The new Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide, written by PRE Senior Fellow Rinku Sen and Executive Director Lori Villarosa with contributions from Maggie Potapchuk, Lisa McGill, and Makani Themba, provides grantmakers with reflections, frameworks and tools built from the direct experience of activists and funders for advancing racial justice in any philanthropic setting.
When PRE released Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens in 2006 in partnership with GrantCraft, only a small number of foundations had made racial equity a major focus of their work. It was still common to have funders thinking colorblindness or universal approaches was the ideal, and there were others who only focused on diversity and inclusion.
Since then, the country’s political, economic, and cultural landscapes have undergone multiple, dramatic changes.
Public engagement and organizing against racism has risen to historic levels, driven by the contributions of organizers, communicators, journalists, scholars, and artists. There has been significant growth in the number of foundations integrating a racial analysis into their work.
We have learned a lot from those experiences, including the ways that some racial equity-focused work may be adding to challenges and inequities in our communities despite the best intentions.
We also face a rapidly changing and alarming set of conditions. And we know from our own research and data that the overarching giving to communities of color and people of color-led work is still incredibly low.
Funders who care about racial and social justice face urgent new responsibilities. The good news is that they also have more tools at their disposal just as the racial justice movement has greater capacity than ever.
With recognition of the complexity of these shifts and the evolution of the work, PRE has published Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens to help foundation leaders understand what it means to move from racial equity to racial justice funding strategies.
It also addresses how to align operational practices to both reduce racial inequity and advance racial justice, with a chapter on selecting the right tools and consultants written by Potapchuk.
The new guide centers what racial justice activists want funders to know and features experienced funders’ stories and how-to tips on advancing foundation practices to achieve racial justice such as: