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PEAK Grantmaking

Social Justice Philanthropy

About this issue

Conversations about social justice philanthropy – grantmaking that addresses the root causes of systemic, generations-old issues – have exploded in the wake of growing movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, and the #PoorPeopleCampaign. But where to start?

In this issue, philanthropic thought leaders share stories of collaborative action that addresses root causes and increases investment in the long, hard work of transforming chronically underfunded communities. You’ll find out what one funder learned while working to transform statewide economic and education systems, the results of a decade-long investment in Black men and boys across the U.S., the power of arts funding in galvanizing community, supporting frontline social justice work, and more.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Joanna Willis Cabral and Big Big Box’s Brad Cameron-Cooper (previously of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation) serve as guest co-editors.

What's Inside

Supporting the Pro-Immigrant Rights Movement in Social Justice Grantmaking

Immigrants are part of the fabric of our communities and have been for centuries. Many American families have a migration story. But in recent years, immigrant communities have been subjected to an increase of dehumanizing attacks from an increasingly white nationalist agenda built upon decades of discrimination and racism against immigrants, along with people of color, women, and girls, LGBTQI, and other marginalized communities.

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Shifting Philanthropy as a Praxis: 2019 Is Going to be Emergent

I entered philanthropy in 2018. My trajectory up until then was shaped by experiences deeply and directly entrenched in “community” while navigating and mobilizing cross-cultural spaces, differing worldviews and ideologies and skills, activists, organizers, educators, and students of all kinds. I am no expert, but I am a community organizer. A background such as my own isn’t particularly unique to philanthropy these days, and that’s a very good thing.

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EmpowHER: Implementing Sexual Harassment Guidance in the #MeToo Era

In recent years, movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have created a louder, shared voice against sexual harassment and sexual violence. Functioning in many ways as a space for individuals to come forward and share all-too-painful experiences, often in the workplace, these movements have created a collective (albeit imperfect) space to do the work: to understand individual and shared experience, to hold those who have done and are doing harm publicly accountable for their actions, and to collect, create, and disseminate resources to create change.

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Implementing More Equitable Practices in Social Justice Grantmaking

PEAK Insight Journal recently talked with Deborah Clark at Woods Fund Chicago about the foundation’s mission of social justice and the way it uses more equitable grantmaking practices to support that mission. Her comments, in the Q&A below, were enlightening.

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Giving Projects as a Social Justice Grantmaking Model

We are living through an era of extreme wealth inequality, of increased violence towards Black, brown, Muslim, Jewish, queer, and trans people. Our climate is in crisis, and philanthropy is often just a drop in the bucket towards lasting systemic change. In light of this reality, more and more funders are asking themselves, “How do we make a real impact in this world?” “What new questions do we need to be asking?”

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Invest in Nonprofit Talent – A Social Justice Strategy

Here’s a great tool that grantmakers can use to support social justice and improve talent management for nonprofits.

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Campaign for Black Male Achievement: Q&A With Shawn Dove

Shawn Dove serves as the CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), a national membership organization dedicated to ensuring the growth, sustainability, and impact of leaders and organizations focused on improving the life outcomes of America’s Black men and boys. Started by the Open Society Foundations in 2008 as the nation’s largest philanthropic initiative on this issue, Dove’s stellar management has propelled CBMA into becoming an independent entity, growing its membership to more than 5,700 leaders representing over 2,675 organizations nationwide.

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Q&A with Edgar Villanueva, Author of Decolonizing Wealth

Edgar Villanueva is Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation in New York City. His book Decolonizing Wealth was published in October 2018. Mr. Villanueva was interviewed by Brad Cameron, Guest Editor.

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Social Justice: Guidepost On The Journey To Equity

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) has social justice programmed into our DNA and equity in our future. In 2008, WRF embarked in a new strategic direction with its Moving the Needle strategy. Our mission was to improve the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas: education; economic development; and economic, racial, and social justice.

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