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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Beginning in the spring of 2020, and in the context of a global pandemic, calls for racial reckoning, political polarization, and Asian-American/Pacific Islander violence, Episcopal Impact Fund has been on an intentional journey to examine, reflect on and change our assumptions, practices and positions in order to foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

We recognize:

  • People of color have and continue to experience violence, oppression, discrimination, and racism. Poverty is one consequence of systemic racism.[i]

  • Poverty affects every community in the Bay Area; however, people of color—and especially Black and Latina/o/x people—are substantially more likely to be low-income or very-low-income than white people.[ii]

  • Nonprofits led by Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) are significantly less likely to receive grants than organizations with white leadership, and the grants they receive are much more likely to be restricted. Organizations led by Black women consistently receive the least funding support.[iii]

  • A grant making approach that ignores these inequities, perpetuates them.[iv]

  • A diverse board of directors is more effective and empathetic, improves our perspectives and decision making, especially our grantmaking, and ensures we understand the needs of the organizations and communities we serve.[v]

 

Therefore, to advance equity we will:

  • Share our commitment to DEI with grant applicants and other stakeholders.

  • Seek and prioritize applicants that serve communities of color in our grantmaking.

  • Seek and prioritize organizations that are BIPOC-led in our grantmaking.

  • Fund organizations that are advocating to change the odds for people living in poverty, especially members of BIPOC communities.

  • Learn from applicants about their own efforts to advance DEI in their work.

  • Annually track and report to the board and other stakeholders our progress on these commitments.

  • Revisit this policy annually, revise as appropriate and ensure that this commitment is included in next strategic plan.

 

Further, to advance equity, we commit to creating a board of directors with a diverse membership. We will:

  • Define diversity to include a wide range of backgrounds and identities, including age, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, professional qualifications, life experience, geography, and socio-economic status.

  • Identify when our board is lacking a particular voice and recruit new member(s) to fill that void.

  • Establish a recruiting process, including interviews, which maximizes the selection of well-qualified, diverse candidates.

[i] Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/reports/2018/02/21/447051/systematic-inequality/

[ii] Ross, Angel. (2020, September 21). Who is Low Income and Very Low Income in the Bay Area? Bay Area Equity Atlas. https://bayareaequityatlas.org/node/60841

[iii] Dorsey, Cheryl, Bradach, Jeff, Kim, Peter (2020, May 4.) Racial Equity and Philanthropy: Disparities in Funding for Leaders of Color Leave Impact on the Table. The Bridgespan Group. https://www.bridgespan.org/insights/library/philanthropy/disparities-nonprofit-funding-for-leaders-of-color

[iv] Dorsey, Cheryl, Bradach, Jeff, Kim, Peter (2020, June 5). The Problem with “Color Blind Philanthropy.” Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/06/the-problem-with-color-blind-philanthropy

[v] BoardSource, (2021) Leading with Intent—DEI Report.