We Are Unstoppable: How Female Philanthropists are Turning Giving Circles into a Movement

Giving circles bring people together to practice collective philanthropy. In the same spirit, representatives of giving circles and giving circle networks across the U.S. are now convening to build power. And this past April—when 82 members of dozens of giving circles in the U.S. met for two days in Seattle, Washington, to share stories, hopes and plans for building a stronger giving circle movement—women were leading the conversation.

When Black Women Direct: Queen Latifah Gets Women of Color Behind the Camera

Minority directors are underrepresented in film at a degree of three to one, while women are underrepresented at a rate of seven to one, according to UCLA’s 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report. There is clearly room for progress here in terms of equality, especially for women who are black or of another minority identity. Rapper, singer, actress, label president, author, real estate developer and entrepreneur Queen Latifah is out to shift the scales...

Why Men Got Picked Over Women in a Blind Review of Science Grants

A recent study of a science grant application process at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found male applicants received higher scores than women, even in a blind review. At the foundation’s request, a team from the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research analyzed this imbalance and reported that factors like scientific discipline and position, publication record, and grant history were not factors — the main difference was in the language used in proposal titles and descriptions.

New Funding and New Alliances Fuel a Stepped Up Legal Push for Racial Justice

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) plays a key role in the ongoing civil rights movement, describing itself as “America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.” The rise in hate groups and white supremacist terrorist attacks, the persistent racial wealth gap, and ongoing police abuses of people of color are just a few examples of contemporary racial injustice, which also endures in areas like housing, voting rights and education. LDF’s efforts ...

ACLU, U.N. Speak Out Against Bills in 20 States Criminalizing Peaceful Protest

Since the election of Donald Trump, public protests such as the Women’s March, Climate March and the March for Science, have flourished. In response, more than 30 bills spanning 20 states have been introduced in an effort to increase the penalties for peaceful protest, according to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU). Representatives from the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights...

Joy-Centric Movement Building With LaTosha Brown

Despite the myriad challenges that young Black women face in the U.S. South, only 5.4 percent of all foundation funding in this region is focused on women and girls, and less than 1 percent on Black women and girls. To address this imbalance and empower southern Black females, LaTosha Brown of TruthSpeaks Consulting is coordinating a new initiative called the Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium...

Where Islam Meets Hip-Hop: a Conversation with Amirah Sackett of “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic”

“Strong, beautiful and powerful,” — that’s how Amirah Sackett wants to portray Muslim women through dance, choreography and teaching. She’s well-known for choreographing the work of the “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic,” (WMDP) dance group. This dance trio explores and embodies Sackett’s female Muslim-American identity by paring traditional Muslim attire with Hip-Hop moves.

“It’s Time for an Intervention.” Edgar Villanueva Has a Message for Philanthropy

We give money its power and create the worldview it functions within, so we also have the power to use it more equitably—as a kind of cultural medicine. That’s the central message in a new book by Edgar Villanueva ... Villanueva considers money to be a type of medicine, referencing an Indigenous view that anything can be medicine, like a place, object, event -- or even a book.

You Will Not Be Forgotten: Artist Sandy Rodriguez Calls Us to Witness and Act

“You will not be forgotten,” artist and educator Sandy Rodriguez promises the seven children portrayed in her recent art show at the Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. These Central American child migrants all died in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody during 2018 and 2019. Rodriguez, who is institutionally trained and also comes from a family of Mexican artists, painted each child as part of a larger series called Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón...

Amid Demands for Change, Here’s How Philanthropy Can Back Underfunded Black-Led Groups (PDF in new tab)

In the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, the most recent victims of recurring police violence against black people, black-led organizations are springing into action, hoping to translate surging public support into meaningful progress. In a June 2020 poll, 76% of Americans said racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the United States, up from 51% in 2015. From big grantmaking commitments by institutional funders to a wave of small individual donations, a major philanthropic response is underway.
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