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Realizing Economic Justice

REJ Reflection Cards

47 simple reflection questions and thought-provoking ideas to support your economic justice journey.

There is no perfect way to begin a journey toward realizing racial and economic justice. Learning and doing can, and should, happen simultaneously. Let’s act from where we are today, so that tomorrow, race will no longer determine life outcomes for anyone.

Join Asset Funders Network on continuing the journey to Realizing Economic Justice. The journey will be messy, it will be uncomfortable, it will be rewarding, and it will require courage and vulnerability.

This updated deck includes thought provoking quotes and action-oriented suggestions and self-audit questions to deepen collective understanding, learning, and action to advance racial equity in your philanthropic investments.

How To Use

Consider incorporating these reflections and action-oriented suggestions and self-audit questions into:

  • Organizational strategy sessions
  • Weekly team meeting agendas
  • Conversations with grantees and partners in philanthropy

REJ Reflection Cards

Thought Leadership

There are many systemic problems within philanthropy, including inflexible or outdated strategies and evaluation requirements. Barriers such as these inhibit building long-term relationships between funders and Black communities.

Local Nonprofit Leader

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Thought Leadership

It’s important to communicate how equal opportunity and equity can benefit all of us.

Alan Jenkins

Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School

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Thought Leadership

Given we’re a community foundation, we’re here to serve the community. The beacon is always the community. We need to focus on that and make things better for them.

Manuel J. Santamaria

Vice President, Community Action, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

RACIAL BIAS (LOOKING INWARD)

What organizational rules or standards will we change to more fully demonstrate equitable funding practices?

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MAKING THE CASE

What will it take to explicitly and intentionally fund work that seeks to dismantle systems that perpetuate racial and economic injustice?

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RACIAL BIAS (LOOKING INWARD)

What will it take to commit time and resources into professional development, training, coaching, consultation, and evaluation from racial justice experts who can help us operationalize change and implement policy?

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SUSTAINING THE WORK

What will it take to retain ongoing organizational processes that hold us accountable to advancing racial and economic justice?

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Thought Leadership

Be willing to work “at the speed of trust,” meeting stakeholders where they are and be open to hard conversations.

Patricia Mejia

Vice President, Community Engagement and Impact, San Antonio Area Foundation

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

What will it take to prioritize Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination when working with Indigenous people and communities?

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FROM WORDS TO ACTION

Are we acting and learning simultaneously by systematically allocating resources to racial and economic justice grantmaking? Does our approach to impact investing align with our commitment to advance economic justice?

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MAKING THE CASE

What will it take to fund systems that sustain opportunities for people of color to build wealth?

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Thought Leadership

We look for programs and projects that are trying to get at the root causes of an inequity or that propose new approaches that “short circuit” existing systems.

Carla Romero

Executive Director, McCune Charitable Foundation

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POWER AND ACCOUNTABILITY

How are we explicitly and intentionally including and empowering people of color in the design of our policies and strategies to build collective wealth?

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FROM WORDS TO ACTION

What actions will we take and what is our timeline for advancing policies and systemic change that advance racial and economic justice?

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FROM WORDS TO ACTION

How will we create and share our sustained commitment to realizing racial and economic justice honestly and transparently with our stakeholders – board, staff, grantees, community at-large?

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Thought Leadership

The assumptions, expectations, and norms of white supremacy culture affect us all in everyday interactions.

AFN

On The Road To Racial and Economic Justice Funder Primer

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

Where is there internal alignment between our mission and our aspirations for racial and economic justice to build synergy with the community? Where is there tension to be addressed?

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Thought Leadership

In our day to day lives there are a lot of harmful narratives that push against racial equity.

Alan Jenkins

Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School

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SEEKING RACIAL ECONOMIC JUSTICE

What becomes possible when racial and economic justice are explicit priorities within our philanthropic strategies?

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SEEKING RACIAL ECONOMIC JUSTICE

What does racial justice mean to us and how is it informing our work?

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RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

How are we learning alongside our grantee partners and other stakeholders as we collect and disaggregate data by race and ethnicity?

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

What will it take to understand and dismantle the ways in which anti-Blackness has impacted our grantmaking, organizational practices, and relationship with the community?

