No More Cold Chicken – Fakequity in Fundraising Events

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At least the dessert comes with the chicken lunch. Photo by Erin

It is that time of year when I attend fundraising events for local organizations doing work on behalf of children and families. I used to attend quite a few fundraisers, but the list has become shorter over the years. If you had asked me some time ago why after doing work in the community for so many years have I stopped attending these annual celebrations of work I would have told you it’s my hectic schedule and dislike of cold chicken. Let’s be honest one can only stomach so much cold chicken. After attending two events within weeks of each other however, I have begun to explore this more deeply. Is it the cold chicken or everything else that I am being served?
To protect the organizations and to keep me from being un-invited, I will refer to them as Agency A – Big Name Intermediary Organization and Agency B – Local Education Org. Agency A typically hosts functions where you see a lot of what we call major stakeholders. Now I would argue your biggest stakeholder is the community in which you serve, however I am aware that it is a fundraiser and the purpose of the event is to make money. You have to intentionally invite folks with deep pockets and political influence. Agency A can really fill a room. Trust me when I tell you there were well over a 100 tables with cold chicken on the plate and a lot of networking and hobnobbing. Agency A also made the mistake of having diversity in their line of speakers but those speakers didn’t speak towards a racial equity agenda, in fact one of the speakers, a person of color, shared a story reinforcing racial stereotypes and the story wasn’t connected to the mission of the organization.

This was my first time attending Agency B’s event. I was invited by a trusted friend and colleague and was curious considering their work is focused in another community that I do not professionally work in, however I live in the community. The room was filled with energy and activity and guess what? It was a breakfast event so for once I didn’t have to give myself a pep talk convincing myself that I could eat another cold chicken meal.

You could say that both events had your typical fundraising components. There was the welcome followed by a list of accomplishments from the last year. Lots of heart melting pictures of young children, the stuff that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. Agency A told their story in a very interesting way. I won’t bore you with specifics but as best as I could describe it I would say at times it was like watching an infomercial. I was unsure what I was buying but these people somehow made me think I needed it. Agency B however, told their story in a way that I had been longing to hear. What I experienced at Agency B’s event was in essence what every annual event should be which was truly centered in the community.

Agency B not only highlighted their overall work, but they intentionally created space to showcase the individual and collective contributions that make their work possible. They demonstrated contributions that flowed both ways. Yes, they work on behalf of children and families, but the families also gave them something and the family’s contributions were valued. What they learned from those experiences helped to expand their reach, and what was even better is they worked directly with those who accessed their programs to do it. Finally, there was an overwhelming acknowledgement that the greatest gift was being reminded of the unlimited potential and abilities of young children. So often those of us in the field focus so much on the outcomes that we lose sight of the true beauty of just being present.

My experience reaffirmed there was still hope. There were still agencies out there doing the work I was actually just not doing my part in being intentional in finding them. So I’ve vowed following Agency B’s event on that I am done with cold chicken. If I am not being served a real story, with real people I will decline to attend. If there is no presence of community I will not attend. I am less interested in the menu and more interested in the content of the program.

We need more events like Agency B’s. Here are some tips to work towards equity at fundraisers:

  • Share: Share power and control of the agenda. Allow participants and partners to help shape the agenda and showcase what they want to showcase. It is a fundraiser but there is room to allow communities to share their own priorities.
  • Don’t exploit communities or clients: Fundraisers tread the fine line of needing to highlight good work, but be careful not to turn it into the Hunger Games where clients are paraded out and showcased.
  • Food: No one wants to eat bad food, don’t get overly fancy or ambitious.  If you can taste it ahead of time.
  • Diversity doesn’t equal a good program: Just bringing in people of color into your program doesn’t equate to a compelling program centered in communities of color. Are the people on your program speaking authentically about experiences from communities of color? As an example at another event a video was shown on a training program for youth. There was diversity of people in the video but all of the adults doing the training were white while the youth recipients were students of color. The video reinforced a ‘savior’ complex – White adults, coming in and saving youth of color, not a great image for promoting racial equity.

Be thoughtful of your fundraising design and do your best to center the fundraiser in the experiences of communities of color. This will guarantee a better experience for all.

