Racial Equity in Motion, a report of The Momentum Fund written by The Moriah Group, shares the three key facets they identified to ensure that organizations in communities of color had the capacity they needed to manage their COVID-19 response and mitigate the impacts of the crises among people of color. These learnings were not only important during the height of the pandemic, but they are also useful today in upholding racial equity in grantmaking.
“By allowing the grantees to determine how capacity would be best enhanced in their respective communities, the funds were used to enhance the culturally rooted and culturally responsive practices that were already being used to ensure the survival of thousands of people in hundreds of communities throughout the country.”
“If you want to find equity, if you want to empower people, you ask the community what they need.”
- The pandemic, along with increased awareness about white supremacy’s deadly effect on people of color, has only amplified the need to end extractive and harmful practices against their communities. Thus, the Momentum Fund has “reimagined” the concept of emergency-response grantmaking by prioritizing the needs of the POC-led organizations that are serving and working in partnership with communities of color.
- “Cultural knowledge systems” are not recognized as effective community-change strategies by institutional philanthropy, but solutions and interventions are derived from the lived experiences of communities of color. Funders must ultimately broaden their understanding of what effective grantmaking and long-term investment means in communities that are constantly assaulted by white supremacy.
- In order to better support POC leaders, the organizers and healers who carry out the work funded by the millions of grants awarded each year, their health and healing should be considered a primary goal in grantmaking processes.