Three takeaways from my participation in Unconscious Whiteness in Philanthropy course w/ the excellent Alison Traina and Alison Sirkus Brody. The course is a five-session cohort learning experience to deepen understanding of how white supremacy manifests in philanthropic organizations and systems, hosted by Northern California Grantmakers.

White Men Wanted. There is a need for white men to work with other men, especially in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Men can be powerful messengers and examples in racial justice work. I am seeing how this is related to the good work of Efrain Gutierrez and others around how toxic masculinity impacts these sectors. While learning about bias and racial justice is important for all white people, we benefit greatly when men engage with this work.

Banner at the Underground Railroad Museum Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The blue banner with white lettering says "our shared humanity matters most".All-white spaces have a place. Multi-racial organizing is needed for any kind of long-term change in racial justice work. Still, all-white spaces provide an important place to ask questions and learn without unintentionally harming People of Color. Such spaces also help prevent putting the burden of education on POC.

Hope. Over 100 folks in the philanthropy sector have taken this particular training. Many more are working on educating themselves, leading initiatives to understand their part in racial inequity, as well as working to make changes both internally and in their grant making. The work that is happening is helping to change the way philanthropy works for the better.

Taking this course has been an opportunity for personal and professional growth, helping me examine where I have bias, how I can hold my whiteness responsibly and understanding equity based practices that move us towards better racial equity.

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