People of color represent nearly 70% of all Brooklyn’s residents, yet there are significant racial disparities in the distribution of resources and opportunities in our communities. We strongly believe addressing racial disparities in this borough is the first essential step towards our mission of building a more fair and just Brooklyn for everyone.
WHAT IS RACIAL JUSTICE?
We define racial justice as the systemic redistribution of power, opportunities, and access for people of all races. We believe that all people should be equally seen, heard, valued and respected. Whether through grantmaking, advocacy or special initiatives, we aim to increase the ability of people of color to determine and sustain a more equitable future for themselves and their communities.
Our institution-wide Racial Justice Lens was developed in partnership with our Racial Justice Advisory Council of local and national experts. This tool ensures that we consider race as we analyze problems, look for solutions, and define success in our grantmaking, governance, and advocacy. Working with the Council we have established clear benchmarks and outcomes to ensure that we make measurable progress towards our goals.
We position the following at the core of our practice:
- Understanding and naming root causes of racial inequities
- Acknowledging historical trauma stemming from systemic racism
- Supporting opportunities for healing and empowerment
- Ensuring that those directly affected by structural racism are centered in decision-making
- Measure and track outcomes in advancement of racial justice through philanthropy
Grantmaking to Brooklyn nonprofits who are addressing racial justice issues in their communities. Priority is given to organizations led by members of affected communities and who center the voices of those directly impacted by structural racism in decision-making.
- Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project - to address racial disparities in public school disciplinary policies and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
- Racial Equity Fund – to provide overarching support for the Foundation’s grantmaking, advocacy initiatives, and leadership efforts that advance racial equity in Brooklyn
- Brooklyn Girls of Color Fund – to support the Foundation’s participation in the NYC Young Women’s Initiative and to bolster efforts to improve the lives of young women in Brooklyn
Advocacy & Organizing to engage other funders, as well as institutional partners, in promoting and advancing racial equity. Current examples include funding the #CloseRikers campaign, joining a funder coalition for Raise the Age, and commissioning research for Islamaphobia in Brooklyn.
Leadership & Training to advance professional development for leaders from impacted communities and to increase the capacity of organizations dedicated to social and racial justice.
RACIAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Professor and Director of the Racial Justice Project
New York Law School
Center for Social Inclusion
New York City Department of Health
Director, Women’s Economic Justice
Racial Equity Director
Audre Lorde Project
New York Foundation
Emma Jordan Simpson*
Concord Baptist Church
Youth Program Coordinator
Rev. Michael Sniffen
Cathedral of Incarnation
Henry Cohen Professor of Urban Policy and Management
Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Director of Philanthropy
*Brooklyn Community Foundation Board Member