Our Commitment to Racial Equity
In July 2020, following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and countless other acts of violence against Black people, we released the following Statement to Our Community, acknowledging the deep pain and inequity that systemic racism has wrought on Black communities.
In our statement, we outlined nearly a dozen steps we’re taking as a philanthropic institution, both internally and externally, to foster racial equity and social justice in our community. We continue our work toward these action items, and we commit to listening to and learning from our community at each step along this path.
Additionally, we continue our commitment to ongoing civic initiatives that foster equity in our community, from improving economic mobility for all residents to increasing access to affordable housing to investing in early childhood education.
Racial Equity, Social Justice and Our Path Forward
We are your community foundation.
We exist to deploy philanthropy for the public good.
We unequivocally believe that Black lives matter.
We acknowledge systemic racism and its impact on all facets of American life, including philanthropy. As an organization, silence on this issue means complicity in its harmful and far-reaching effects.
We regret that it took so many unforgiveable acts of violence and police brutality directed toward Black people to be more vocal in our statements.
We recognize the complexity of the problem and state what is clear: As an organization and as a team, we must hold ourselves accountable.
We begin our journey with the following steps, with an eye toward where they will take us:
As an institution whose mission is to inspire philanthropy:
- We are working closely with Mayor Vi Lyles and corporate leaders to ascertain opportunities that would bring significant financial resources to anti-racism and social justice work in our community, and to determine the role of philanthropy and the Foundation in this goal.
- We have compiled a list of nonprofits addressing racial equity for our fundholders and other donors who can give. We encourage financial support for this important work. This list will evolve as we continue to listen to and learn from our community.
- We are sharing with the public a select list of educational resources and training that we created for our staff to encourage and facilitate additional dialogue around racial justice and anti-racism. We hope sharing these resources will ensure continued dialogue outside the Foundation. This list will evolve as we continue to listen to and learn from our community.
- We are creating educational programming on race and equity issues to help inform our fundholders’ and partners’ giving.
As a civic leader aiming to create a better community:
- We reaffirm our commitment to the work detailed in the Leading on Opportunity Report, which provides strategic recommendations for improving economic mobility for all. As highlighted in the report, the deep-rooted impact of segregation still creates profound barriers to opportunity for too many in our community. We must continue to address the systems that create these barriers.
- We are proactively seeking opportunities to learn from, engage and partner with community organizations whose missions are focused on racial equity and social justice efforts.
- While we are not new to helping our community tackle issues around equity, we recognize we must commit to being more impactful in our efforts.
As a team committed to empowering individuals:
- As an organization reaffirming our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our governance practices – and as a Foundation that counts “inclusion and openness” as a core value – we will continue to ensure diversity on our boards and committees, as well as within our staff.
- Last year, our employees established an Equity & Inclusion Working Group to examine our own institutional biases and how we can improve. We will continue this process of introspection to ensure we model the same ideals we seek in others.
- Our commitment to a culture of understanding extends to our ongoing support of Community Building Initiative and its Leadership Development Initiative, which many on our staff and board have completed. In addition, in 2021, we will host a Racial Equity Workshop in partnership with Race Matters for Juvenile Justice and undergo additional organization-wide diversity and inclusion training.
- We are giving each of our full-time employees the opportunity to designate a financial contribution from FFTC to their choice of nonprofits that address racism, inequality or social justice. This is in addition to the Foundation’s regular employee-match program for donations to nonprofits.
We join this community in mourning the loss of lives cut short by hate, fear and senseless violence. We commit, as your community foundation, to deploy resources, leverage our social capital and use our collective voice to uplift this mission-critical work.