The findings in this document were gathered at the request of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of its quest to better understand what other foundations are doing to incorporate equity — both in their internal operations and in their grantmaking. This document shares learnings from conversations with several foundations, observations drawn, and suggestions for foundations that want to move forward in their own efforts to embrace equity.
Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Forum has a strategic focus on advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy by leveraging the power of our expanding nationwide network of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs).
We provide programming on racial equity, diversity and inclusion for people working at PSOs through our annual conference, webinars and in other ways. We are also focused on helping PSOs provide funders with effective resources, programming and strategies to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, guided by a new Racial Equity Working Group.
The Forum was a partner in the D5 coalition, a five-year effort organized by a coalition of foundations and associations to galvanize philanthropy’s work on diversity, equity and inclusion. D5 sought to leverage the collective knowledge, experience, and action of more than 17 organizations, representing thousands of foundations.
In the final session in Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers's Putting Racism on the Table series (2016), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Dr. Gail Christopher discussed the role of philanthropy in addressing racism and racial inequity.
In the fourth session of Putting Racism on the Table (2016), James Bell, founder and executive director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, focused on mass incarceration.
In the fifth session in WRAG's Putting Racism on the Table series (2016), Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, discussed the experience of nonblack racial minorities in America, the implications of demographic change, and the urgent need to invest in equity.
As a foundation committed to improving outcomes for all children, race equity has long been part of Annie E. Casey Foundation’s DNA. In 2013, staff members created a new race equity and inclusion (REI) framework, which has become a guiding beacon for all of its work. Deploying Casey’s REI Framework: Lessons from the Civic Sites documents the efforts of the Foundation to embed a race equity lens in its programmatic units in Baltimore and Atlanta. Civic site staff agreed to undergo trainings, conduct deep team discussions, study data, engage external partners, identify equity gaps...
In the third session of Putting Racism on the Table (2016), Julie Nelson, Director of the Government Alliance on Race & Equity, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, focused on implicit bias.
D5’s Final State of the Work highlights voices of leaders in the field who share their stories of change and progress. This final report catalogs the stories that tell of human impact and human struggle to create a more equitable philanthropy.
How do low-income communities learn to advance economically and build wealth? Low-income communities and communities of color, in challenging structural economic and social inequality, have historically grappled with tensions inherent to development. Who participates in, directs, and ultimately owns the economic-development process? In creating and sustaining new, inclusive economic institutions, how do community members cultivate and pass on skills, commitment and knowledge—especially among those who have long faced barriers to education and employment? And how should communities strike an appropriate balance between utilizing local knowledge and accessing outside expertise?
A special issue of Responsive Philanthropy devoted to what philanthropy can do to combat implicit bias, or the way in which our unconscious minds shape and contribute to our thoughts and actions. A diverse roster of authors explores how this phenomenon both affects the many challenges we as a society face and its implications for how philanthropy addresses these issues.
Developed by the Southern Law Poverty Center, the guide (available in pdf and website formats) provides advice and suggestions for responding to everyday bigotry in a variety of settings-- among family, among friends and neighbors, at work, at school, and in public.