Investing in communities of color has meant greater impact. It is clear that the most effective work in the country is often done by People of Color-led organizations that are deeply committed to long-term systems transformation. The phenomenal work of Black women led organizations to deliver historic electoral wins, the transformative work of indigenous leadership to defend Standing Rock, and breakthrough work on immigration rights are just a few examples of organizing in communities of color that is redefining change work and breathing new life into US democracy. Philanthropy has been making a shift toward recognizing these assets and away from the old dominant paradigm of limited, deficit-oriented funding. – Upcoming Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.
Women of color across the country are leading justice movements that bring positive lasting impact for all in our communities. Numerous articles and reports have recognized that Black women voted in higher percentages than any other demographic groups in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
Additionally, Ahead of the Majority supported by the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund and Groundswell Fund, tells the story of women of color (not just women or voters of color) taking center stage.
Major movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo have been launched by the leadership of Black women such as Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometti, and Tarana Burke. In addition to Black women, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, and Arab American women have fueled much of the responsive and proactive visioning our nation needs to build a just democracy.
And yet, in spite of the power of this work, in 2016, U.S. grantmakers continued to underfund efforts that are directly resourcing organizations that are focused on women and girls of color.
According to the latest available data from Candid, (formerly Foundation Center and Guidestar), only .6% of the $24.2 billion granted domestically by a sample of 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations was focused on women and girls of color in 2016.