Shaunda McDill's Blog

Posted on August 21, 2020 by Shaunda McDill

Responding to: How can cultural grantmaking interrupt institutional and structural racism while building a more just funding ecosystem that prioritizes Black communities, organizations, and artists?

In William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying, a young character by the name of Vardaman is allowed to believe that his “mother is a fish,” because no one takes the time to tell him that his mother is dead. Instead he associates what he witnesses with the reality he understands within a highly dysfunctional family. In the novel, he repeats, “fish. fish. fish.” Similarly, I would offer that we are currently operating in a highly dysfunctional philanthropic family. I believe in the potential of our work. I am invigorated working with my colleagues at The Heinz Endowments, and I cherish the etymology of the term “philanthropy.” So, it is only with love I offer that equity is dead.