Posted by CiKeithia Pugh

Why Assimilation Sucks and Isn’t the Goal

8247590.jpgFirst, we need to pay tribute to Prince who died on Thursday. As Gen Xer/Millennial, Prince defined the music for many of us and our peers. Prince was unapologetic in fighting the call to assimilate and conform to music industry norms. This quote Heidi heard on the radio sums it up well “[Prince] resisted the pressure to do music like everyone else and that was freedom.” This article, Prince Was The Patron Saint Of Black Weirdos, also sums up Prince’s ability to stay true to himself: “He was a beacon for all of us who were told that we must cut out a part of ourselves in order to fit.”

Assimilation Isn’t the Goal and It Doesn’t Work
Every so often I do what I know not to do, read the comment section of a news story focused on race, immigration, or the like. I ‘armor up’ and think of the exercise as ‘opposition research,’ but I’m still blown away with the blatant racism and tenaciousness of commenters. On a recent story about a partner’s work advocating for language interpretation, the majority of the comments called for having immigrants and refugees to learn English, build a wall (as in the wall Donald Trump wants to build), and these comments:
“[O]ther countries do not pander to immigrants like the US.  If you want to live here, integrate and assimilate into American culture and stop being an outsider or go home.”

“We do not need to divert more of our school resources to bilingual education. The resource should instead be spent on things that could benefit all kids – sports after school, better science education, music, PE equipment, gifted education etc. Learn English if you want to stay here, otherwise, please go back to where you came from.”

Many immigrants and refugees want to learn English and want to fully participate in their communities. Racial equity work and creating a welcoming community for all, not just those whom we like, who understand what we’re saying, or have the ability to communicate with us. One of my favorite interpretations of the term racial equity comes from Junious Williams, a lawyer and Executive Director of Urban Strategies Council, while speaking on a panel at PolicyLink’s conference he said he thinks of the legal definition of equity “What it takes to make a person whole.” Language is an important part of a making us feel whole – language and culture help us connect and is an important part of the fabric that keeps our communities and ourselves whole.

In racial equity work we need to understand others, this is why we learn about history and need to once in a while crack open the ‘World’ section of the newspaper. Understanding our roles as US and global citizens also explains the good and bad we have contributed to why we need to step up and work with immigrants and refugees. Many immigrants and refugees would choose to remain in their home countries if given the choice, but make the painful choice of leaving to literally preserve their lives — war, persecution, famine , violence — and they seek a new home as a result.

Assimilation Works so Well it Destroys Communities — Dearly Departed We Gather Here today 2 Get Through this Thing Called Life
I’ve spent time with partners from various Native American communities in Washington. In getting to know different Native American communities, Elders shared how they or their grandparents were forced to assimilate to American ways. The most brutal of the assimilation practices involved ‘benevolent’ government agencies forcibly taking children from families and sending them to boarding schools. At the boarding school children were striped of their Native culture including clothing, families, and language. They were forbidden to speak their native languages and in some cases if they were caught speaking their home languages they were punished, sometimes with corporal punishment. Many Native American languages died and whole generations do not speak their family’s language because of these harmful assimilation practices. Heidi’s friend is half-Native Alaskan and grew up in a rural town. Lately she’s been thinking about how to preserve their Native language, but she also wonders has too much been lost. The last native speaker died last year. When a language dies culture dies as well. Assimilation worked so well it destroyed entire communities and many Native American communities are still reeling from these harmful practices.

In many ways the Japanese community experienced a similar forced assimilation during the World War II internment. Japanese families, including American citizens, were forced to leave their homes and put into internment camps. Others who weren’t interned, and other Asians (i.e. Chinese, Koreans, etc.) worked at assimilating more into dominant American culture so they wouldn’t be mistaken for Japanese. For children growing up at this time they were taught their culture was ‘wrong,’ they were less American, survival was tied to a standard not of their choosing. To use another Prince quote “Dearly departed we gather here today 2 get through this thing called life…” and now we watch as the “doves cry,” and mourn for a language and culture gone.

Assimilation practices don’t benefit communities. While many who think or are even so bold as to post comments saying: ‘they should learn English,’ ‘they need to become more American,’ ‘my grandparents came from Eastern Europe and learned how to read and write,’ need to ask themselves how much of who they are is also wrapped up in one’s ability to communicate, to feel a part of a community, and to feel seen- not marginalized. How much does a person change when we give up or lose parts of our culture and language? Is asking a person to change benefit themselves or are we forcing assimilation out of fear of non-conformity?

