How is it that we can ask folks to go “back to normal” when we know government grant-funded organizations, which are often the biggest in municipalities, continue to operate without intersectionality and effective community responsiveness?
Young fundraisers of color join organizations because they know the harms the sector causes and want to make a difference. When they first arrive, they are optimistic and pour their energy into the mission they believe in. However, often, they find out that the greatest challenges to ethical practices are not external but internal.
We spend a lot of time, energy, and resources to meet the needs of our community and take care of the patrons in our circle, whether they be donors, stakeholders, or other members of the community we are working with. But we should also be taking care of the folks inside the organization as well.
There’s something about these organizations grounded in equity, driven by justice, and shifting power to community-rooted solutions. Does the work of dismantling oppressive systems inherently prioritize staff? In my experience, yes — and a bias for action, learning, and adaptability attract this inclination for intra-organizational alignment.
I was for the first time consciously observing how the city and many parts that I frequented were beginning to physically change and reflecting on what that meant to me. I do not want it to read as a sense of hopelessness, because I see it as an awakening of sorts; it gave me the chance to really reflect on what was happening in my community and learn to better advocate against inequitable development.