We are horrified and saddened by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dion Johnson and so many others.
We’ve heard. No, we’ve listened and witnessed the anguish and pent-up pain from killings and hundreds of years of racism at a time when we’re struggling with a pandemic and massive economic failures that impact Black communities the most. We acknowledge our country’s systemic racism permeates American culture and nonprofit organizations.
How do we reconcile what we’ve experienced? Where do we go from here and how do we get there?
In the words of Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits: “We need more than temporary healing. We cannot let this senseless cycle continue. We need change.”
At the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, we choose change. We’re getting to work to proactively change the future. How? The nonprofit way: together.
What Can We Do?
Turn words into action.
Many people want to stand against racism but aren’t sure how. Here are a few resources to help you engage and support equity and inclusion:
Research: To fully understand the dynamics of these events, use data from reliable resources, including The BIPOC Project (A Black, Indigenous & People of Color Movement).
Challenge Yourself: Bias exists in all communities, so challenge yourself to speak with those outside your usual network. Read books and articles by BIPOC authors and leaders.
Educate Yourself: Learn about the structure of systematic racism and the experiences of people of color in our country. Here are a few resources that can help:
Examine Your Organizations Hiring Practices: Does your organization’s makeup mirror your community? Examine hiring practices: the nonprofit sector must do better by changing the culture of the organization in order to become more diverse and inclusive.
Listen: Give your employees, friends and neighbors of color the space to be angry, afraid, disenchanted or even disengaged from work. Do not ask BIPOC employees to educate other employees at this time, use the vast available resources on race education.
Vote: Elect leaders representing diverse communities.
Speak: Reach out to your elected officials and demand they fight for policies that help communities of color, including criminal justice reform, transparency and accountability initiatives, mandatory minimum sentencing, divesting from large banks. Use your organization’s platform to amplify BIPOC voices.
Spend: Make the conscious effort to use the power of your dollars to support organizations and businesses run by people of color, along with artists and musicians of color whenever possible.
Rethink: Move your money out of banks that have consistently red-lined Black families and people of color from receiving home loans and have invested in private prisons and detention centers – all systems that have disproportionately impacted communities of color across the country.
Join us in the work to be part of the solution.
Kristen Merrifield, CEO and
Len Gutman, Board Chair