Report: Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens
When the Philanthropic initiative for Racial Equity (PRE), in partnership with GrantCraft, released Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens, a few foundations had made racial equity a central focus of their work, but many were still exploring how to incorporate equity into their grantmaking.
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About Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
Since its inception in January 2003, PRE has directly engaged hundreds of foundation representatives (including program staff, management, board members and individual donors) in discussions of racial equity and, in particular, how they can advance the mission of achieving racial equity through their own philanthropic institutions.
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What does philanthropy need to know to prioritize racial justice?
Our guide helped surface how to advance racial equity in philanthropy, aiming to make it a core practice and goal of grantmakers. Rather than other popular approaches of the time—“colorblindness,” universal approaches, diversity—PRE’s guide defined a racially equitable world as one where the distribution of resources, opportunities and burdens is not determined or predictable by race.
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PRE Goals and Strategies

PRE recognizes that there are a broad range of effective programs and practices to address racial inequities. There is an increasing level of sophistication within the racial justice field and much more awareness of which approaches meet which needs best.

Whether we are talking about ways to engage communities or ways to engage foundation staff and boards, PRE understands the importance of meeting people where they are on their own continua of learning and comfort level in addressing what can often be difficult and controversial issues. We also recognize that peer learning and support can be critical when facing these challenges, and we work to provide the space and tools that will allow this to happen.

Report: Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens​

When the Philanthropic initiative for Racial Equity (PRE), in partnership with GrantCraft, released Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens, a few foundations had made racial equity a central focus of their work, but many were still exploring how to incorporate equity into their grantmaking.

Our guide helped surface how to advance racial equity in philanthropy, aiming to make it a core practice and goal of grantmakers. Rather than other popular approaches of the time—“colorblindness,” universal approaches, diversity—PRE’s guide defined a racially equitable world as one where the distribution of resources, opportunities and burdens is not determined or predictable by race. We successfully argued that an explicit racial equity lens ensures that the particular needs and assets of communities are taken into account, and that diversity, while important to that task, is insufficient for addressing power imbalances.

What does philanthropy need to know to prioritize racial justice?

Earlier in 2018, Philanthropy News Digest spoke with Lori Villarosa (PRE) about the difference between racial equity and racial justice, the challenges of racial equity/justice work in the Age of Trump and the lessons she and her colleagues have learned as they have worked to create a more just society.

In partnership with Race Forward and Foundation Center, PRE looks at how we define, measure, and track grantmaking aimed at structural racism. Using available data on racial justice grantmaking, we have created an infographic  to explore the question, “What do we need to know to prioritize racial justice?”

Annual foundation funding focused on people of color has never exceeded 8.4% of overall grantmaking, even as the population of People of Color has grown substantially over the past 20 years. What is your foundation doing to address this disparity in racial equity?

We successfully argued that an explicit racial equity lens ensures that the particular needs and assets of communities are taken into account, and that diversity, while important to that task, is insufficient for addressing power imbalances.

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