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The events of the last two years have illuminated the deep inequities embedded in our systems and infrastructure. The world has struggled with a racial reckoning and witnessed the impacts of social and economic divides and how they threaten communities, even democracy.
There also seems to be a great awakening. We have seen many statements from various sectors and industries – nonprofits, foundations, corporations and government agencies – calling for addressing these longstanding racial inequities laid bare that plague our systems, structures and our communities.
Now is the time to move beyond statements. These systems impact all of us, our children, our families and communities. The solutions will require all of us.
Now is the time for us to rewire our systems to truly manifest racial equity. For every child to thrive, their families must be able to provide for them. The communities where they live and the schools they attend must be safe places with plentiful opportunities to grow and achieve their dreams. Our children and our families demand that we get this right.
Now is the time to act and think differently. In philanthropy, we must make the shift from being “donors” to becoming “doers.” Post-pandemic, our grantees, communities and partner organizations will need to be strengthened to reimagine and rebuild systems centered on racial equity. They have the leadership, knowledge and resolve to advance their communities; philanthropy needs to be a catalytic partner in that process.
Now is the time to hold each other accountable. I’m heartened by how in the U.S., the federal government and the private sector – including corporations and investors – are rising to the occasion with their commitments to racial equity. However, this can’t be episodic. It must be a sustained effort. There are trillions of dollars – public and private – flowing in the markets right now. We can’t allow these resources to be recycled to support some but not all. The decisions we make, the policies we institute and the resources we invest in people will impact the fate of our country for decades to come. Our children’s future depends on our actions today.
Now is not the time to give up. By no means will this work be easy. If we are to confront these issues, if we want to be the generation to overcome them, we must be agile and adapt to the moment and make it a movement where every child thrives.
Being bold means not waiting; it’s sharing what we’re learning, as we learn it. We’ve made a commitment with this new storytelling platform to share what we’re learning from our grantees in real-time so others can be inspired from what’s working to scale these ideas across communities. You will see how our grantees are advancing racial equity every day in their efforts to ensure thriving children, working families and equitable communities.
Our founder Will Keith Kellogg once pondered what difficulties existed in the paths of parents who seek help for their children when catastrophe strikes. He resolved to lend what aid he could to such children.
We have reached that moment of extreme adversity. The need for our families and children has never been greater. When we stand together in solidarity and support each other and our common issues, we are closer to creating the world to which we all aspire, where every child thrives. I challenge you to join us.