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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Report: Philanthropy must play role in racial reparations

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Monday, February 26, 2024   

A new report said philanthropic organizations need to reexamine the source of their wealth, which it asserted often came from systemic racism and discrimination, and stressed the need to repair the harm done to Black communities.

Called "Cracks in the Foundation," the report from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy examines at the histories of eight grantmakers.

Katherine Ponce, research manager of special projects for the committee, explained how the report was developed.

"There's four categories of harm we focus on," Ponce pointed out. "It's anti-Black media and rhetoric, housing discrimination and segregation, unemployment and hidden opportunity, and then health care, both mental and physical."

The report urged grantmakers to reckon with their past, connect with harmed communities, work to repair the damage, make sure any harm doesn't continue and advocate for funding for reparations. While the report focuses on the Washington, D.C., area, it mentions California's Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans as an encouraging development.

Hanh Le, co-CEO of if: A Foundation for Radical Possibility, which commissioned the report and is one of the institutions examined, said her organization once believed the money to endow the foundation came from a health association jointly created by Black and Jewish workers when in fact, the agency initially excluded Black workers.

"Every foundation has an origin story that we believe ties the wealth that generated the endowment for those foundations to racialized capitalism, to structural racism," Le contended. "We all have an obligation to know that truth, to reckon with the truth and to repair the harm."

Debra Watkins, founder and executive director of San Jose-based ABEN, which stands for A Black Education Network, said to play a role in repair, grantmakers should invest in Black-led organizations, which still only get a fraction of the billions given annually.

"Foundations that have amassed their wealth as a result of harm done to Black people over decades, now have an obligation to fund Black-led work," Watkins urged. "And also to ameliorate conditions under which Black people still live."

Disclosure: The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Immigrant Issues, Reproductive Health, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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