Essay Archives

As a white woman, do I have a responsibility to disrupt philanthropy?

Recently, I was given a task by a mentor. My assignment was to ask others to describe me. (Super cringy exercise, but personal growth is uncomfortable, right?) Of all of the many ways I was described by old friends, co-workers, and acquaintances, no one — not a single soul — called me a quitter … But this is the third time that I have taken — and then quit — a fundraising job.


Radical transparency: Confronting nonprofit governance to truly eliminate discrimination and harassment

In Canada, the pre-pandemic nonprofit sector is a multi-billion-dollar-per-year sector that employs 2 million Canadians. However, the pandemic has laid bare the number of
structural and systemic inequities within our sector. Knowing this, can we confidently
expect the nonprofit sector to lead on issues of racism and other deeply rooted forms of
systemic discrimination?


My love of Ori’ dance, as seen through a community-centric lens

Ori’ dance was an important part of life in ancient Tahiti and was often performed in religious ceremonies, social gatherings, and everyday life. It was used by the Tahitian people to pass down traditions to younger generations so that they can tell the stories of their ancestors. Each individual dance tells a story through hip movements and hand motions.


Reparations: How we white relatives must try to pay back the unpayable debt

As a child, I was taught in school that slavery ended in 1865, all thanks to the benevolence and heroism of President Abraham Lincoln. After that, there was some unrest in the 1960s, and Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Fortunately, slavery is now a relic of the past. Now, we know so much better, and every February is Black History Month.

Like most white children who were indoctrinated with this false history, I accepted that I was innocent, and that this history had nothing to do with me.


Nonprofit Industrial Complex 101: a primer on how it upholds inequity and flattens resistance

To imagine new worlds, we need words that reflect our current one. Audre Lorde tells us, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” and I think this is why there is such a proliferation of new language on the left — we are describing forces we have purposefully been given no words to describe — new words to talk about gender, race, and identity — new words to talk about a diversity of internal experiences — new words to talk about the oppressive ways society is organized.