Moving Forward on Racial Justice Philanthropy is the fifth volume of Critical Issues Forum series, which aims to deepen the discourse around important progressive racial justice issues within philanthropy. As PRE celebrated our 10th anniversary last year and engaged allies within the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to mark the occasion with us, we heard “Have you seen any progress?” repeatedly and knew it was important to take stock of what many of us have been collectively aiming to move for decades.

Through focus groups, webinars and direct interviews, our team has sought to get a strong sense of both funders’ and activists’ perspectives on progress particularly over the past two decades. We have heard real frustration, especially as the needs are so critical and the level of urgency among activists and communities is so high. However, in spite of these very real concerns, we have also seen clear commitment and depth of understanding in other quarters. We are pleased that through funder case studies and activist essays about structural racism analysis, intersectionality and media justice, we’re able to share real progress, even as each piece recognizes there is still much more to be done.


Mobilizing Community Power to Address Structural Racism is the fourth volume of Critical Issues Forum series. In this journal we share essays from a number of community activists, as well as interviews with activists and funders, tackling a range of current issues, challenges and opportunities as they strive to strengthen approaches to engage communities in a movement toward a truly multiracial democracy.


A Continuing Dialogue: Mobilizing Community Power to Address Structural Racism is a brief publication highlighting a daylong discussion of community activists and organizers exploring the intersections of work on structural racism, community organizing and civic participation, raising key opportunities, challenges and questions for peers and funders to consider further. We hope that the following highlights, along with some additional observations raised by some of PRE’s board members, help jump start your own thinking and discussions about this moment and what supports are needed to strengthen the integration of these approaches with a structural racism analysis to improve outcomes for all.

Critical Issues Forum, Vol. 3, Marking Progress: Movement Toward Racial Justice is the third volume of a series aiming to deepen the discourse around important progressive racial justice issues within philanthropy. In this journal nine authors tackle the problems and prospects of evaluating racial justice work, raising some of the key issues they feel the field and its funders need to consider and explore further in order to understand the true impact of our work.

A Beginning Dialogue, Marking Progress: Movement Toward Racial Justice highlights some of the framing issues key advocates, researchers and practitioners raise as they ask themselves what needs to be considered in measuring progress against structural racism. This short document set the stage for PRE’s Critical Issues Forum, Vol. 3, Marking Progress: Movement Toward Racial Justice. We look forward to further discussion as funders and practitioners work together to define meaningful indicators of progress and impact toward racial justice.


The purpose of this report is to share lessons learned from piloting a Racial Justice Grantmaking Assessment developed by the Applied Research Center (ARC ) and the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE ) with two different foundations the Consumer Health Foundation, a private foundation in Washington, DC; and the Barr Foundation, a family foundation in Boston, Massachusetts.


“The debate inside and outside California about AB 624, the state bill that would mandate the collection and posting by foundations of data about their grantmaking to communities of color, presents a clash between well-intentioned but misdirected intervention by government and defensive reactions from the philanthropic sector. The net result, whatever happens to the legislation – which seems unlikely to pass in its current form, anyway – is that mistrust between the two sectors could widen. There is danger that the debate will distract attention from the most profound issues of race and power that the bill is trying to address.” — Gara LaMarche in foreword to “Measuring What We Value,” the first volume of PRE’s new Critical Issues Forum.

This is clearly a critical moment in philanthropy. Unfortunately, it is one that has been fraught with far more heat than light. Our goal at this stage is to look beyond AB 624, with interest in reframing much of the debate toward meaningful and long-term strategies to increase philanthropic support for racial and social justice.

Toward that end, we have invited seven writers, each with deep knowledge and long track records in racial and social justice issues, to share their perspectives on the legislation. We’ve asked them to consider the questions grantmakers and nonprofits should be addressing long after the fate of this one bill is decided.


PRE, in partnership with GrantCraft, developed Grant Making with a Racial Equity Lens to assist grantmakers in deepening their understanding and actions regarding race, ethnicity and equity. Highlighting practical strategies, the guide examines a multitude of ways to use a racial equity lens. From analyzing problems, understanding field or community, or developing a new program, the guide provides thoughtful lessons and stories based on real experiences from grant makers.

Throughout the country, grassroots organizations are at work in communities large and small promoting racial justice and improved race relations. While their broad aims are often the same, many of these groups differ in their philosophies and employ widely differing methodologies. Too often, these groups avoid collaboration, foregoing the advantages it would bring because they are unable to see beyond their particular perspectives. Cultivating Interdependence is a guide for changing that dynamic. It builds on the anti-racism and related concepts outlined in Holding Up the Mirror, its predecessor volume. The guide also incorporates practical insights gleaned from the many community groups that attended the Joint Center’s four how-to forums (directed by the NABRE program), and offers specific recommendations on working with grantmakers.

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 Change: “The history, public policies,institutional practices, and cultural stereotypes and norms that together maintain racial hierarchies and inequitable racial group outcomes.”

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