Media Coverage: As protests and unrest grip the nation, how should Philly nonprofits respond?


The events of the past week — infuriating, heartbreaking, frustrating, exhausting — demand that we take action so our nation can dismantle the structures of racism that have threatened Black lives and wellbeing since the nation was first established.

I know this isn’t news to many of our diverse and dedicated Generocity community members who fight for racial and economic justice on a daily basis. Still, the urgency of the now (I think I stole that line from Bill Golderer) calls for the nonprofit sector to respond.

What forms will that response take?

We asked folks in Philadelphia’s nonprofit sector to weigh in.

Trooper Sanders, CEO, Benefits Data Trust

‘It’s critical to provide a safe, open, and honest space for staff’

Saying the system is broken suggests that it once worked well for all. It has not. Indeed, too many parts of the system were designed to exclude and do damage to some communities. That is why so many nonprofits exist — to address issues of inequality and injustice. By definition, mission-driven organizations as a combined force are helping to address the whole of people’s lives; we tackle the historic challenges that black communities and others face that lead to this sense of injustice, and that takes a toll on health, well-being, and economic advancement.

During these extraordinary times, when issues of police misconduct and violence towards African Americans is at the forefront, we have to carefully balance addressing the moment while continuing to pursue our core mission to ensure that the broader pursuits of justice, equity, and opportunity do not suffer.

  1. Stick to what you do best: double-down on what’s working, especially for communities of color.
  2. Amplify your message: use your platforms to support those who don’t have a voice, tell the public, elected officials, funders, and advocates what you do, why, and for whom. Then enlist their help doing the same.
  3. Support your staff, especially Black staff, facing this health, economic, and civic crisis. These are not only tumultuous times, they’re traumatic, and it’s critical to provide a safe, open, and honest space for staff to share their feelings.

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) helps advance equity by connecting people to critical public benefits that help pay for food, healthcare, and utilities, providing people a path out of poverty and towards financial stability. These are the times the BDT spirit and community were built for, meant to withstand, and see us all through.

Republished from Generocity. Read the original article.