Our Response to Racial Injustice
Last week, Common Impact CEO Danielle Holly released a letter in response to the brutal injustice of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black Americans. “The careless, continued murdering of Black Americans demands our action,” she wrote. We are deeply saddened and angered by the systemic racism that continues to exist in this country – and we will not be silent. We will continue to listen, to speak out and to act.
Our work is rooted in the pursuit of equity and opportunity for all. By connecting nonprofits with skilled volunteers, we enable them to build capacity, scale their operations and, ultimately, better deliver on their missions to affect lasting social change.
We build transformational cross-sector relationships that last.
Actions We’re Taking
Six months ago, as we approached our 20th anniversary, we renewed our commitment to our founding mission to support nonprofits that are working to alleviate inequality across race, gender, sexual orientation, class and ability.
Right now, we are leaning into this mission in the following ways:
Skills for Cities will focus on racial justice: We are dedicating our annual Skills for Cities days of service to supporting nonprofits facing the double pandemic of racial injustice and COVID-19, prioritizing nonprofits fighting for racial equity, serving Black communities and/or led by a people of color.
Lifting up our racial justice partners: We will make a more concentrated effort to listen to, support and elevate the work of our nonprofit partners fighting for racial equity.
Advocating for greater corporate involvement: Companies and their employees have been an increasingly active voice in the fight against racial injustice. We are engaging in conversations with our corporate partners to ensure that our programs are translating their advocacy and intent into actionable employee engagement initiatives that drive racial equity.
If you’d like to partner with us on skills-based volunteering projects that accelerate equality, we want to hear from you.
Continuing the Conversation
In addition to these immediate actions, the entire Common Impact team has been reflecting on our response to the injustices of this past week and beyond. This has been an active and ongoing conversation for years, one that we are continuously executing on. Still, we know we can individually and collectively intensify our work to promote equality and inclusion in all aspects of society.
Back in 2017, Danielle wrote a blog post confronting how the nonprofit workforce – especially at the leadership level – and skills-based volunteerism are disproportionately White. She recognized the lack of diversity was not just a sector issue, but one right here at Common Impact – and she promised to change that. Since then, we have implemented more inclusive hiring practices for our staff and board, implicit bias training, professional development opportunities and accountability measures to ensure we continue working towards our goals for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Since 2016, we’ve increased the racial diversity of our staff from 7 to 24 percent people of color and on our board from 14 to 42 percent people of color. It’s not enough. We still have a lot of work to do.
Learn & Take Action
Some of the resources collected and shared internally by our team.
Black Lives Matter – Ways You Can Help: Information on protests, petitions to sign, ways to contact your representatives and police departments, places to donate and more.
Anti-Racism Resources: A curated list of articles, books, podcasts, videos and more intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen their anti-racism work.
CNN – A guide to how you can support marginalized communities: Ways to practice allyship on an ongoing basis, including listening to marginalized groups, educating yourself and others and using your privilege to affect change.
The Cut – How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality: Ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement and demand police accountability, such as joining protests, offering resources to protesters and affected communities and educating yourself and others on the issues.
Huffington Post – 11 Things To Do Besides Say ‘This Has To Stop’ In The Wake Of Police Brutality: How to be a good ally, speak up about police brutality, start conversations with your friends and family and more.
Official Black Wall Street – Business Directory: Support Black-owned businesses in your community and across the country.
Bail Funds: A collection of community resources for protesters nationwide.