When it comes to racial equity, where do we go from here?
As we called out at the end of June, just because activists are no longer protesting daily doesn’t mean the work is done. (Consider Assistant Editor Stephen Babcock’s roundup of Baltimore perspectives on the topic, “10 action steps to sustain the fight against systemic racism.”)
For Technical.ly sister site Generocity, which focuses on the social impact sector in Philadelphia, Editor Sabrina Vourvoulias recently rounded up perspectives from 18 leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropy world on what they think needs to happen next — individually and collectively — to address the longstanding structural inequities in the city.
Though these folks all hail from Philly, their calls to action can carry farther. For instance, Michael O’Bryan, innovation fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, advises that we begin to “reorganize and reframe how we understand conditions like poverty”:
“What has happened to people in this region is not ‘poverty’ but economic violence. Poverty, therefore, is an outcome, the results of that economic violence. This violence is a choice of systems, and players in the systems, with the privilege of immunity. … To be equitable, organizational and institutional (including governmental) budgets, policies, and procedures must map to a clearly articulated and stated set of values reflective of the anti-racist, non-patriarchal, human-centered developmental needs of [everyone].”
Yvette A. Núñez, VP of civic affairs for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, asks that we consider new perspectives:
“Get to know, respect, and/or love someone of a different race, political party, or economic status. It will give you pause before you default to blanket statements, assumptions, and critiques. Growing up in the housing projects of Newark, New Jersey, a roving police car made me feel unsafe, not the other way around. At 20, I reconnected with a half brother who was a cop and now a lieutenant in the Newark Police Department. It gives me pause, but I keep walking because all lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.”
Cory Donovan, executive director of impact investing org ImpactPHL, suggests people “consider their personal finances as a powerful tool” toward change:
“We should all make an effort to better understand what we actually own and whether those investments align with our values and the world we want to create. Ask yourself, does it make sense to be invested in cigarette stocks if you donate money to find a cure for lung cancer? Or to be invested in for-profit prisons if you protest with Black Lives Matter?”
And amid a long but simple checklist, Dominique C. Goss, TD Charitable Foundation’s senior manager of strategy and social impact, offers this important reminder:
“Wake up every morning, and remind yourself that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It has taken centuries for this unjust system to be built, it will not unravel quickly.”
Vourvoulias echoes this in her summary: “Be prepared for the long haul. Like the work to directly challenge inequity and build a more just world, this post is long and full of solutions to consider, think about, internalize and activate.”