Advocate and Ally: Racial Equity Calls Philanthropy to Take a Stand

Image of arms raised and hands joined of many protesters of different racesI.D.E.A. Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access are guiding principles for our AFP chapter.  AFPSEWI encourages all members to actively follow these principles and join with members of black, brown, indigenous, and the LGBTQ communities to find the root causes of the disparities in their neighborhoods.  However, not everyone will be happy with our work to change how things are.  For instance:

On a warm Friday evening at Port Washington’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, my husband and I participated in a Black Lives Matter rally.* When we arrived, along with about 30 BLM supporters there were over 30 heavily armed militia men and women with AR-style rifles and side arms. The speakers with the BLM rally took to the stage and shared their stories about what it is like to be black in America. One black student shared his story and was met by jeers and racial slurs from the militia. While we marched, several militia men followed us on their motorcycles, revving their engines to drown out our chants of “Black Lives Matter.” As we marched past a local restaurant, in response to our mantra “Black Lives Matter” one restaurant patron said, “Not so much!” This event illustrates that racism is alive and well in 2020 America, but so is our determination to chart a new course.

There can be a divide between the polite conversations about equity and racism on Zoom meetings and what takes place in the public square. A dialogue about equity can either be an academic exercise or an invitation to join with people of color and the LGBTQ communities in the quest for justice.

Our AFP chapter is committed to join the movement toward a just society where there is inclusion and equity.  But how do we get there? How can we remove systemic racism within our institutions? As development professionals, what does it mean to be an advocate and an ally? These and many other questions will be addressed by our chapter over the coming year and your participation with AFP SEWI's I.D.E.A. initiative is both needed and valued. Watch this space for ways you can help.

Respectfully submitted,

AFPSEWI’s I.D.E.A. Subcommittee (Bridgett Brown, Jean Gurney, and Joe Maddalena)

*Black Lives Matter Rally attended by J. Maddalena and spouse, July 10, 2020,