Call to Action: Combating White Supremacy In The Nonprofit Space

Over the past year, our colleagues, our sector, and our communities have been struggling under the weight of anti-Asianess and anti-Blackness, all while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not ok, and we should not be expected to be ok. We support and hold our communities because we recognize the severity of the moment, but need to address the lack of support for our peers in the nonprofit sector.

Every time we feel like we’ve taken a step forward, we are reminded of the injustices that hold our communities down. Just as we were writing this blog on the rise of anti-Asian violence, we are reminded of the injustices against our Black and Brown peers (Ma’Khia Bryant, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Andrew Brown, Jr.). We are constantly reacting to each event, which forces us to be distracted from the bigger picture of a future with justice where we are safe, thriving, and happy.

Here at YNPNsfba, we are committed to holding a space that has empathy and community for our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color nonprofit peers. We recognize that our nonprofit peers hold the weight of trauma while trying to heal their communities. We are focused on healing ourselves, learning the far-reaching impact of White supremacy on our behaviors, organizations & structures, systems, policies, etc., and working together to build our liberated future that is unapologetically pro-Black.

Our board has come together to respond to the recent rise in anti-Asian violence and hate speech, on top of the systemic racism that harms our Black peers. Here’s what we’re thinking:

Healing

Over the past year, our peers have been dealing with the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, on top of the increased attention to the inequities in our system – from the murders of innocent Black men and women to the rise in anti-Asian violence and hate speech. Day in and day out, we must hold our community members in our work, with little to no resources to support ourselves and our wellbeing.

How are you doing? What do you need to heal?

Olivia Duong

“I am exhausted. I find myself glued to Instagram and Twitter, scrolling through a barrage of videos of other violent attacks, listicles of best books to read to learn more about Asian American issues, accounts of anti-Asian racism growing up, etc.”

Luigi Fu

“In moments like this, I am grateful to be a part of supportive communities, like YNPNsfba. I am healing by finding joy with my community.”

Lilibeth Gonzalez

“Healing our communities begins from processing and mourning our losses, but true healing comes from channeling the negativity and changing our stories.”

Taylor Hadnot

“What we would expect from others, we should model/deliver ourselves.”

Zeenna Stapper

“What I need to heal is seeing true accountability and justice being enforced and practiced at all levels of society. Until this happens, I try to find the positive and try to uplift the people around me.”

White Supremacy

YNPNsfba believes that the increased attacks on our BIPOC communities are a cause of White supremacy, an ideology that permeates our individual and collective behaviors. Our sector must address White supremacy at all levels, from how we structure our organizations to how we raise funds and talk with donors. Given the limited resources in our sector and the constant starvation cycle, we call on our donors, foundation partners and greater community to increase their support to nonprofits who are on the frontlines of supporting and building power in our communities.

If you’re unfamiliar with the characteristics of White supremacy culture, please check out the following link: The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture.

What do you wish the nonprofit sector/organizations would do to address the rise in anti-Asian violence and speech?
Olivia Duong

“White supremacy seeps into every aspect of our lives. It is only expected that we have intentionally and/or unintentionally upheld it, and as a result, harmed our Asian (American) colleagues, community members, donors, and other stakeholders.”

Luigi Fu

“We should recognize that these traumas are happening on a regular basis for our BIPOC peers and we should build systems in place to support them regularly with healing and care.”

Lilibeth Gonzalez

“We are complicit in perpetuating white supremacy if we are not boldly centering the communities we serve in all areas of our organizational structure – from our decision-making processes as well as our fundraising practices.”

Taylor Hadnot

“I wish that nonprofits in the Bay Area would do more than put out a statement condemning hate against the API and Black community, and instead speak to the various dimensions of this issue.”

Zeenna Stapper

“What support can be offered to the nonprofit sector/organizations so they can assure our youth, elders, and the community are safe and can thrive?”

Our Committment

YNPNsfba is committed to centering the voices of BIPOC young nonprofit professionals in our work and unlearning our individual and organizational habits that reinforce White supremacy. We must continue to move forward, use what we learn and apply it to action, and not be afraid to make mistakes. It is important to create a safe space that allows us to be vulnerable, to identify our own biases and address them, and be human.

What is your commitment to combating White supremacy?
Olivia Duong

“I know book clubs will not lead to our liberation, but I still think reading books is a start. I made it a monthly goal to read at least one book relating to the history and future of combating white supremacy.”

Luigi Fu

“I am committed to unlearning white supremacy habits in myself and in our organizations.”

Lilibeth Gonzalez

“It often feels as if we’re trading scripts from our various news sources-regurgitating all that we’ve read and watched. I pledge to listen, to think and sit with the other side, to question, and to converse.”

Taylor Hadnot

“I will continue to encourage conversations about the tense history and relationship between the Black community and the API community to break down false perceptions, stereotypes, and harmful non-action.”

Zeenna Stapper

“I started with having uncomfortable conversations with friends and people around me.”

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