Our Racial Justice Lens

People of color represent nearly 70% of all Brooklyn’s residents, yet there are significant racial disparities in the distribution of resources and opportunities in our communities. We strongly believe addressing racial disparities in this borough is the first essential step towards our mission of building a more fair and just Brooklyn for everyone.

WHAT IS RACIAL JUSTICE?

We define racial justice as the systemic redistribution of power, opportunities, and access for people of all races. We believe that all people should be equally seen, heard, valued and respected. Whether through grantmaking, advocacy or special initiatives, we aim to increase the ability of people of color to determine and sustain a more equitable future for themselves and their communities.

EXPERT LEADERSHIP

Our institution-wide Racial Justice Lens was developed in partnership with our Racial Justice Advisory Council of local and national experts. This tool ensures that we consider race as we analyze problems, look for solutions, and define success in our grantmaking, governance, and advocacy. Working with the Council we have established clear benchmarks and outcomes to ensure that we make measurable progress towards our goals.

We position the following at the core of our practice:

  • Understanding and naming root causes of racial inequities
  • Acknowledging historical trauma stemming from systemic racism
  • Supporting opportunities for healing and empowerment
  • Ensuring that those directly affected by structural racism are centered in decision-making
  • Measure and track outcomes in advancement of racial justice through philanthropy

FOCUS AREAS

Grantmaking to Brooklyn nonprofits who are addressing racial justice issues in their communities. Priority is given to organizations led by members of affected communities and who center the voices of those directly impacted by structural racism in decision-making.

Special Initiatives:

  • Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project - to address racial disparities in public school disciplinary policies and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • Racial Equity Fund – to provide overarching support for the Foundation’s grantmaking, advocacy initiatives, and leadership efforts that advance racial equity in Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn Girls of Color Fund – to support the Foundation’s participation in the NYC Young Women’s Initiative and to bolster efforts to improve the lives of young women in Brooklyn

Advocacy & Organizing to engage other funders, as well as institutional partners, in promoting and advancing racial equity. Current examples include funding the #CloseRikers campaign, joining a funder coalition for Raise the Age, and commissioning research for Islamaphobia in Brooklyn.

Leadership & Training to advance professional development for leaders from impacted communities and to increase the capacity of organizations dedicated to social and racial justice.

 

RACIAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL

(In formation)

Deborah Archer
Professor and Director of the Racial Justice Project
New York Law School

Alexa Aviles
Program Director
Scherman Foundation

Ingrid Benedict
Director
Daphne Foundation

Glen Harris
Executive Director 
Center for Social Inclusion

Aletha Maybank
Deputy Commissioner
New York City Department of Health

Merle McGee
Vice President, Programs
Planned Parenthood of New York City

Tynesha McHarris
Senior Consultant
NoVo Foundation

Kavitha Mediratta
Executive Director 
Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity

Cara Page
Director of Programs
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

Kevin Ryan
Program Officer, Equitable Development
Ford Foundation

Emma Jordan Simpson*
Executive Pastor
Concord Baptist Church

Candace Simpson
Youth Program Coordinator
Parity

Rev. Michael Sniffen
Dean 
Cathedral of Incarnation

Maya Wiley
Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management
Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy

Rise Wilson
Chief Programming Officer 
Friends of the Highline

*Brooklyn Community Foundation Board Member