GWP and Racial Equity

Publication date: 
June, 2020

GWP and racial equity

Email sent to members Fri 6/26/2020

Like so many of you, for the past several weeks all of us at GWP have been searching our hearts and reflecting on how we can better contribute to racial equity and healing.  

First, we must acknowledge where we believe we’ve fallen short in the past.  We’ve relied on members of color to lead us, when every one of us should be taking responsibility to address racial equity.  At times, we’ve been more concerned about whether a message would be well-received than whether the message was important to share.  We have not moved discussions of racial equity toward meaningful actions, and we have not treated systemic racism with the urgency it warrants.

Moving forward, we want to be more intentional in helping to break down systemic racism in our region.  In the coming days, weeks, and months, the GWP team commits to the following action steps:

As a team:

  • All of us on the GWP team will dedicate time individually to unpacking our own privilege; understanding how that privilege preserves white supremacy; and learning how we can be better allies to people of color
  • We have set aside time each month to process our learning about privilege and white supremacy together, as a team
  • GWP has participated in a Racial Equity Capacity Assessment with the United Philanthropy Forum and Community Centered Evaluation and Research. The assessment confirmed our sense that GWP’s current capacity in this realm is only just beginning to emerge, compared to many of our peer networks; our team will work on setting internal goals to increase our capacity
  • We will incorporate racial equity into GWP’s selection of vendors, consultants and other providers and consider setting internal goals to increase our use of diverse vendors

At the membership level:

  • We commit to offering member programming that more directly addresses systemic racism, white supremacy, power, and grantmaking practice
  • We commit to ensuring that GWP programs feature diverse speakers and presenters
  • We have created and will continue to build out this new web page of member resources
  • We will launch a member spotlight on our website which highlights grantmaking that is dismantling racism and grantees who are lifting up the critical work of people of color in our community

At the board level:

  • The board plans to re-visit and update GWP’s statement of ethical standards, with an eye to explicitly calling out racial equity
  • In its nomination process, GWP will continue working to ensure that its board is diverse
  • Staff and board will explore together how GWP can and should work differently to promote racial equity in all our work

We know that these steps are just a start and that we can do much more; we also know that no network can move forward without the contributions of its membership.  Accordingly, we invite your feedback:

  • Talk with us or a GWP board member:  What actions should the GWP board consider?
  • Share with us: What resources would you recommend to your philanthropic colleagues?
  • Let us know: Within your organization, what actions are you currently taking or committing to taking?
  • Share your work and your grantees' stories to be highlighted for other members

Thank you, as always, for your membership.  We value your input and look forward to continued dialogue and -- most important -- finding actionable steps GWP and its members can take to move forward, together.