ICYMI: Reimagining Philanthropy to Build a Culture of Repair

"The movement for reparations in the United States—a Black-led movement that began even before slavery’s end—is making unprecedented strides forward, and governments across the country are beginning to act. In October 2020, California became the first state to initiate an official task force to study and develop a reparations plan for Black Americans harmed by slavery and its legacies," said Aria Florant and Venneikia Williams for Nonprofit Quarterly. "In March 2021, the city council in Evanston, Illinois, approved the Local Reparations Restorative Housing Program to address racial discrimination in housing. In April 2021, HR 40 was voted out of committee for the first time in its 32-year history. If passed, the bill would establish a commission to study the negative effects of slavery."

"These initiatives represent just a few of the many forms that advocacy for reparations can take. Other activities include grassroots power-building, research, narrative change, and stakeholder mobilization. There is an enormous amount of work to be done, and it needs real investment to be successful."

"A new philanthropic model, in the form of asset transfers coupled with a comprehensive racial repair framework, would deepen investment in Black communities while reflecting the reparations movement’s goals. In addition, it would move the philanthropic sector into a liminal space (ie, a transitional opening for social change) that could decrease the need for philanthropy in the first place."

"This is only one step toward a world where philanthropy is unnecessary because our economic and democratic systems create just outcomes for all. In this world, wealth isn’t hoarded; it’s invested in ways that meet all people’s needs. A reparative model of philanthropy creates the liminal space needed to move closer to this new world."

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