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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Report: Philanthropy must play role in racial reparations

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Monday, February 26, 2024   

A new report said philanthropic organizations need to reexamine the source of their wealth, which it asserted often came from systemic racism and discrimination, and stressed the need to repair the harm done to Black communities.

Called "Cracks in the Foundation," the report from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy examines at the histories of eight grantmakers.

Katherine Ponce, research manager of special projects for the committee, explained how the report was developed.

"There's four categories of harm we focus on," Ponce pointed out. "It's anti-Black media and rhetoric, housing discrimination and segregation, unemployment and hidden opportunity, and then health care, both mental and physical."

The report urged grantmakers to reckon with their past, connect with harmed communities, work to repair the damage, make sure any harm doesn't continue and advocate for funding for reparations. While the report focuses on the Washington, D.C., area, it mentions California's Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans as an encouraging development.

Hanh Le, co-CEO of if: A Foundation for Radical Possibility, which commissioned the report and is one of the institutions examined, said her organization once believed the money to endow the foundation came from a health association jointly created by Black and Jewish workers when in fact, the agency initially excluded Black workers.

"Every foundation has an origin story that we believe ties the wealth that generated the endowment for those foundations to racialized capitalism, to structural racism," Le contended. "We all have an obligation to know that truth, to reckon with the truth and to repair the harm."

Debra Watkins, founder and executive director of San Jose-based ABEN, which stands for A Black Education Network, said to play a role in repair, grantmakers should invest in Black-led organizations, which still only get a fraction of the billions given annually.

"Foundations that have amassed their wealth as a result of harm done to Black people over decades, now have an obligation to fund Black-led work," Watkins urged. "And also to ameliorate conditions under which Black people still live."

Disclosure: The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Immigrant Issues, Reproductive Health, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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