Structural racism pervades all corners of society in the United States, including philanthropy. Moreover, the urgency of defeating racism cannot be overstated, and it is everyone’s—but especially white people’s—responsibility to vanquish all its systems, manifestations and vestiges. FRE’s explicit centering of racial justice and equity in its programming is a response to calls from our foundation members to fulfill our responsibility to acknowledge and actively work towards eliminating racism from our corner of philanthropy. This work is ongoing and comprises various components.
To date, we have offered members workshops to enhance their skills to talk about race. We created frameworks for both grantees and funders interested in establishing and maintaining more equitable partnerships. We created a toolkit to help funders understand reproductive equity, which has a strong racial equity underpinning. And we created a grantmaking assessment tool to help funders interested in increasing support for Women of Color-led organizations.
While our centering of race has focused on the US reproductive justice movement, our membership includes many institutions that fund internationally – some exclusively so – and see parallels in their work. Discrimination and exclusion on the bases of race, gender, ethnicity, caste, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation etc., persist everywhere.
FRE members receive invitations to participate in racial justice and equity seminars, workshops, reading groups and the like.