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RACIAL BIAS (LOOKING INWARD)

What will it take to ensure that everyone, at every level of our work, has a shared understanding of their role to contribute to advancing the organization’s commitment to racial and economic justice?

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RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

What organizational protocols are accepted as neutral, colorblind, or sector standard but might uphold White supremacy culture, particularly as we assess “risk,” “readiness,” and “return on investment?”

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MAKING THE CASE

What will it take to designate ample focus in our internal meetings for racial and economic justice related strategies, goals, and reflection?

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RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

What do we know about how different populations are impacted differently by the systems that perpetuate racial and economic injustice?

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Thought Leadership

If you cannot fund organizing, then I want you to express your support for organizing and get other people to fund it.

Rinku Sen

Executive Director, Narrative Initiative

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Thought Leadership

Racial justice requires economic justice; economic justice requires racial justice, and a catalyst to realizing both is asset-building focused philanthropy.

AFN

On The Road To Racial and Economic Justice Funder Primer

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

Thought Leadership

Be more than just grantmakers — be change makers. The relationship between funders and NPOs shouldn’t just be capital based. Nonprofits can also benefit greatly from the knowledge, thought leadership, and networks that philanthropic organizations can offer.

Local Nonprofit Leader

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

How can we coordinate our resources to more robustly fund organizations led by people of color? Where do we see opportunities to support more leaders of color?

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

What will it take to earmark significant amounts of money in our upcoming grant cycle to fund wealth building initiatives led by people of color?

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Thought Leadership

We need to build infrastructures to elevate policy priorities that have the greatest impact on communities of color and women in order to decrease social inequality.

Marisa Bono

CEO, Every Texan

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FROM WORDS TO ACTION

What’s holding us back from advancing policies and systemic change that advance racial and economic justice?

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RACIAL BIAS (LOOKING INWARD)

Where have we made progress confronting racial bias? Where have we not made progress? Where is there opportunity to deepen our efforts?

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SUSTAINING THE WORK

How are we prioritizing racial justice in our philanthropic investments to address asset building and systems change? What can I actively do to sustain these efforts?

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FROM WORDS TO ACTION

How have we translated our organizational statement of solidarity with people of color into action through funding?

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POWER AND ACCOUNTABILITY

How are we reimagining and redefining power and accountability to achieve racial equity and justice?

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

What steps can we take to “fund at the source,” so that we are not perpetuating White supremacy by writing checks to larger, White-led nonprofits instead of smaller, less resourced organizations led by people of color?

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RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

How can we build a shared understanding across the organization of asset building approaches from direct services and programs (immediate relief) to systems change (systemic equity)? How are these approaches mutually reinforcing?

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RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

Where have we made progress and where do we feel stuck in regards to organizational protocols that are accepted as neutral, colorblind, or sector standard but might uphold White supremacy culture?

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

Thought Leadership

I hope what we are doing is freeing up community power to dismantle systems of oppression and achieve a more equitable world.

Rachel Allen

Vice President, Director of Programs and Operations, SYL Foundation

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SUSTAINING THE WORK

How are we incorporating anti-racist grantmaking practices at every level of our work as an ongoing commitment? What still needs to get done?

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ADDRESSING THE RACIAL FUNDING GAP

How are racialized advantages in community, and White fragility within our organization, impacting progress toward realizing racial and economic justice?

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

SEEKING RACIAL ECONOMIC JUSTICE

What do we know about the systemic levers that can be changed to no longer perpetuate racial and economic justice?

©Asset Funders Network. All rights reserved.

RACIAL BIAS (UNDERSTANDING GRANTEES)

Who are all the communities of color who live in the region(s) in which we invest?

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Thought Leadership

Philanthropic organizations can do their part to help support minority led organizations by leaning into trust-based philanthropy and providing unrestricted capital so that nonprofits can actually use the funding in the way that best serves their community.

Local Nonprofit Leader

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Thought Leadership

When talking tax policy you must talk about racial equity. Tax policy is a civil rights issue.

Dorothy Brown

Asa Griggs Candler Professor at Emory University School of Law

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“Racial justice requires economic justice, economic justice requires racial justice. A catalyst to realizing both is asset building-focused philanthropy.”

Support for These Cards

AFN thanks the following organizations for their generous support.

The views expressed in this card deck are those of AFN and do not necessarily represent those of our supporters.

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Realizing Economic Justice