Prince: “Compassion is an action word with no boundaries,” in Fakequity terms “Equity without action is Fakequity.”
So much of our everyday dealings caters to the dominate culture and requires people to conform to norms. Instead of asking people to assimilate let’s adjust our actions to create ways where people can be valued, seen, and heard for who they are. When we create systems that default to these thing we help people become more whole, and as a result communities become stronger which is the goal.
Some suggestions of ways to open up and fight assimilative practices:

  • Hiring: Qualifications vs. Desired Qualifications. Why do we value technical skills over relational and racial equity skills? Technical skills are easier to quantify but is a person who can type, code, or with a lot of education better able to do the work than someone who understands the cultural nuances of a community? As an example instead of paying consulting firms for translation services we can invest that money in recruiting, hiring, and providing professional development for a bi/multi-lingual person which provides a family wage (hopefully) job.
  • Philanthropy: Written applications vs. Getting to Know a Community. Grantmaking isn’t a science there is a lot of discretion in who is awarded funding or support. The current system of using written applications shows a bias to organizations who ‘assimilated’ to the dominate culture of who understand grantmaking and has relationships with funders — in other words competing for grants can be like the Hunger Games (from the books of the same title) where contestants are forced to fight for scare resources and prohibited from working together. Getting to know a community and seeing who people turn to for information is a better signal of who is doing work and where support can be targeted.
  • Language Access: Mostly everything we do, including this blog, is in English only (sheepish). High quality translation and interpretation helps to make things accessible to a broader audience. Extend yourself and your services and ask immigrant and refugee communities if interpretation and translation will help to increase participation and understand. And we need to break the expectation and assumption everything is provided in English. A few months ago, I went to a  Somali event where English speakers were handed interpretation headsets. They ran out of headsets and the headsets malfunctioned which meant many of us English speakers experienced what it was like where we weren’t catered to and had to experience the stress of not understanding what was happening — that was a better lesson than the actual content of the event. Find an event where you aren’t in the majority and try to follow along, let alone participate, let us know what you learn.

Finally, in the words of Prince: “I don’t really care so much what people say about me because it usually is a reflection of who they are. For example, if people wish I would sound like I used to sound, then it says more about them than it does me.”

Posted by Erin Okuno and Heidi Schillinger (Written by Erin – all of the ‘I’ statements are from me. Heidi contributed heavily to this post and is the brains behind a lot of it.)

Tax Edition: POC Taxes & Where’s Our Refund?

4515121In the spirit of Monday’s tax filing deadline, this week members of the Fakequity team and a few members of our extended Fakequity Facebook family are requesting a “people of color tax refund.” I’m guessing if you’re a person of color (poc), you know what the POC tax feels like: that gut wrenching, emotional toll that you experienced today when you were profiled, doubted, dismissed, or looked at with fear/pity/disgust/discomfort. And, most likely you can also do the financial calculations on the how much money you’ve lost in earnings for lower waages, dealing with stress, or the extra time you had to spend proving yourself or gaining trust and respect.

Last October, Gillian B. White wrote an article for The Atlantic titled, Black Workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good. “African American employees tend to receive more scrutiny from their bosses than their white colleagues, meaning that small mistakes are more likely to be caught, which over time leads to worse performance reviews and lower wages.”

 

Gillian B. White wasn’t the first to write about this topic, and surely we won’t be the last. People of color have been talking, writing, blogging, and tweeting about the POC tax for a long damn time. Yet, too often, we are dismissed as being too sensitive and overly emotional, and told our message would be better received if we could deliver it in a more “rational and logical” manner.  Many times we try hard to be “less emotional” and “more comfortable” (ask yourself “more comfortable” for whom?) in order to be heard.  We ask our White allies to help deliver the [same] message, because we know in many case they will be heard differently. But honestly, we’re not doing anyone any favors by “making things comfortable and less emotional.” The impact of Racism – individual racism, institutional racism, and structural racism – is NOT COMFORTABLE for people of color, it’s taxing, both emotionally and financially for people of color.

There are financial implications as well. April 12 was Equal Pay Day even in the discussion about equal pay women of color have a huge poc tax burden. Check out How Equal Pay Day Excludes Women of Color for more dialogue on this topic. “This is not a day about equal pay for everyone—instead, it highlights the discrimination that largely white women face, and then puts the onus on all women to fix it.”

