of capitalism and was formed through centuries of slavery, colonization, and displacement. The systems are designed to extract resources, privatize wealth, and centralize power and control of said resources. The systems are successfully doing exactly what they have been designed to do.