By Pat Smith, President and CEO, The Funders’ Network

Dear TFN members and friends,

As a membership organization committed to centering racial equity and justice in our work, we are alarmed and appalled by recent reports of racist and xenophobic attacks against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and others of Asian descent living in our communities. As we wrestle with the devastating health, economic and social impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic, we are mindful that social distancing does not equal willful silence.

We must be committed, now more than ever, to raise our voices in solidarity with those targeted by hateful rhetoric and actions.

We are proud to sign on to this open letter authored Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy – “Open Letter to Philanthropy: The Cure to Viral Racism Is Within Our Hands.”
TFN encourages you to join us in signing on to this letter as a sign of empathy and solidarity with the AAPI community. We also encourage you to adopt and amplify the calls-to-action outlined in the letter, which exhorts colleagues in philanthropy to:

  Include language in statements that denounce hate related to COVID-19 (and beyond).
  Include efforts that address viral racism as part of rapid response fund guidelines.
  Insert equity into outreach efforts and funding decisions to ensure that smaller organizations, especially those in harder hit communities and inclusive of AAPIs are part of that mix.
  Reach out to AAPI staff members and colleagues to see how they are doing and offer support.
  Speak out when you see racism and prejudice against any individual or community.
  Think of this moment as a “reset” button to imagine a more holistic approach to philanthropy that gains new traction toward racial and gender equity.

You may read the full letter along with the list of organizations that have signed on in support here.

TFN has also compiled an online library, Resources and Responses from the Philanthropic Sector, which we hope will be helpful in navigating the many implications the pandemic will have for the people and places we care about, while keeping the values of equity, inclusion and justice front and center.

If you would like to share news or resources about the pandemic with the TFN audience, please reach out to Marci Ovadia.

Wishing you good health and wellbeing,

Pat Smith
TFN President & CEO