Meeting 2 – 3/8/20

Agenda:

  1. Introductions.
  2. “Go round” – current challenges and learning.
  3. How does the group relate to what People of Colour and people from BAME communities tell us we should be doing?
  4. Plans for the next meeting.

Notes:

  • Introductions:

As this was Paul’s first meeting, he introduced himself and his interest in and questions about the work of the group.

  • “Go-round”:

Each participant said a little about their challenges and learning in relation to racial justice since our last meeting. We touched on the following experiences and issues: the importance of strong recruitment practices in improving the diversity of staff teams and boards, different approaches to building trustee commitment to this agenda; the dilemmas of trying to work systematically vs. grasping opportunities for action as they arise; keeping a focus on this agenda amid competing priorities; the findings of our respective Funders’ Alliance for Race Equality race audits; steps towards learning about and considering the implications of the origins of foundation wealth; personal actions outside work that demonstrate our commitment to redistribution of resources.

From this conversation, we recognized that we could delve more deeply into many of these issues. There may be particular value in looking more closely at the theme of redistribution, as it relates to both money and power. It may be useful to reflect both on the power we can give up, and on how we can uphold and strengthen others’ power.

  • Theme for the meeting:

We considered how the group could relate to what People of Colour and people from BAME communities tell us we should be doing, noting in particular the calls from Charity So White, Future Foundations, and Derek Bardowell:

It was agreed that we could collate the recommendations from these resources to shape a framework for the group’s work in future. We also identified the possibility of further discussion on some areas of shared action, such as the findings of the race audits we have undertaken in our respective organisations, and how we use these to strengthen our grant-making.

Attendees:

  • Celia McKeon – Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • Joe Howes – Buttle UK
  • James Fitzpatrick – Joseph Levy Foundation
  • Paul Carbury – Smallwood Trust

Apologies:

  • Fran Perrin – Indigo Trust
  • Agenda for our next meeting:

Celia offered to collate the recommendations referred to above as the basis for a discussion at our next meeting, and give some thought to how we approach that conversation. We also agreed to take some time to reflect on the membership of the group and whether we should invite others to join.

We agreed that the next meeting would take place on Friday 4th September from 11.00am-12.30pm.

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Our FAQs:

Why is the forum being created?

To try and accelerate the pace of meaningful action towards racial justice within UK grantmaking foundations, including our own.

What is the purpose of the forum?

To create a safe space for exchanging practical experience, ideas and challenges with regard to our role as leaders in promoting racial justice within our foundations.

How is it different from other existing forums, such as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coalition and the Funders Alliance for Race Equality?

Both these other forums are important and complementary to this initiative. This forum is intended to have a particular focus on racial justice, which sits within the broader range of issues explored by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion coalition. As a complement to the Funders Alliance for Race Equality, it is intended to support consideration of, and action on issues including governance, staffing, investments and organizational culture, as well as grant-making.

Why is it aimed at white Chief Executives?

Because we recognize the responsibility that white people, and particularly white people in leadership positions, have for taking overdue action on these issues. We want to hold each other accountable for doing the work.

How can I participate in the Forum?

If you would like to know more, please email James at info@fairerfoundations.org

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