There are so many ways the POC tax manifests. It is an impossible topic to adequately cover in this short blog post. Since the Fakequity team spends a lot of time working on racial equity and social justice, we decided to stick with our roots and offer examples of how the POC tax shows up. We also crowdsourced some examples from our extended Fakequity family. In an effort to keep things real and truthful, we shared our answers uncensored.  This is our gift to ourselves, exempting us from the time it takes to make our message palatable. White allies, consider this a gift to you as well, our words and thoughts as we think and feel them.

Fakequity Team

  • I find it taxing hearing people use the word equity but not to talk about race. (Asian)
  • When organizations hop on the “bandwagon” of using race and equity language to articulate their values but haven’t even begun to think deeply about what it means or do the work to truly implement it.  When the white person in the training or meeting wants to tell me as a POC person about race and equity issues as if I either have no experience or knowledge or what I do have is not relevant.   When you would rather talk about poverty instead of race and equity.   When white colleagues want to discontinue the conversation about race when it makes them uncomfortable. (Black)
  • When I have to explain why I don’t and can’t meet with every majority white-led organization that just wants some equity “advice,” for free. When I have to respond to allegations of “reverse racism” or “why I don’t include the White perspective.” (Asian)
  • When I have to say the same thing multiple times, but still am not heard. When White comfort is more important than dealing with systemic racism.  When organizations hire the White person to talk about equity, because that is what is most “comfortable.” (Asian)

Sampling of Answers from the Fakequity Extended Family 

  • The lack of humility and self-awareness that allows some people, especially those who are privileged, to not see the effects of what they say or do. (Latina of Puerto Rican, Irish, and German origins)
  • Tired of folk knowing ALL of the language but still showing up in spaces with no idea what it should look like in day-to-day interactions. (Black)
  • I find it taxing when speaking about race or equity, it turns into tone policing. If not that, it’s a “why didn’t you tell me?” conversation to justify the intentionality behind the negative impact someone’s incomplete thoughts, mis-informed decision, or need to “care for others b/c said person knows what’s best for POCs as a non-POC.” (Black)
  • I find it taxing for white people to say” it is not about race it is about economics ” (Black, African American)
  • I find it taxing to continue to hear how people want to celebrate diversity with cultural potlucks. (Asian)
  • Working with people who think they are farther along in their DEI [Diversity Equity Inclusion] progress than they really are. (Korean American)
  • My latest thing is racism by white liberals. For example, one of my acquaintances is a white male and he is a strong supporter of black lives matter. BUT, his behaviors/attitude is full of Whiteness, and he can’t even hear feedback from us, people of color. Just because his wife is POC, it doesn’t mean he can appropriate our culture and become POC! (Japanese)
  • When the focus is on making sure we change the attitudes of each and every person rather than actual make things better for people of color. (Mixed Race)
  • I’m tired of people wanting to look diverse but not really act and uphold the principle of diversity. (Indian American)
  • Just simply talking about it. It’s emotionally and mentally draining. (Vietnamese)
  • Hearing a White boss say “What are you complaining about, I see diversity in the room,” but refusing to acknowledge the power differential – PoC work in the field and Whites have the corner offices. (Mixed Race)
  • When people don’t record my words exactly as I say them. My English may not be perfect but I know what I said. Don’t make it sound pretty, I don’t want pretty, I want to be real. (Somali)

Those examples are depressing – they are… just sit with that emotion for a minute or five. What do we want? I hear some [White] people whispering for actions suggestions, this is not that blog post, this is the “let’s sit with the POC tax” blog post. The simple-not-so-simple answer is we want racial equity and systemic racism/systems of white supremacy to be eliminated.  As we work towards that goal together, here are a few immediate things we’d like as a POC tax refund for 2015.

Financial Compensation: 
·         I want paid time off. Give me a break from all of the meetings, trainings and false conversations.
·         As a POC, I’d prefer a promotion or raise instead. As a tax return, I’d like a new bike too.
·         I got what I want. $52!!!
·         Funders who will fund our work at what we deserve so I can get a raise, cover insurance, housing, and child care cost, and still go to happy hour.

