AJL Foundation stands by the Black community in the fight against racism, and would like to call out anti-Black racism specifically. We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop and the unfathomably tragic loss of countless lives in Black, Indigenous and communities of color to centuries of racism and injustice. This is America's history. This is America's present.
AJL's mission is to support and invest in Colorado's families and youth, and as has been tragically validated over and over again, it is our families and youth of color who disproportionately face the consequences of social injustice in every single aspect of their lives. If we are truly dedicated to Colorado families and youth, then we are, at heart and at the root, fighting racial, economic and environmental injustice.
We also recognize that as a private foundation, we, like America's policing system, have choices and very little accountability to the results of our choices. We can philanthropy-as-usual, and continue to perpetuate racial, economic and environmental injustice by supporting systems of white supremacy. Or we can take responsibility for justice in our corner of the world using all of the unearned privilege, power and resources we have.
We choose the latter. Here are the steps we are taking:
- We've been inspired by these articles: "Have nonprofits and philanthropy become the 'white moderate' that Dr. King warned us about?" and "Dear Philanthropy: These are the fires of anti-Black racism" and "Dismantling White Supremacy & Anti Blackness in Philanthropy" and many more. We wholeheartedly agree that white philanthropy is part of the problem. We are analyzing AJL against the points highlighted in these articles and will change where we are getting it wrong.
- We are signing this petition calling on Congress to double the payout requirement to 10% for private foundations for the next 3 years, but regardless of what Congress decides, AJL will double our payout to 10% over the next 3 years. Furthermore, the additional 5% will be dedicated to organizations and initiatives that build power and resources for communities of color specifically.
- We will continue to share publicly the social and financial impacts of all of our assets and prioritize investments with positive social impact. While we are already mission-aligned across our portfolio, we will go deeper and use our assets to continue to demand diversity, inclusion and equity within the financial sector and our broader system of capitalism.
- Guided by grassroots organizations and activists who have been fighting this fight forever, we will follow and show up in policy and advocacy work benefiting the communities we serve.
- We will ensure that AJL's decisions are made and informed by the diverse voices that make up the communities most affected at all levels of the organization. As a first step, we transitioned to a community-lead grantmaking process last year which you can read about here and meet the 2020 grantmaking committee here.
We stand with the communities we serve, and in the spirit of partnership, learning and accountability, we welcome any feedback, ideas, criticism or suggestions that will help us to better serve you. We are committed to doing our part so that injustice is not also America's future.
Please feel free to reach out to Kristi Petrie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dianne Myles at email@example.com.