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Confronting Racism

As our nation continues to grapple with pain and uncertainty, we believe some essential truths remain for Lancaster County:

Our community is only strong when every voice is heard. Our community is only safe when every resident can live and dream fearlessly. Our community is only extraordinary when every family, neighbor, and friend is respected.

We know that we all have work to do: as an organization, as a community, and as a country. We know that condemning racism and violence is only a first, small step, and the most important steps we take are the ones that come after. And we know that we can’t do it alone.

We are holding space and solidarity with communities of color across Lancaster County for the anger and grief they justifiably feel.

We are holding space and solidarity with the countless individuals across Lancaster County who want to see our community become more just and equitable.

We hear you. We see you. We stand with you.

Our Next Steps

For the Community Foundation, our next steps are just that: steps, on a long journey. There are no quick fixes for generations of hurt and oppression, often at the hands of systems that have supported and continue to support this organization. But that is not an excuse to remain “neutral” when neutrality never truly existed, remain silent when voices are silenced themselves, or “apolitical” when it means denying the value of Black and Brown lives.

Moving forward, as an evolution of living into our core values and as a direct response to the voices of our community members, the Community Foundation will: 

Placing Anti Racism Directly Into Our Strategy

We are committed to adding a simple yet important question to our strategic filter “Is this initiative/project/idea anti-racist?” 

Expand Community Centered Design

We are committed to including the people of Lancaster County, who are crucial in sparking long-lasting and meaningful change, in continuous anti-racist work. 

Create New Grants & Opportunities

We are committed to transforming the way we allocate our money and the grants we choose. 

Conduct Deep Internal Equity Work

We are committed to looking within, at our history, our staff, our board, our community, our nation- and working towards an anti-racist and just society. 

We are committed to hearing from you… 

While our efforts in the past 10 years have accelerated towards devoted listening and learning practices, we as an organization can still create more chances to include and hear from the community. We have created a NEW submission box for specific ideas on how the Community Foundation can support Community Benefit Organizations or individuals experiencing and fighting racism. We want to hear from you about what Lancaster County needs to move towards a just society. 

—Coming Soon—

our next steps

For the Community Foundation, our next steps are just that: steps, on a long journey. There are no quick fixes for generations of hurt and oppression, often at the hands of systems that have supported and continue to support this organization. But that is not an excuse to remain “neutral” when neutrality never truly existed, remain silent when voices are silenced themselves, or “apolitical” when it means denying the value of Black and Brown lives.

Moving forward, as an evolution of living into our core values and as a direct response to the voices of our community members, the Community Foundation will: 

Placing Anti-Racism Directly Into Our Strategy

Unlike many organizations, the Community Foundation does not have a traditional “strategic plan”, instead, we have adopted “Real-Time Strategic Planning“, which allows us to filter new ideas through a series of questions that are core to our values. If an idea can’t get through a filter without answering “yes”, it’s not an initiative we take on.

In response to calls for clarity, specificity, and action, we are adding a new strategic filter which will precede all others: 

“Is this initiative/project/idea anti-racist?” 

It’s a simple but important question because our society is coming to terms with the fact that, as Ibram X Kendi writes, simply being “not racist” does not address the real issue of racism. In order to truly confront systemic oppression, our initiatives cannot be simply “not-racist”, which preserves the racist status quo, but actively anti-racist. 

Read about the rest of our strategic filters 

Expand Community Centered Design

We have learned through initiatives like Project Activate that much about the way ideas are generated and gain traction in communities is by taking a grassroots approach. Too often funders like community foundations attempt to dictate what a community needs, rather than understanding that communities know better than anyone the most pressing issues that they face. This way of doing things further entrenches systems that silence voices and keeps reach change from taking hold.

We are committed to Community-Centered Design: an approach that works to listen to ideas of the community, create space for those ideas to be shaped by residents of that community and financially support those ideas.

We are committed to ideas that are built with the community, by the community, and for the community that needs them. And while this work has only just begun with Project Activate, and we still have much to learn, we will be expanding this approach moving forward.

Create New Grants and Opportunities

Upon the outbreak of the coronavirus, we were able to start up the Lancaster Cares initiative to mitigate the lack of job loss, food access, housing stability, and healthcare; while also maintaining our two summer grant cycles. With this being said, our team is committed to analyzing specific support we can show for Black and Brown communities. Although a lot of this anti-racist work must happen within our own organization, staff, and board; it is crucial to direct financial support to communities that are being targeted and underserved by government forces. The implications of COVID-19 are likely to be long term and we want to continue providing support to underserved individuals and families that are less likely to recover from a job or house loss. 

We are committed to doing more to support Community Benefit Organizations run by people of color, women of color, and organizations that work to connect Black and Brown communities to needed resources. We will also be looking for organizations that show initiative to educate and train staff members through established programming in anti-racism work. 

Resources for equitable grant-making and funding:

 

Conduct Deep Internal Equity Work

We know that we cannot confront racism and oppression in our community without first confronting it within our organization. This work is essential to understanding our role in perpetuating systems of harm, as well as strengthening our programming to be truly anti-racist. During our weekly staff meetings, we check in with each department and discuss what further steps we can all take, maintaining a conversation that some are trying to ignore. 

The Community Foundation will be partnering with local organizations and consultants to conduct facilitated, intentional, and ongoing work to further develop our collective muscles and language around confronting and combating racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, homophobia, and more.

We want to hear from you and the ways we can be of service to the entire Lancaster County. 

Redouble our commitment to feedback

While our efforts in the past 10 years have accelerated towards devoted listening and learning practices, we as an organization can still create more chances to include and hear from the community. There are already some resources on our website such as the Idea Sculptor, created to help you refine and submit your most creative ideas: 

 

We have created a NEW submission box for specific ideas on how the Community Foundation can support Community Benefit Organizations or individuals experiencing and fighting racism. We want to hear from you about what Lancaster County needs to move towards a just society. 

Anti-Racism Resources

Books, Movies, Videos & Podcasts

Books:

Movies & TV Series:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Crime and Punishment- Hulu
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • Whose Streets? -Hulu

Videos:

Podcasts

 

Resources for Individuals (Parents, Teachers, Beginners)

Unlearning and Relearning Resources for White People 

*more resources under Books, Movies, Videos, & Podcasts 

For Teachers & Educators 

Resources for Parents:

Books:

Podcasts:

Articles:

 

 

 

 

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