Back in January, I shared with you my DEI plan for 2020. That feels like 5 years ago instead of 5 months ago. So much has happened since then, and I realized I have so much more work to do. This work, the work of combatting racism and white privilege, applies to all of us. Nobody gets a pass – especially those of us in the nonprofit sector raising money every day for social justice.

So, I want to share a few more activities with you that are challenging me and moving me from feeling helpless to feeling motivated.

I’m working my way through How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. This book has gotten so much attention in the last few days, that third party sellers are gouging their prices on Amazon. Plan to pick it up from an Indie Bookstore or buy it on Audible or (read by the author), or get on the long list at your library now.

I’m trying to change the offensive language used so often in nonprofit fundraising with the helpful perspective of Trabian Shorters on Asset Framing. His article “You Can’t Lift People Up by Putting Them Down: How to Talk About Tough Issues of Race, Poverty and More” will give you a helpful summary of this perspective. And consider signing up for the virtual Rocky Mountain Philanthropy Institute AFP conference this September, where he will be the Keynote Speaker.

Two of our previous AFP keynote speakers have written articles this week that you should definitely read if you are fundraising for a nonprofit:

Kishshana Palmer: The Looting of My Soul

Vu Le: Have Nonprofit and Philanthropy Become the “White Moderate” Dr. King Warned us About?

And for an even longer list, check out these additional Antiracist Resources.

But I’m barely touching the surface of this topic. I have to start by acknowledging that our sector is part of the problem. We have to do better if we actually want anything to change. We have to be bold and willing to be uncomfortable. As my good friend Nia Wassink posted yesterday: “Break ranks with a sector that is held back by politeness, reinforcing racism and white supremacy, and catering to white donors. Then get to the real work of dismantling systems of oppression like the badass we know you are.”

Photo by Clay Banks