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AFP St. Louis Chapter’s Stance Against Racial Injustice

We know this is a dark and difficult time for so many members of the St. Louis area and communities all across our country. These past several weeks and months have brought unprecedented change and unforeseen impacts to not only the nonprofit sector, but to our society as a whole. Inequities and fear brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the racism, extreme rhetoric and violence currently dominating our airwaves and social media channels, are devastating for our colleagues, neighbors, friends and communities.

While we acknowledge these important issues, acknowledgement by itself is not enough. Last week, one of our AFP colleagues boldly challenged AFP Global to be more than an ally – and asked that AFP also be a collaborator for radical, necessary change.

AFP St. Louis has made the following commitments:

  • As a Board, we will complete Forward Through Ferguson’s Path to Racial Equity Worksheet to understand and transform our chapter’s path towards racial equity.
  • When making decisions on behalf of AFP St. Louis, we will consider the following questions:
    • Whom does this benefit?
    • Does this differentially impact racial and ethnic groups?
    • What is missing that will decrease or eliminate racial disparities?
  • We will purposefully recruit and work with people from different backgrounds, races, ages, and walks of life to serve on an AFP committees and the AFP Board. We recognize that the non-profit and the fundraising sector still have a need to grow in this area and we commit to diversifying our representation in leadership and decision-making positions. 
  • We will use a racial equity lens when selecting program topics and speakers.

The nonprofit community depends on the grace and generosity of a broad constellation of donors, public and private, so it’s often our inclination to measure our words carefully in public forums. We believe it is far past time to speak up. Racial justice is not a political issue; it’s a human rights issue. We hope you’ll speak up and act too.

Here are some concrete ways to take action:

Educate yourself on racial justice issues. There are a number of resources available. Bloomerang has compiled a great list of readings, webinars, podcasts and a list of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) consultants, fundraisers and thought leaders. Check out this article about characteristics of white supremacy culture. Learn more and consider attending this Unraveling Whiteness series. Also, consider attending AFP St. Louis’ Community-Centered Fundraising Session on June 24th.

Educate yourself on the role of philanthropy. Philanthropy is not blameless in this struggle. Shielded by our expressed purpose to make the world better and intoxicated by our own savior narrative, we have entrenched some terrible philosophies and practices that perpetuate white supremacy and racism and have contributed to the murders that we are now protesting.” Check out Vu Le’s recent blog post.

Sign the Emergency Charity Stimulus Letter to create an emergency charity stimulus to mandate an increased payout for private foundations and donor advised funds. This bill would raise the payout rate from 5% to 10% resulting in increased funding towards nonprofits. Many nonprofits would be able to strengthen their mission including those whose focus is on ending racial disparities and injustice. 

Fund Black and Brown-led organizations and organizations supporting racial justice. Here is a list of some to get you started: A Red Circle, Arch City Defenders, Forward Through Ferguson, Creative Action Lab, WePower, Action STL, Color of Change, Close the Workhouse, The Bail Project, Solidarity Economy STL, Jamaa Birth Village, Dreambuilders 4 Equity, Unleashing Potential, Employment Connection, and ACLU Missouri.

Speak out. Often you have a platform to challenge others’ words and actions that perpetuate racism. Speak up. If it makes you uncomfortable, you are probably on the right track.

This is hard work. But systems are not unchangeable. People created systems by making decisions, and people can change them by making new ones. Some will resist the change, and that is why we must stand together and continue to gain allies in the long-term effort for equity, justice and equal opportunity.

THANK YOU to our AFP members, colleagues, and friends for all you do to support the St. Louis community, Missouri, and our nation. You are deeply appreciated and valued for the role you play in our non-profit and philanthropic community. We welcome you to help us continue to improve as humans and non-profit professionals. If you have questions or comments or would like to get involved with AFP, please contact us at [email protected].

Sincerely,  

Lyndsey Reichardt, MPA, CFRE Chapter President
Theresa Fleck, MA, CFRE – President-Elect
Jim Schallom, MPPA, CFRE – Immediate Past President
Lori Becker – Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Chair

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