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Philanthropic Voices on Racial Equity

Blackface, White Privilege
By Katy Moore, Managing Director of Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers on February 7, 2019

This incident is just one example of how overt racism shows up in our society. Similar to the countless cell phone videos documenting racist acts, police brutality, and racial discrimination, this yearbook photo should serve as another piece of evidence to spur white Americans to deepen conversations about race, our racist past, and our role in perpetuating current racial inequities.

It is outrageous that in 2019 life outcomes can still be predicted by race. Calling for Governor Northam’s resignation cannot distract us from the real work that needs to be done to dismantle the deep-seated racism that underlies our societal systems. We should care about racist imagery and hold our public officials to the highest of standards. But, we should care even more about the deep inequities that still exist in our society based on nothing more than the level of melanin in our skin and a false narrative about white superiority.

Re-examining a history I thought I knew
By Rebekah Seder, Senior Program Manager, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers on Oct 9, 2018

American historical narratives are often flattened, reduced, and burnished. We celebrate a few specific individuals, forget the rest, and think that we live in a time period unlike any other. Throughout this trip, we heard from individuals and stood in the places where they put their bodies on the line to fight for freedom in the face of imminent physical danger. Many people are still here sharing their stories about that fight. That means many of those who threatened and beat them are still here too. What this trip made painfully clear to me was that, in the fight for racial justice, we cannot fall into the trap of thinking that history is past.


Why I signed up for (and sponsored) LGW and WRAG’s Expanding the Table for Racial Equity series
By Mark Bergel, Founder and Executive Director, A Wider Circle on February 21, 2018

“When was the first time you had a teacher of a different race?”
That was one of the questions posed by the facilitator during the first session of Expanding the Table for Racial Equity, the Thought Leadership Series being put on by Leadership Greater Washington and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.


Building trust and creating community on the journey toward racial equity
By Grace Katabaruki, Director, Investment Practice Group, Venture Philanthropy Partners on February 6, 2018

Excited as I was to attend Expanding the Table for Racial Equity – a learning series hosted by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and Leadership Greater Washington – I was somewhat dubious about the title of the first session.


Racial Equity Impact Assessment: A Tool for Funders
By Yanique Redwood, President and CEO, Consumer Health Foundation on October 31, 2017

Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) is no stranger to racial equity. The foundation was born from Group Health Association, a healthcare cooperative founded in the 1930s to provide pre-paid healthcare to its members in racially integrated settings.


A California story: My racial journey
By Mardell Moffett, Associate Executive Director, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation on January 31, 2017

I was honored and grateful to have the opportunity to attend the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Summit in December with my WRAG colleagues. When asked if I would be willing to write a few words about the experience, I hesitated.


How the Latin American Youth Center is putting racism on the table
By Lori Kaplan, President & CEO, Latin American Youth Center on January 10, 2017

For some time now, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) has recognized that we cannot take our diversity for granted and that we have to take a deeper dive on issues related to ending racism and bigotry.


Make racial justice training your New Year’s resolution
By Caitlin Duffy, Senior Associate for Learning and Engagement, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy on December 28, 2016

Many of you have heard about the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) learning series Putting Racism on the Table, which convened foundation trustees and CEOs from the Washington, D.C., area. I attended four of the six three-hour sessions earlier this year, among 40-50 other attendees. WRAG’s program is an excellent model for sector groups and funders who want to effectively leverage their bully pulpit.


Communicating about Racism as a White Ally
By Katy Moore, Managing Director of Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers on December 20, 2016

Last week, WRAG hosted a training for its white members called Communicating about Race with White Family, Friends, and Colleagues. At that training, I had an “aha” moment – one that was desperately needed after some of the inflamed rhetoric during and following the election.


Engaging in self-analysis and open critique to advance conversations on race
By Nina Weissberg, Trustee, The Weissberg Foundation on December 19, 2016

In early December, I participated in another terrific Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers training from the Putting Racism on the Table series; this one focused on white-identifying people having conversations amongst themselves about race.


Unpacking the carry-on bag of bias: My reflections on WRAG’s “Responding to Comments that are Implicitly Biased: Guidance for African-Americans” training
By Manon P. Matchett, Community Investment Officer, Strategic Initiatives, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region on December 13, 2016

WRAG’s recent training, “Responding to Comments that are Implicitly/Unconsciously Biased: Guidance for African-Americans,” was a curbside check-in experience for me.


Keeping Racism on the Table
By Rick Moyers, Vice President, Programs & Communications of the Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation on November 8, 2016

Growing up in rural and small-town Virginia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, I was introduced to the concept of race and racism at a very early age.


A message from the president of the National Civil Rights Museum: Why funders must continue to put racism on the table
By Terri Lee Freeman, President, National Civil Rights Museum, Former President, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Former Chair, WRAG Board of Directors on October 11, 2016

 The work that WRAG has taken on through the Putting Racism on the Table initiative is nothing short of groundbreaking. You see, the truth is most grantmakers tend to be very politically correct. As grantmakers we (yes I recognize I am no longer a part of your number, but humor me) tend to want to make people feel good.


Revealing truth through art
By Marcela Brane, President/CEO, The Herb Block Foundation on June 20, 2016

The Herb Block Foundation was asked by Tamara Lucas Copeland to comment on the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize winner for Editorial Cartooning, specifically on the “Racist EZCash” cartoon shown here.


Putting Racism on the Table: How I was affected
By Julie Wagner, Vice President, Community Affairs at CareFirst and Terri Copeland, Senior Vice President and Territory Executive, Community Development Banking, East PNC Bank on June 13, 2016

Could there have been a better time for WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series? With tragic events across the country highlighting racial bias and injustice, and national political discourse rife with bigoted remarks – it’s clear that conversations about racism and how to address it must continue at every level.


Creating Meaningful Impact/Creando un impacto significativo
By By Silvia Salazar, Board Member, Consumer Health Foundation on May 19, 2016

 “Why is it that we are not as healthy as white people? Why?” Mamá repeatedly murmured in Spanish as she drifted in and out of consciousness. She was in the ICU recovering from lung surgery. I did not know what to say.


When mass incarceration hits home
By Graham McLaughlin, Managing Director, The Advisory Board Company (a WRAG member), and Anthony Pleasant, Owner, Pleasant Assembly on April 25, 2016

 Today, Graham McLaughlin, a managing director for The Advisory Board Company and supporter of Clean Decisions (a local business helping returning citizens transition from prison to outside life), and business owner and former Clean Decisions employee Anthony Pleasant, candidly share their respective experiences with navigating the justice system and discuss the challenges still facing returning citizens once they have served their time.


Reflections on implicit bias
By Missy Young, Board Chair, and Dara Johnson, Lead Staffer
The Horning Family Fund on March 24, 2016

WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table learning series has provided me with an opportunity to build on my personal experiences and to develop new directions in my work with the Horning Family Fund.


Reflections on being white
By Rose Ann Cleveland, Executive Director of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation on February 25, 2016

Most of my childhood, I lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. I was in first grade on February 1, 1960, when the four students from NC A&T State University sat-in at the downtown Woolworth’s lunch counter; yet, I don’t remember learning about this important historical moment until much later.


How we’re “Putting Racism on the Table”: The Meyer Foundation
By Nicky Goren, President and CEO, and Josh Bernstein, Board Chair of The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation on February 1, 2016

We are working to create a space for dialogue – both internally and externally – through which we can better understand the systems that perpetuate inequity and how we can dismantle them.


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