Illuminating the Pathway to Racial Justice in Philanthropy
The Chicago Peace Fellows Mutual Aid Collaborative held a press conference on the anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X to amplify the themes of their open letter, A Pathway to Anti-Racist Philanthropy. The Mutual Aid Collaborative members are all Alumni of the Chicago Peace Fellows program — now 60 members strong across the South and West Sides — who joined forces through the Collaborative as an ongoing platform for shared learning and collaboration.
During this interactive press conference, Collective members La’Keisha Gray-Sewell, David Gonzalez, Cosette Nazon-Wilburn, Victoria Brady, Gloria Smith and Annamaria Leon shared the core elements of the Funders Pledge, outlining critical steps that philanthropic leaders can take immediately to promote racial justice in funding.
Chicago Peace Fellows Mutual Aid Collaborative was born in 2020 to address the enduring legacy of racial injustice that has been laid bare by the disproportionate impact of the twin pandemics of violence and COVID-19 on our communities on the South and West sides of Chicago.
During the press conference, Fellows shared insights into how their Mutual Aid Collaborative can be an illustrative model for philanthropy to consider on their path to racial justice in funding. In particilar, the Collaborative uses a “pooled fund” approach where those closest to the issues make collective decisions, share their gifts and assets, and take collective action on priorities that are set by the communities they serve.
This powerful call for Racial Justice was echoed in an article in the Chicago Sun Times entitled Chicago philanthropies urged to sign pledge to ‘rectify racial inequity’ in their giving, featured in a news report on WBBM NewsRadio, and published as an op-ed in Crain’s Chicago Business.
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