Turning the Tide: (Re)Claiming Belonging & Power for People of Color in Philanthropy

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 -
10:00am to 11:00am EDT
Virtual Meeting - Register by 4/30
Members of PNY & Partner Orgs: 
Add to Calendar

Watch the Recording

Before experiencing it firsthand, philanthropy is commonly perceived as a space primarily dedicated to charitable giving and volunteerism, albeit with occasional oversights in prioritizing certain groups. However, upon entering the sector, particularly for people of color whose communities have long been marginalized in America and are often the target population philanthropy seeks to serve, the reality is starkly different. Despite the purported ideals of equality and equity, the discomfort experienced by people of color, especially Black women, within philanthropy is pervasive and deeply felt. 

In this program, we will draw upon the experiences detailed by Dr. Yanique Redwood in her book "White Women Cry & Call Me Angry: A Black Woman's Memoir on Racism in Philanthropy" to explore the systemic issues prevalent in philanthropic spaces. Dr. Redwood, a seasoned leader in racial equity and community-based research, sheds light on the challenges faced by POC in a sector that often falls short of amplifying their voices. She will be joined in conversation with Donita Volkwijn, Senior Director of Member Engagement at PNY and a racial equity practitioner in her own right. Drawing from her recent publication, "Unveiling the Illusion: How DEI Roles Echo the 'Magical Negro’ trope in Philanthropy", Donita will underscore the pivotal role of people with lived experience in driving change within philanthropy. 

Join us for a meaningful discussion that explores how philanthropy can strive towards creating an organizational culture where people of color feel valued, respected, and empowered to make a difference—a transformation that philanthropy urgently requires.

What will you learn?

  • Recognizing the nuances of systemic racism within philanthropy. 

  • Implementing actionable strategies to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropic practices. 

  • Cultivating a culture of belonging that not only empowers but also retains people of color in philanthropy. 


What else should you know?

Whether it's encountering microaggressions, enduring unnecessary micromanaging, witnessing low diversity in staffing and funding, or grappling with the impacts of racism and xenophobia infiltrating your work, the feeling of discomfort persists for the average POC in philanthropy. Consequently, many decide not to stay where they feel no sense of belonging and leave. Despite an increase in foundational salaries in 2023, turnover rates rose simultaneously from 11% to 13.1%. While specific data on POC turnover is lacking, it's reasonable to assume that some departed due to these discomforts, particularly given the prevalence of racist funding practices within certain foundations, especially when led by people of color.  To attain genuine equity, we must forge a space that not only ensures the inclusion and belonging of people of color in philanthropy but also recognizes and addresses power dynamics with unwavering commitment.   

Who should attend? 

All philanthropic professionals, ranging from executives to program officers and diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists, in grantmaking, public policy, and related roles are welcome. Expect a panel discussion and Q&A session.