Comfort Items:

  • A new phone and some tacos

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    happy hour open tab please

  • I would like a subscription to the chocolate of the month club!
  • I want STEAKS…medium rare ribeyes
  • New couch
  • I want somebody to do deep cleaning of our house and meal prep for a week
  • Hot tub!
  • An open Happy Hour tab

Acknowledgment of the POC Tax:

  • The impossible: more “aha” moments for those in power.
  • Understanding
  • Equity and acknowledgement of the messed up systems we have created for ourselves.
  • Learn to listen to POC uncensored
  • White people to shut up and listen.

Here is to hoping our POC tax refund request in 2016 is less.  First time, I’ve ever wished for a smaller tax refund.

Posted by Heidi Schillinger and the Fakequity team and Facebook Crew

Stop Competing for Who’s Worse Off

Recently I spent the afternoon at a community conversation hosted by high school students. The students who led it and spoke were fabulous. They were insightful, wise, and spoke their truths with conviction and kindness. It was a conversation centered around their agendas and their leadership. Most of the students there are people of color.

During the conversation the students talked about what they want for their education. Their requests were reasonable and what a community should be providing – a rigorous education, safety, a decent building, transportation access, leadership opportunities, opportunities to perform and enriched through arts, opportunities to pursue a higher education, and a brighter future. As one of the students said “our school and our community are one,” we as a community need to provide a quality education to students of color.

What happens when we get tired of fighting…
The students who spoke were hopeful, they were grateful to their teachers, poised, and so glowing with youthfulness and energy. They were also real, they understood students in other parts of the city have different opportunities. They understand their neighborhood is changing and as a student said “I don’t want to come back to Seattle after college and know my neighborhood changed. … I don’t want to see my friends in Kent or Renton…” She understood the effects of gentrification and was asking the adults to help.

These students are seasoned advocates. They know how to ask, how to push, and how to be seen. They spoke about their needs and why they believe passionately in wanting better services. At one point a student said “What happens when we have no fight left? What happens when we’re tired? It’s about equity we need different solutions.” The student who said this didn’t sound bitter, tired, or jaded – he sounded real. I want to believe he knew part of his fight had to be saved for academics and for the things that high school is about – getting into college, that cool date, what to eat for lunch – but I also read into his words he is afraid to stop advocating and speaking up because if he stops other voices step into the void and take over.

Stop Dismissing Our Problems
Too often community conversations like this take place and we have to fight to be heard to keep the conversation focused on our needs. The conversation sounds like this hypothetical conversaton:

Person of Color: We need two additional counselors in our schools. Ninety-percent of our students are first generation college scholars. Many of them also don’t have internet at home, and their families often don’t speak English as well so researching how to get into college at home is a struggle.

White ally/policymaker/anyone who does this: Thank you for sharing your concerns. I want you to know I hear you and understand the problem. You should come visit my neighborhood, we have poverty there too. The school near my office only has three counselors.

Stop pitting needs against each other. We need to ensure funding and resources are reaching the most critical needs and it needs to be done with community input. Dismissing communities of color needs, or worse believing community of color needs don’t deserve to be heard, is damaging and leads to the fatigue the student spoke about.

The last time I saw this done I shook my head and thought “stop, just stop talking.” I

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picture by laserbacon @ deviantart

found it dismissive and patronizing to hear an outsider, and a supposed ally, come into a community of color space and say “oh, you should see our needs.” This is a classic instance of where the acronym of W.A.I.T. should be used – Why am I talking? Why am I dismissing another person’s need? Why am I trying to overshadow and over-talk a community of color request? Do I believe my needs are more important than the speakers?

Community of color conversations are not for outsiders, ‘allies,’ or nay-sayers to impose their values and tell others what to do or think. The role of an ally in these conversations is to check their privilege at the door, listen, and to practice empathy. They don’t have to agree with what is said, but it isn’t their space to question or be dismissive, there are other spaces for that to take place. There is a time and place for priorities to be set for data to elucidate the problem, but a community conversation centered in a community of color isn’t that place.

We’re Not Competing For Who’s Worse Off
Communities of color know what they need and don’t need. We don’t need allies and outsiders to come in and compete for who’s worst off. I remember a Buddhist story of a lady who complained to a monk everyday about how she was the worst off. For a while the monk listened and showed empathy and compassion, after a few days the monk said “You do have it bad, I want you to go out and find someone who is better off than you – then I will give you what you want to make your life easier.” So she went off and eventually came back. The monk asked what happened, she said “I realized I am actually fortunate, there are others who have harder lives.” Competing for who’s worst off is futile, we will get further by supporting each other.

