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A Voice from Philanthropy…on Racial Equity

Looking Inward and Outward: Two Philanthropic Leaders in the Nation’s Capital Share their Stories about Liberating Philanthropy.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on July 23, 2018

In a joint blog, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, shares how the philanthropic sector’s actions are changing as a result of centering racism and addressing root causes of injustice, and Yanique Redwood, chair of WRAG’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation, shares one aspect of her foundation’s evolution—community leadership in governance

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Juneteenth.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on May 21, 2018

On June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a notice of the emancipation finally reached Galveston, Texas.

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How Philanthropy Can Work to Give All Black Men an Opportunity to Succeed
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on March 29, 2018

Over the past few days, I keep hearing — and thinking — about an important new study whose results the New York Times summed up in its headline, “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys.”

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Understanding History: It’s NOT Just Academic
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on February 12, 2018

We are trying to build a network of leaders in our region who recognize and understand the impact of structural racism, white privilege and implicit bias on our communities and who believe that we can change it.

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Racial Healing: A National Day, but a Personal Journey
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on January 16, 2018

Now, in its second year, LaJune Montgomery Tabron, the Kellogg Foundation’s CEO, reminds us that “in healing, we acknowledge the truth of past wrongs and the authentic narratives of people across communities. The National Day of Racial Healing is a call to action for people to come together and begin the dialogue.”

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Why government needs to put racism on the table
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on November 13, 2017

Somewhere in elementary school, we all learned how a bill becomes a law. What we didn’t learn was how bias, perhaps unconscious, affects the decisions of lawmakers or how structural racism has been essentially hardwired into so many of the public policies that shape our lives.

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Statues, History and Social Justice
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on October 10, 2017

Last Friday, I passed by Columbus Circle in front of Union Station as journalists prepared to film their Columbus Day news segments. I was reminded of the role that statues play in setting the stage for conversations.

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Why aren’t there more leaders of color in the nonprofit sector?
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on September 14, 2017

Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, a report recently released by BoardSource, had as its first finding, “Boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago and current recruitment priorities indicate this is unlikely to change.”

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White people, it’s time to act
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on August 21, 2017

Racism and racists have been put on the table in a powerful way since the recent events in Charlottesville.

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Jordan Edwards
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on May 3, 2017

Another unarmed, black child killed by the police. Another. Jordan was 15 years old, leaving a party in Dallas when a police officer, called to investigate underage drinking, shot him.

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My racial identity, deconstructed
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on April 24, 2017

Racial identity – how you see me and how I see myself – is influenced by so many factors, but one of the most significant influencers is how your family perceives race. And, of course, if your family perceives race at all.

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Poor, Black and on Trial in DC
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on February 14, 2017

For two weeks, I served on a jury in the District of Columbia. I don’t know if our Putting Racism on the Table work over the last year made me more sensitive, but what I do know is that I responded to this case very differently than the three other times that I have served on a DC jury.

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What does a trip to California have to do with racial equity?
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on January 10, 2017

On Monday, December 2, 2016, I flew to Carlsbad, California with fourteen philanthropic leaders to attend a week-long summit hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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What does Santa look like?
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on December 12, 2016

Long ago, I started collecting Santas to decorate my Christmas tree. I would buy them whenever I traveled as a memento of the trip. My tree is adorned with a Santa on a bicycle, a Santa on an alligator, and one hugging a pink flamingo.

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If You See Something, Say Something: Post-Election America
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on November 22, 2016

It has been two weeks since the election. Like many of you, I, too, have been thinking about what this means. With a new president whose party will control both houses of Congress – not to mention appointments to the Supreme Court – the potential for change – significant change – is high.

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Racial Profiling is Real. It Just Happened to my Son.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on November 17, 2016

Yesterday, my son was stopped by the police as he came out of our home at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

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Racism fatigue?
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on September 20, 2016

I’ve been cautioned not to talk too much about racism. “You don’t want to cause racism fatigue” is what I’m hearing, primarily from African-Americans.

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Nonprofits Need to Talk About Race, Not Just Diversity
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on May 12, 2016

I am not minimizing the importance of diversity. I’m simply suggesting that if we don’t also dig deeper into the issues of race and racism and their impact on our day-to-day lives, we will have only touched the surface of the social and racial inequities that continue to plague this country.

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Is the power of philanthropy enough to move the needle on racism? Yes, it already is.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on April 21, 2016

In January, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) started an intensive exploration of racism called Putting Racism on the Table.

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When was the last time you talked about racism?
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on March 15, 2016

This post is about why you – whoever you are – should be putting racism on whatever table, literal or metaphoric, at which you sit.

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Op-Ed: Philanthropy Must Understand Racism Is Not Dead
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on January 21, 2016

On Monday, Americans from all walks of life joined together to celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with volunteer projects and other commemorations reflecting his teachings.

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Rioting in Baltimore: A Plea for Justice
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on April 28, 2015

As media coverage on the riots in Baltimore continues, WRAG president Tamara Copeland asks us to look deeper into the plight of those on the forefront of the unrest.

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Understanding Black History as One Step on the Road to Racial Justice
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on February 2, 2015

Years ago, my neighbor Jim Myers wrote a book called Afraid of the Dark: What Whites and Blacks Need to Know about Each Other. In it, Jim, who is white, suggests that one of the reasons that African-Americans and whites don’t understand each other is because we spend so little time in each other’s homes.

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Reflecting on the commemorative March on Washington
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on September 23, 2013

That expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has been on my mind for the last few weeks. I’ve been wondering what impression the visual image from the recent commemorative March on Washington gave to those who watched the coverage on television.

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Two national issues, two different responses. Social media matters.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on July 10, 2013

Late last month the United States Supreme Court decided on three cases that directly impacted many in our country and indirectly impacted all of us who care about social justice.

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Trayvon Martin, Silent. We Must Speak.
By Tamara Lucas Copeland on March 20, 2012

By now, you have heard about the 17 year old, African-American boy who was killed tragically on February 26th by a neighborhood watch captain. According to reports, Trayvon was on his way to his dad’s home in a gated community after going to a nearby convenience store.

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