NCRP: How Funders Can Help Stop America’s Destructive Dependency on Abuse & Power

NCRP released the following statement on philanthropy’s role in the wake of the police shooting death of Tyre Nichols. 

Like a lot of people, we at NCRP have been thinking a lot about violence, its connection to power and the unhealthy dependency people have on using force to get what they want or need. How no matter how many marches we attend, no matter how many achievements we appreciate and recognize, every
Black person in America is one police or Karen encounter away from never coming back home to their loved ones.

How ever you are processing the events of recent weeks, and this continued unjust reality, it’s important not to lose sight of the obvious: Tyre Nichols should be alive — a traffic stop shouldn’t lead to death.

From Interaction Lab: Folded hands opening up to a displayed message of 'reimaging public safety"

                    courtesy Into Action Lab

Communities have a human right to have safety defined beyond the presence of law enforcement. Individuals and families deserve to live in a world where economic, social, and political security is a standard for all, not just for those who have had it in the past or for those that can afford it.

Acknowledging that is only the beginning of the work.

Whether it is rooted in correcting past harm or a current dedication to their mission or stakeholders, philanthropy has a strong civic, economic, and moral obligation to resource a more inclusive and equitable future. Foundations, donors, DAFs, and other grantmakers must step up their support of local solutions and the visions laid out by those closest to the harm of overcriminalization and underinvestment.

Here are some ways that funders can start now:

· Check in on employees and grantees, especially those from Black and other impacted communities. Immediately provide space – and resources – for their

· Don’t over rely on employees or community partners from impacted communities to respond in the moment.

· Provide multi-year, unrestricted grants for leaders in impacted communities and those working on these issues, starting directly with, but not limited to, Black, Latine/x, Asian American, indigenous and LGBTQ+ organizations and leaders.

· Assess grantmaking involvement in real time and be transparent about where your organization is and where it needs to go. Don’t wait for someone to search your end-of-the year 990 IRS filing or drag your feet every time Candid requests to update your data.

· If your grantmaking is not connected transformative justice and anti-violence measures, figure out how to get involved.

· And if you are doing all that you can, then ask how you can get more of your colleagues to do more.

This news should drive all our resources toward action. If there is anything that the last couple of years have shown us, it is that life is precious and that we cannot wait for the perfect time, message, or
messenger to make this world better. In fact, the way that a variety of sectors in 2020 responded in the immediate crisis of the pandemic should give hope to us all that change is possible.

Reckoning with and healing from past harms takes a deliberate and concerted effort, but as we work through the continued damage of the America’s racist past, we cannot shirk our responsibility to what is going on in the present. Our nation’s diverse foundations and allied grantmakers must be sure to answer at least this question in this moment:

What are you doing — today and tomorrow — to help this nation unwind from the destructive dependence it has on abuse and violence?