Ferguson and Other Structural Racism Flashpoints: The Philanthropic Strategic Response and Role

This meeting was convened in response to the co-sponsoring funders, as well as recognizing the need for shared space among funders and activists to strategize both about the most effective ways to address the
current moment before us, but also thinking more about the long-view and how better to be prepared as we know other flashpoints have occurred and will occur. Particularly in thinking about what we know of the cycle of structural racialization, with our progress will come more backlash and being prepared to tackle the
next reaction is critical to our continuing to advance toward racial justice.

We were thrilled with the incredible responsiveness of so many busy people, and yet also know there were so many voices we would have liked to have had in the room and couldn’t include given space and time limitations. We are sharing the synthesis below as a way to help expand this  discussion, which was designed to be relevant far beyond the crisis and important  movement-building in Ferguson, MO, but also recognizing that it is a moment that also needs direct energy and support. — Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

Editor’s Note: The following comments are primarily excerpted from direct transcripts. However, other than the invited opening discussion statements, other comments are not necessarily sequential, but rather grouped by key themes that arose through the day. Overall, there were more than 40 pages of valuable transcripts from a rich discussion, full of complex and useful commentary from each individual. It was extremely challenging to decide what to cut as the room was so filled with experience and wisdom – particularly when, due to our large group and the time constraint; folks already had sharpened points quite
succinctly. Thanks to Maggie Potapchuk for doing the lion’s share of synthesizing, and Jessie Gallogly, Caroline Timbers and Harriet Moon for transcribing and note-taking. While the majority are excerpts of direct transcripts made from recording, comments after lunch are only from notes and therefore more paraphrasing. Additionally, where activists were speaking apart from the funders, we have left off individual names to protect anonymity. If anyone is interested in more complete transcripts, please let us know.

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