Our Commitment to Equity

In 2019, our team started to think more intentionally about healing and racial equity. A deeper examination of our shared history of racial injustice calls us to consider how we heal from historical trauma and the hate and bigotry that continues to exist. We spent the year engaged with a racial equity consultant from OpenSource Leadership working with our staff and board to continue to build our own internal understanding and capacity for doing this work.

OpenSource collected 21 survey responses from 16 board members and five staff, interviewed 22 stakeholders (current and former board members, staff, interns, grantees, and peer funders), and reviewed key organizational documents. We received the results from that assessment in February of 2020. Since then, our equity leadership team and board have:

  1. Revised our mission and values and begun developing an equity point of view
  2. Examined and updated our grantmaking processes to be more inclusive
  3. Supported the building of the community’s capacity for and understanding of racial equity and justice through supporting the equity offerings at the Center for Nonprofit Management, hosting virtual trainings, and working with other funders interested in racial equity
  4. Intentionally engaged and increased our financial support for nonprofits whose leaders are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  5. Launched a Participatory Grantmaking  program in Bedford County and North Nashville in collaboration with grantee partners

In 2020, we funded 18 nonprofits who whose leaders are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, totaling $380,330 out of the total awarded $3,919,102.

In the first six months of 2021, we’ve funded 19 nonprofits whose leaders are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, totaling $635,680 out of the total awarded $2,275,680.

We continue to build our internal capacity for antiracism and justice work through authentic conversation, reading and watching relevant content, attending virtual trainings, and bringing in speakers to our board meetings. We will begin strategic planning in the Fall of 2021 and will continue to work to operationalize our new mission and values into our programs and grantmaking.

Learn more about our focus on racial equity in the FAQs below.  We look forward to hearing from you and continuing to update you along the way. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional recommendations.

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FAQs About Equity

Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or fail to eliminate them.

SOURCE: Center for Assessment and Policy Development