We mourn the recent, countless and ongoing killings of Black people in our country. We share in the outrage against state sanctioned violence that devalues Black life, a symptom of the way that anti-Blackness is inherently part of this country's systems, institutions, structures, and values.

We are in awe of the resilience and brilliance that our Black-led grantee partners are demonstrating in this moment. The re-building and re-imagining in this time is only made possible by the ways that Black-led grantee partners have been organizing for justice in the time leading up to now. Those who are impacted by racism have the answers, and so in this moment of reckoning, we need to listen to and follow Black leadership, share our power, and use our privilege to advance ideas and solutions identified by Black people. We stand with you.
We will not be silent. As an endowed foundation that has benefited from all the power and privileges created through historic and systemic racism, this is our most basic responsibility. We will also act and work for change within our institution, philanthropy, and the fields where we invest and operate, upholding the Foundation's deep and historic commitment to Tikkun Olam, which in Hebrew means the imperative to repair the world. Now, and for as long as it takes. Just as our country’s brutal and oppressive practices were developed, honed, and sustained across generations, we know that eradicating entrenched white supremacy and achieving justice is going to require an enduring commitment from all of us.
We understand that our intention to use our resources and influence to create a more nurturing world for infants and toddlers and their families is inextricably linked to ending the police violence, criminalization, systemic racism, and white supremacy culture that harms and traumatizes families and communities of color. This exposure to historic, cultural, systemic, and individual trauma has long-term individual and social consequences. We cannot achieve equal access or equity of outcomes for all young children, families, and pregnant and birthing people without helping to build a just and liberated world for all, particularly Black people.

Guided by Tenet #1 of the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families (Self-Awareness Leads to Better Services for Families), we have been more intentionally engaged in a cycle of reflection and practice. Our team took time to grieve, protest, listen, and now we have come together to articulate a message that reflects our truth, where we are on our journey, and concrete actions by which we intend to wield and share our power. We commit to:
  1. Thoroughly examining our grantmaking practices and analyzing our current and historical giving to identify how we can more effectively advance racial justice and create and implement tracking mechanisms to hold ourselves accountable.
  2. Continuing annual giving payouts above the minimum 5% requirement and increasing our investments in Black-led work and solutions identified by those most impacted by systems of oppression. This includes following the leadership of Black organizers, particularly Black women-, including trans women-, led organizations, mobilizing and advocating for policy change.
  3. Scaling diversity-informed practices for organizations working with infants, children and families (Read The Tenets: Black Lives Matter Statement).
  4. Continuing to help magnify the deleterious impact of systemic and individual trauma and work with infant and early childhood mental health and trauma leaders to dismantle inequities in our systems and policies as a critical component of promoting social and emotional health.
  5. Taking space and using deliberate language to lift voices of those who are not being represented but ultimately bear the impact of decisions made.
  6. Engaging in training – beginning with CROAR's Introduction to Systemic Racism Workshop – and active learning that dismantles the myths that uphold white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and instead promotes anti-racism and racial justice by reading, listening to, and reflecting on work by Black people, including dedicating Juneteenth to this purpose.
  7. Requiring greater racial and ethnic diversity among those who manage our endowment and taking steps this year toward divesting those dollars from entities which profit from incarceration and repressive or racially and ethnically discriminatory criminal justice practices.
  8. Continuing to fund and foster racially and ethnically diverse leadership development among our grantee partners and within the fields we support.
  9. Continuing to intentionally recruit and retain racially and ethnically diverse staff and board members, hire BIPOC vendors, and encourage individual giving to Black-led organizations through volunteer time and matching grants.
  10. Continuing to operationalize our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement and Vision within our organizational culture, foundation initiatives, external partnerships, and relationship-based grantmaking.
The Foundation's non-Black staff and board members also re-commit to deepening our solidarity through unlearning and dismantling anti-Blackness, educating our own communities, and centering and listening to Black communities. We join you, our grantee, philanthropic, public and other partners in solidarity. While we are responsible for holding ourselves accountable to these commitments, we invite you to support us in that process. Our work did not start last year or last month and it does not end now.

Many of you have been raising your voices and working tirelessly for years. We hope to honor your contributions, as well as the memories of Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Riah Milton, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Rayshard Brooks and the many other Black lives inhumanely and abruptly taken.
We are grateful to you, our grantee partners, for your inspiring leadership…

SisterSong

National Women’s Law Center

Image source: @sistersong_woc

Chicago Foundation for Women

Image source: www.cfw.org

Crossroads Fund

In Our Own Voice

Image source: @crossroadsfund
Image source: @blackwomensrj

Black Mamas Matter Alliance

Image source: @blackmamasmatter

Groundswell Fund

National Network of Abortion Funds

Image source: @groundswellfund
Image source: @abortionfunds

The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry & Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Image source: @uchicagoci3

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health

HealthConnect One

Image source: @icahgram
Image source: @healthconnctone

Between Friends

Connections for Abused Women and Their Children

Image source: @cawc_chicago

Provide

Image source: @provide_access
This list is not exhaustive and may grow over time as we continue to evaluate our giving and partnerships.
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