Reflecting and Reimagining Philanthropy

Erica Ekwurzel with green outfit

This is a guest post by NNCG Steering Committee Member Erica Ekwurzel.  It was originally shared in her newsletter, and is reposted here with permission.

Over this last year, I’ve been taking inventory on my role and responsibility as a professional of color working in the field of philanthropy. Outside of my advising work with foundations, funder collaboratives, and giving circles, I lead and participate in networks – CAP® Impact Program, 21/64 Advisors of Color Pilot Program, and National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers – that aim to emphasize diversity and equity as core values to advance the effectiveness of philanthropy. To me, this is important and necessary work to broaden how we currently frame philanthropy.

In his article Rebuilding our post-Covid world together, Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, writes “We must move away from a culture of individualism toward the restoration of the common good. We must shed our obsession with rapid growth at all costs and establish, instead, a clear, shared understanding of inclusive, sustainable growth—with both equal opportunity and equitable outcomes. And we must push ourselves not merely to answer the call for justice, but to reckon with a history of injustice.”

I’ve sat with Walker’s call to action for some time now and honestly, it’s rekindled my own beliefs as to why I embarked in philanthropy as a career over two decades ago. This said, I am excited to share that in 2022, I’ll be kicking off an interview series with practitioners taking a courageous stance on reimagining philanthropy and at the front lines of equity and inclusion. I look forward to lifting up their voices and perspectives, and I hope you will be as inspired by them as I am. Look for the series Reimagining Philanthropy in Practice & Profession sometime after the new year.

I hope you, too, can take time to reflect, reframe, and reimagine. Thanks for reading, and may you have a productive end of the year.