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Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens

May 30, 2007

A focus on racial equity can increase your effectiveness at every stage of the grantmaking process. Blending experience and candid advice from grantmakers, this guide explores how a racial equity lens can help you scan your field or community, cultivate new leaders, encourage creative approaches, get people talking, and nourish change inside your own foundation. HighlightsThree tools for activating a racial equity lensYour Race/Your RoleQuestions to ask inside your foundationWhat's in the Guide?What Is a Racial Equity Lens? For grantmakers and foundation leaders, using a racial equity lens means paying disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while analyzing problems, looking for solutions, and defining success. Some use the approach to enhance their own perspectives on grantmaking; others adopt it as part of a commitment endorsed across their foundations.How a Racial Equity Lens Works: A racial equity lens is valuable because it sharpens grantmakers' insights and improves the outcomes of their work. People who use the approach say it helps them to see patterns, separate symptoms from causes, and identify new solutions for their communities or fields.Applying a Racial Equity Lens: Skills and Strategies: Where, specifically, does a racial equity lens get put to use by individual grantmakers? The answer is simple: everywhere. A keen awareness of race and ethnicity, and of their impact on access to power and opportunity, is a distinct asset when applying the classic skills of effective grantmaking.Implementing a Commitment to Racial Equity: Policies and Practices: When a foundation decides to focus on racial equity, how does that commitment get translated into the organization's goals and routines? Foundation leaders and program staff share examples of what they have learned about applying a racial equity lens to their programming, operations, and external affairs.Looking Inward: Using a Racial Equity Lens Inside Your Foundation: Grantmakers who have championed racial equity within their foundations describe a handful of tactics for getting over the predictable hurdles. Ground the discussion of racial equity in the foundation's mission, they say, be open to learning, and be upfront about your goals. But don't lose sight of the possibility of resistance and setbacks.

ReGeneration: Young People Shaping the Environmental Justice Movement

January 10, 2006

ReGeneration examines the powerful visions and strategies of young people in the U.S. environmental justice movement. The Movement Strategy Center interviewed groups across the country, and found that youth organizers in the environmental justice movement are creating new ways to expand leadership, build intergenerational alliances, work sustainably and bridge issue areas and communities. The groups profiled in this report offer models and strategies to reinvigorate every sector of the national progressive movement.

Changing the Rules of the Game: Youth Development & Structural Racism

April 25, 2005

With support of the Ford Foundation, the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) and mosaic consulting embarked on an 18-month study into the ways select community organizations engage youth in confronting structural racism. For this report we use the definition of structural racism developed by the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change1 : "The history, public policies, institutional practices, and cultural stereotypes and norms that together maintain racial hierarchies and inequitable racial group outcomes." Four primary research questions animated this project: 1. How do youth development organizations conceptualize and approach structural racism in their work? 2. Are there commonalities across these definitions and approaches? 3. What challenges do they face? 4. What can we learn from them?