Thrive Alliance and Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits stand together with our two-county nonprofit alliance to express our sorrow about the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color (BIPOC) who experience systemic and institutional violence.
Although the nonprofit community, at its best, has allied with communities of color and low-income communities to pursue social justice and dismantle inequity and racism, we also must acknowledge we all have more work to do.
Our Silicon Valley community has just begun to come to terms with the disproportionate impacts of the virus and shelter-in-place on our communities of color. People of color are dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than other groups. Frontline workers—who are more likely to be BIPOC—are more exposed to the virus than remote workers and are disproportionately financially affected by the pandemic. On top of these unsurprising but still unacceptable facts, news of another Black life unnecessarily lost has sparked a collective remembrance of countless incidents of racism and the seemingly unending legacy of slavery and legalized oppression.
Nonprofit organizations have a high calling. But now, more than ever, is the time to raise the bar. If race equity is not currently part of your calling, add it. If organizing yourselves and the community you serve to advocate isn’t part of your mission, do it. If you’ve allowed COVID-19 to stall your intentional, organizational race equity work (we’re there, too), it’s time to get back to it.
For nonprofits with primarily white leadership, how can we go beyond allyship and towards anti-racism and anti-oppression? Reach out to BIPOC-led nonprofits and provide support and partnership if it’s needed and desired. Do they need office space, extra hands, or back office help to weather the storm? Can you introduce them to a funder? Boost their fundraising pitches. Follow their lead on advocacy.
Don’t stop there. Provide your staff with time during the workday to protest, write letters to elected officials, build coalitions of nonprofits to fight for equity, participate in race equity workshops or conferences, and simply check in with Black colleagues. We can and should make clear that everyone’s job description includes learning about and acting to dismantle systems of inequity.
Together, Thrive and SVCN have made a commitment to support nonprofits in their race equity journeys and will be working together with the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits to create a race equity, diversity and inclusion resource hub. We say this publicly now to create accountability for ourselves.
We are here to support you now and through all of the challenges that may lie ahead. And today we paused all normal social media and messaging activities as we listened, reflected, and amplified the voices of Black-run organizations. Please also see this list of those working in the racial justice space curated by our sister agency CEN. #BlackOutTuesday #BlackLivesMatter
Please, reach out to us with your requests, ideas, and feedback. #BlackOutTuesday #BlackLivesMatter
Georgia Farooq, Thrive,
Kyra Kazantzis, SVCN,