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Appreciating the Long, Hard Work of Advancing Racial Equity in Philanthropy

Monday, January 21, 2019

Today our country celebrates the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the day is intended to “empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a ‘Beloved Community.’”

As noted by the King Center, Dr. King’s global vision of a “Beloved Community” included, among other things, that “racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.” Many United Philanthropy Forum members are working diligently every day to eliminate racism and advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy—helping philanthropy be more effective in reducing and eliminating the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in every area of social and economic well-being. So this national holiday is a fitting time to release a new Forum video that highlights the role that racial equity plays in the work of our members.

The video brings to life some of the findings of the Forum’s 2018 racial equity scan of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs). The scan revealed that more than half of the Forum’s member PSOs are engaged in various stages of work to advance racial equity in philanthropy. A smaller group of our members—including ABFE, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity—are engaged in advancing racial equity as a core part of their missions.

In the 11-minute video, our members share some strategies and thinking behind their ongoing racial equity work, as well as some struggles and successes. The video is the second in a series of three Forum videos in which our members, along with some colleagues and friends, offer their perspectives on different aspects of racial equity. Our goal with these videos is to spark continued thinking and conversations that will lead to action in our field to reduce inequities based on race and ethnicity. (Here's a link to the first video in the series: Racial Equity Is…).

After you view the video, I hope you will gain some new insights about the long, hard work of advancing racial equity, and get a better appreciation of the many dedicated individuals and organizations in the Forum network who are working passionately and thoughtfully to make life better for everyone in our country—moving us a bit closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

David Biemesderfer
President & CEO, United Philanthropy Forum
Follow me @dbiemesderfer

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