Central among our ongoing reckoning with racial justice is the question of how power is shifted and shared through partnerships. Historically marginalized communities across the U.S. do not typically have access to resources and traditional means of power, so many of the decisions on policies, plans and investments are decided by people who are not directly impacted by a racially inequitable system.
Shifting power in a racial equity context entails lifting up organizations and leaders of color, and in some cases replacing white leadership with leaders of color who can design solutions to issues that they have identified. When white individuals and organizations share power with people of color it can foster equity and trust, and leads to better, more equitable decisions. Authors in this section reflect on their relationships to power, approaches to partnership, and the potential for more racially equitable outcomes.
Peace for Communities of Color
Lea Whitehurst-Gibson and Bekah Kendrick
Reframing Equity: The Gift of Being a Giver
Reparative and Equitable Practices and Partnerships
Meghan Z. Gough
Interview with Elaine Williams
Interview with Richmond Mayor, Levar Stoney, and Ellen Robertson
Levar Stoney and Ellen Robertson
1. What are some reasons for organizations to focus on sharing or shifting power?
2. In their essay, Lea and Bekah mention “equity washing” as an obstacle to change. What is this, have you witnessed it and why does it matter for making racially equitable decisions and investments?
3. Pulling from the contributions in this section, through what actions and approaches can white people and organizations build trust with communities of color?
https://philanthropynetwork.org/sites/default/files/resources/racial-equity-and-philanthropy.pdf" rel="noopener" target="_blank">Racial Equity and Philanthropy
Cherl Dorsey, Jeff Bradach, and Peter Kim (May 2020)
White Women Doing White Supremacy in Nonprofit Culture
Heather Laine Talley, Tzedek Social Justice Fund (August 12, 2019)
How White People Conquered the Nonprofit Industry
Anastasia Reesa Tomkin, Nonprofit Quarterly (May 26, 2020)
College faculty have become more racially and ethnically diverse, but remain far less so than students
Leslie Davis and Richard Fry (July 31, 2019)
The Richmond Racial Equity Essays launched in 2021 with the goal of promoting thought leadership and public dialogue toward advancing racial equity in Richmond, Virginia, but also as a multi-media model for other cities grappling...
Planning for Inclusive Communities
Urban planning concerns itself with the design and uses of space (or land) that focus on the physical form, economic functions, and social impacts of the built and natural environments in cities, towns and places in our communities. Although...
Building Sustainable and Affordable Housing
Housing is a basic need around which our health and stability is built, our neighborhoods are centered and housing (through homeownership) is a cornerstone for wealth building. Thus access to...
Ensuring Education Equity
The quality of one’s education has a significant impact on both their access to opportunity and life outcomes. Yet, many Black and Brown children lack the access to a quality education within....
Advancing Economic Empowerment
The link between capitalism and systemic racism has been with us even before the founding of the United States, as using people for profit is one of our country’s original sins. The compounding...
Shifting Power and Reimagining Partnerships
Central among our ongoing reckoning with racial justice is the question of how power is shifted and shared through partnerships. Historically marginalized communities...
Lifting Up Latino Leadership and Language Access
Latinos will soon be a majority in many cities across the U.S., yet the numbers of Latino leaders continue to lag across sectors as compared with other groups. This inequitable distribution of power...
Creating Community, Healing, and Justice
In the journey to dismantle structures of white supremacy there must be attention paid to community rebuilding and healing. Trauma from racism has negatively impacted Black and Brown people, and...
Building a Healthy Environment
Most U.S. localities are legally tasked to make decisions that protect the health, safety and general welfare of its inhabitants. While environmental health should be provided for all populations, communities...
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