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New Racial Equity Statement From Woods Fund of Chicago

November 11, 2009

I haven't come across many statements like the one below, but in light of the debate over diversity (or lack thereof) in the sector, I thought it was worth noting. According to a note on the Woods Fund Web site, the fund "has chosen to employ a racial equity lens and adopt this core principle to help our foundation think more intentionally about addressing inequities both internally, within the communities in which we operate, and beyond."

Here's the statement:

The Woods Fund of Chicago believes that structural racism is a root cause of many challenges facing less-advantaged communities and people and serves as a significant barrier to enabling work and eradicating poverty. The Woods Fund encourages and supports organizations, initiatives, and policy efforts that lead to eliminating structural racism. Success in this area will be evident when there is equal distribution of privileges and burdens among all races and ethnic groups, and when a person's race or ethnicity does not determine his or her life outcomes. Woods Fund will support organizations that pay disciplined attention to race and ethnicity while they analyze problems, look for solutions, and define and document success. Ideally, these organizations will incorporate an analysis of structural racism into all aspects of their operations. Woods Fund is committed to raising awareness in the philanthropic community to support this work.

You know what they say: It only takes a pebble to start a landslide.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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