As the murder trial over the death of George Floyd begins, and a growing wave of anti-Asian violence sweeps across the country, we are reminded of how far we have to go in the push for social justice.
That’s why the Community Foundation of Broward is providing local leadership to push for long-overdue changes. We know philanthropy can do more to help make this a community that champions social justice. Broward must be a place where all our residents feel welcome, where we all have the opportunity to succeed.
So, to increase our efforts the Community Foundation in 2020 launched a new workplan called Racial Equality and Community Healing, or REaCH.
It began with our pledge to listen to and learn from those in our community crying out for change. To look inward for opportunities to better reflect the community we serve. To reach out and build dynamic collaborations. To find more opportunities for local philanthropy to support bold solutions that bring real change.
Already, through REaCH we have:
- Teamed with the Broward Workshop, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and other local partners to participate in training sessions about systemic racism and implicit bias.
- Created more diverse representation on Community Foundation committees that help guide our grantmaking. Also, created a renewed emphasis on diversity in Community Foundation hiring.
- Featured social justice topics in our communications – including our website, e-newsletters, publications, videos, and more – as well as our events (held online during the pandemic) to educate our Foundation family and the community about local challenges and solutions.
New gaming-changing grants and initiatives shaped by REaCH include:
- The BE BOLD Prize – a $1 million grant for the most innovative proposal to get boost local employment, with an emphasis on residents of color who have been disproportionately affected by pandemic layoffs.
- New Art of Community grants – More than $500,000 in support for a new wave of social justice-themed performances, exhibitions, documentaries, workshops, podcasts and more to help bridge differences, promote dialogue and shape our way forward.
- The South Broward County Health Hub – a collaboration to empower residents of underserved communities to access health care, healthy food and opportunities for physical activity. Targets neighborhoods without grocery stores, doctors’ offices and other features critical to healthier living.
Also, other Foundation efforts to answer the call for social justice include:
- President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D., represents the Community Foundation on Broward County’s new Racial Equity Task Force.
- The Foundation helped lead an online workshop for Broward nonprofits to help fundraising professionals learn how to overcome unconscious bias, which can affect decisions about deploying charitable dollars.
- Our ongoing support for the Anti-Defamation League’s “No Place For Hate” program helps Broward schools celebrate diversity and foster harmony. Once again, 9,000 students at 10 local schools will participate in activities that encourage inclusion and help overcome bias.
We are far from finished.
The heartbreaking events of 2020 brought renewed attention to injustices that have plagued us for generations and continue today. Solutions won’t come easy, but the Community Foundation isn’t new to tackling tough challenges.
For the past 36 years, support from Fundholders at the Community Foundation has helped bridge economic, health, education and wealth gaps in our community. Now more than ever, we are committed to shaping a brighter future for everyone in Broward.
“Social justice has to start with each of us looking inside. For real change to be effective, we each have to understand and acknowledge new perspectives and commit to new actions,” said President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. “At the Community Foundation, we are committed to addressing racial equity internally and we continue to explore how the Foundation can be a greater part of our community’s collective effort to break down barriers and promote equality.”
To contact the Community Foundation of Broward, call 954-761-9503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.