"Racial Equity Work is People Work"
Marcus Walton, the new president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), previous co-director of Racial Equity Initiatives (REI) at Borealis Philanthropy, reflected recently on some of the learnings from his work at Borealis that he hopes to bring with him to GEO.
I have learned that creating a dynamic culture for change is critical to efficiently and effectively advancing a change agenda. Since this work is disruptive, by definition, staff is well served to be equipped with various frameworks, tools, and coaching support to manage disruption. We cannot fully invest ourselves into racial equity or justice work without being shaped by it, directly. Working with the REI team at Borealis helped me grow as a leader, and I also learned a tremendous amount from all Borealis staff. Understanding the work of all of Borealis’ donor collaborative funds helped me appreciate the value and complexity of intersectional work.
According to Walton, his experience at Borealis demonstrated the impact of developing trust with peers and colleagues responsible for the work. "The result of that trust and open conversations within the REP Fund, for example, has been the creation of racial equity-informed investments that respond directly to the source of need for grantees and beneficiaries, alike."
The insights grantees and donors shared with him in their work, he said, confirmed to him that "racial equity work is people work."
Image: Borealis Philanthropy website