Foundations and other nonprofits are grappling with the consequences of change for our collective future, especially as we have witnessed how deep a grip misogyny and racism hold over America. Today, amid a resurgence of hate speech and violence, the work of transforming our broken systems is more urgent than ever. It is imperative that we maintain the momentum of the last few years, trusting our grantees and rejecting calls for micromanagement as a form of risk management.
By John Barnes, Executive Director, Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA)HIV is a crime in 32 US states and 72 countries around the world. Ironically, the only defense against many of these laws is not knowing your HIV status. Most people with HIV are unaware of their level of vulnerability to criminal charges, and, due to a lack of funding to address these challenges, combatting HIV criminalization is not high on many advocates agendas. A key theme in recent HIV-related philanthropy addressing criminalization includes advocacy and capacity building for impacted populations.
[The LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund] focuses on the South because of the many powerful multi-issue organizations poised to make an impact on racial justice and LGBTQ rights there and because of how under-resourced the region is philanthropically. And, as Southern racial justice and LGBTQ rights organizers are pointing out to us now, they know how to fight against right-wing repression. We have been listening carefully to our cohort of brilliant and brave movement-building grantees, and I’m eager to share that we’ve heard.
Grant makers been making plans for the Trump era, creating rapid-response funds, hosting webinars, and listening to recommendations from grantees for how to best back their work.
In this moment, we need all of our leaders across so many movements that are building power for marginalized communities to be supported in ways that allow them to show up and be whole in their work. We can approach our grantmaking from a broader perspective of the values that guide us, to show up together and in solidarity.
Progressive foundations that prioritize and support communities of color must remain focused. These communities will need help now more than ever, and foundations can't afford to lose focus or veer off the path. Here are five points to affirm commitment to the work in these uncertain times.
Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) stands in solidarity with the Baton Rouge community and people across Louisiana and across the nation who are outraged, hurt and engaged by the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling, Deputy Brad Garafola with East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson of the Baton Rouge Police Department — as well as the three other injured police officers.