Black communities continue to be excluded from leadership roles in the social impact sector, and overrepresented in those who access social services and programs (globally and in Canada). Learning from the work of Black changemakers is essential to building an anti-racist sector.
Ending systemic racism will require more than just platitudes. Discrimination in the sector happens through badly designed funding agreements, poor HR practices, and deliberate exclusion — changing that will require leaders to take a hard look at their everyday practices.
Paying reparations is a concrete way to address the systemic lack of funding for Black-led organizations, especially at a time when Black communities across the U.S. (and Canada) are reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic’s ongoing effects.
Plenty of social impact organizations understand the need to combat racism, but few of them actively dismantle their own racist cultures, structures, and programs. Social impact organizations who fail to do so will lose credibility among Black professionals and clients, as well as their allies.
It’s been nine months since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd and the current iteration of the global Black Lives Matter movement emerged. Canadian governments and civil society institutions made big commitments to anti-racism, but change requires more than talk.