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It’s been a year since George Floyd was murdered by people who were supposed to protect and serve him.
I can spend time analyzing how the nonprofit sector has — or hasn’t — changed since then; but there are plenty of others who will do that in the coming days. Instead, I have been reflecting on what it means to lead a national organization centering racial justice as a Black woman moving through a world in which my Black skin could get me killed for merely existing.
And while philanthropy has been talking more about anti-racism and anti-oppressive practices, I’ve seen very little to show me that the sector understands what leading through this pain looks like, feels like, and sounds like.
The smartest thing any executive director of color can do right now is take the time necessary to give our organizations the leader they need. Philanthropy can and should help by acknowledging that Leading While Black presents unique challenges to those who do it and addressing those challenges in its funding priorities.
Ask leaders of color what they need to take care of themselves right now, not just what they need to continue the work. Seeing our humanity should be part of your work as an anti-racist philanthropic institution. Philanthropy is focused on creating big impact, changing the material conditions of people who look like me through large-scale policy reforms and power-building. But how do leaders like me, who identify as a member of one of the “marginalized groups” we serve, fit into the picture?
If the philanthropic community wants to see real change and support the centering of Black folks within our sector, we can’t forget about those who are tasked with leading the way.
Read the full article about recognizing the trauma Black leaders face by Karundi Williams at Philanthropy News Digest.
This content was originally published here.