The Imperative For Change
The gaping disparities we see today in nearly every measure of opportunity and quality of life – including health, education, employment, income, and wealth – are a direct result of systemic racism in the United States. Bias and prejudice, both overt and implicit, have formed profoundly unequal systems of race, gender, and class throughout society. For centuries, Black, Indigenous, Latina/o, and other people of color have been systematically exploited and excluded from power and opportunity in this country, with devastating effect.
Philanthropy, an industry borne of such divides, is certainly no exception when it comes to perpetuating racial inequity, particularly considering the stark funding gaps constraining the growth and impact of organizations with Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o leadership. Only by realigning our beliefs, systems, practices, resources, and influence to advance racial equity can we succeed in our mission to close opportunity gaps and boost economic mobility for young people and families throughout America.
Blue Meridian Partners firmly believes that centering racial equity in every facet of our work will make us more effective, innovative, and impactful in solving the problems that trap people in poverty.
Blue Meridian is committed to the difficult, long-term work required to be a resolutely anti-racist organization. It is a central priority of our 2019-23 strategic business and operating plan, and we are deepening and accelerating our efforts to make this vision a reality and hold ourselves accountable to:
- Ensuring our organizational diversity more fully reflects the communities in which we invest. Over the past few years, we’ve made significant strides in diversifying our staff, and we’ll keep building on that record at all levels of the organization, including our board.
- Providing the space and resources for our team to learn, reflect, and grow in the knowledge and skills needed to combat bias and prioritize racial equity in our work.
- Strengthening our investment approach by emphasizing racial equity and addressing implicit bias in our decision-making processes – from sourcing to ongoing performance management and the steps in between.
We’re still in the early stages of this journey – and we have much work to do – to demonstrate these values consistently within our institution and in the wider world, and to support our investees in advancing their own racial equity priorities. But it’s a journey to which our board, leadership team, and staff are fully committed. We look forward to sharing more about how we plan to marshal our resources, influence, and experience to help dismantle systems of racial inequity and expand pathways to economic mobility that give all young people and families the opportunity to thrive.