Posted by Erin Okuno

Budgeting ain’t no April Fools Joke, Where’s the Equity?

6675892_origIt’s April 1. No joke and no joking about budgeting season budgeting season at my organization. Last year I put together my organization’s budget based on a lot of assumptions, sort of like April Fools but more serious. I was new to the job and our work had shifted so much the previous year’s budget was a decent frame, but didn’t provide the clarity needed to build a beautiful budget. This year’s budgeting process will be much more reflective of our racial equity lens and goals. Where we place and spend our money says a lot about our priorities and commitments. Martin Luther King Jr. said “budgets are moral documents,” and our budgets should reflect our commitments and accountability to our priorities.

Budgeting isn’t an activity I love. I didn’t get into nonprofit work saying “I’m so excited to change the world through budgets,” some may say this, but not me. I view budgets as a necessary part of being accountable and making sure we are doing what we say we are supposed to. I’ll admit sometimes I like to geek out with Excel and see what fancy formulas I can come up with; right after geeking out I freak out when my budget is horribly overdrawn because I created too fancy a formula and double counted an expense, not a great joke to play on yourself.

Get the Infrastructure Right, Get our Work Right
Quoting another great leader, Angela Glover Blackwell of PolicyLink, said “Get the Infrastructure Right, Get America Right.” If we think of a budget as part of the important infrastructure of our organizations and our racial equity work, then it needs to reflect our commitments to racial equity. I see it as part of my job to have our organizational commitment to racial equity reflected in our budget and organizational infrastructure.

So how does equity and budgeting go together? On the simplest level where you put your money and where you spend money should reflect our priorities. On my personal budget I really value eating so there are a lot of charges to small restaurants serving pho, tacos, bun bowls, and the likes. I should probably start valuing working out and cooking more too.

At an organizational level our biggest expense is staffing. Our staff make our work possible, and as such we need to pay them. This is why hiring is so important around racial equity. Majority of an organization’s budget goes to staffing cost and as such the staff need to be reflective of an organization’s commitment to racial equity.

Other places where our racial equity priorities are easily identified in our organizational budget:

  • Program Stipends: Stipends are important to honoring people’s commitment to the work.
  • Interpreters and translation: We value inclusion and participation of community members who need language support. Adequately budgeting for translators and interpreters is important.
  • Child care: For our larger events we often provide child care to ensure parents can participate.
  • Food: Majority of my receipts are for food. For me food is essential to building strong relationships and for getting to know our coalition members. I also try to use neighborhood, people of color, owned businesses as a way to continue to deepen our commitment to racial equity.

On more than a few occasions we’ve provided gift cards as a way to say thank you, or a nice staff lunch, or even better a trip to the ice cream store (they also have pinball and video games) to celebrate a milestone. A thank you can go a long way in relationship and community building. Allocating funds under appreciation or whatever the category code for your organization is important.

Where we spend money is as much a reflection on our commitment to equity and community building. I do my best to hire consultants of color who also share our values and invest back into the community. I also shop and spend our limited dollars in the neighborhood and with community minded business owners; can’t do this all of the time but where possible we do. Spending power is important and can amplify work in different ways.

How does your budget look?
Does your budget reflect your organization’s commitment to racial equity? Are you allocating dollars in a way that supports racial equity work? I hope so. When we get our infrastructure right our racial equity work moves a little faster.

Some suggested steps:

  • Ask your staff where they would allocate funds when using their racial equity and community building lens.
  • Is your budget flexible to allows for community driven program work and adjustments? Can you build in a little room to allow for changing communities, new work, and sometimes fun or “passion projects.” (Passion projects are projects we get excited about and keep us in the job.)
  • Ensure allocations drive and support racial equity work – are adequate funds budgeted for translations/interpretation, food, child care, professional development.
  • Where are you spending your dollars? Are they supporting people of color owned businesses, is the money staying within your community?
  • If you were to share your budget with your community and constituents what would they say? Does it match their views and visions for the organization?

Want to go deeper?
My black year, TEDxGrandRapids talk by Maggie Anderson. She spent a year living “exclusively off of Black businesses, professionals and products for an entire year.”

Posted by Erin Okuno, who is on the lookout to make sure she doesn’t get pranked this April Fools Day