To Our Apra Community,
Our hearts have been heavy with sorrow, frustration, grief, and anger over the past week following the murder of eight people, the majority of whom were Asian, in Georgia last Tuesday. This violent attack occurred within the context of increasing anti-Asian harassment and assaults, which have risen substantially since the start of the pandemic.
Apra strongly condemns racism, discrimination, and violence. We stand in solidarity with the Asian and Pacific Islander communities fighting for greater representation and protection under hate-crime laws. And our hearts are with those who lost loved ones in the Atlanta shootings, have been the victims of anti-Asian discrimination or violence, or live with the daily fears and burdens of existing within the systems of white supremacy.
But our words are not enough. As a community, we must take action. We must collectively imagine and create an actively anti-racist philanthropic sector. One of the greatest strengths of our Apra community is the deeply felt commitment our members demonstrate toward the missions of non-profit organizations. In Apra, we believe that philanthropy is a vital means through which we connect to our shared humanity and that non-profit organizations are essential tools in the fight for social justice. We must continually aspire to be active participants in the creation of a more just world.
Apra is committed to ensuring that our association lives the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion espoused in our Diversity and Inclusion Statement of Principles. Diversity and Inclusion is a pillar of our strategic plan. The Apra Board of Directors and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee are working together to:
- ensure our governance and volunteer structures are diverse;
- elevate the voices of members from historically excluded and marginalized communities;
- provide a forum for and educational content on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within prospect development and the broader philanthropic sector; and
- address the critical lack of diversity and equity within the philanthropic sector by seeking opportunities to diversify the prospect development profession.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are also at the forefront of our work as an organization. Our upcoming salary survey will assess racial and gender wage gaps within our profession to support pay transparency and equity. We are partnering with several peer associations in a large-scale survey to explore workplace discrimination and bias in the non-profit sector. And additional tools, guidelines, and trainings related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are currently in development.
If you are seeking ways to make your work actively anti-racist, here are some ideas:
- Critically consider the ways in which bias may have informed prospect identification, segmentation, or prioritization. This series of articles in Connections explores this issue.
- Learn more about the philanthropic practices and motivations of communities of color. This report from the Donors of Color Network is an excellent resource.
- Learn about how racism and discrimination manifests in the daily lives of our colleagues. This report from Cause Effective explores the lived experience of fundraisers of color.
- Grow your comfort in talking about race. This Connections article shares several excellent resources.
If you wish to be more educated about anti-Asian racism, here are some resources:
- “America’s long history of scapegoating its Asian citizens” from National Geographic
- Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s video series “We are not a stereotype: Breaking down Asian Pacific American bias”
- The PBS series “Asian Americans”
To support the Asian and Pacific Islander communities now, we encourage you to explore these resources:
- Resources for responding to COVID-related racism: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/how-to-respond-to-coronavirus-racism
- Anti-Asian violence resources: https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/
- Resources for reporting a hate incident:
- The 5 D’s of bystander intervention: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystander-resources/
- For those in the area, become a Safe Walks volunteer in Chinatown, NYC: https://safewalx.com/
- Support businesses owned by Asian-Pacific Islander Americans: https://intentionalist.com/b/tag/asian-owned/
And, of course, since this is a fundraising community, here are a few organizations supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander American community that you can support financially:
- Asian American Federation
- Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice
The activist Melissa Fabello wrote, “Anti-oppression work is an everyday thing. Because oppression is an everyday thing—both in that it shows up every day, and in that it’s so ubiquitous as to be mundane.” Let us continue together in our everyday actions to dismantle systems of oppression.
Misa Lobato, President
Director of Prospect Management and Analytics, Rhode Island School of Design
Robin Rone, Executive Director