On Friday, February 19, 2021, members of the OSF team attended a Zoom conversation entitled #PhilanthropySoWhite, hosted by the Schott Foundation and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. This important conversation was moderated by Edgar Villanueva, the Founder and Principal of the Decolonizing Wealth Project, and Senior Vice President of the Schott Foundation; with panelists Hilary Pennington, Executive Vice President of Programs of the Ford Foundation; Nick Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation; John Palfrey, President of the MacArthur Foundation, and Vanessa Daniel, Founder and Director of the Groundswell Fund.
The webinar covered the topic of white supremacy in philanthropy, and how those involved, particularly those at the top, can work to counteract its effects. Panelists discussed trust-based and multi-year grants, ending an expectation of perfectionism in grant applications, and opening communication between the foundation and the community affected.
The following quote from Vanessa Daniels wraps up the sentiments of the overall conversation:
“Relinquishing dominance is not the same as being marginalized; listening is not the same as being silenced; and smashing the white supremacy cornerstone of dominance and control will not bring about your destruction, it will enable your liberation.”