Posted on January 22, 2021
From funders to founders, chapter leaders to champions, EPIP would not be the organization it is today without the leadership of women of color. In summer 2020, five women of color leaders from EPIP’s past and present came together for a conversation about the past 20 years of EPIP, their personal leadership journeys, and what the philanthropic sector can learn from the past to change its future.
Listen in as EPIP ED Storme Gray, EPIP Board of Advisors Treasurer Michelle Jaramillo, former EPIP Board Chairs Jasmine Hall Ratliff and Melissa Hewitt, and EPIP's initial angel funder Linetta Gilbert have a no-holds-barred conversation about the role of EPIP in their individual journeys and philanthropy as a whole.
Posted on January 11, 2021
Last week, domestic terrorists stormed the US Capitol in a violent insurrection. EPIP wholeheartedly condemns their actions and the ongoing hateful and racist rhetoric that made them possible. This attempted coup was white supremacy culture in action - an effort to maintain the oppressive system that undergirds this nation’s founding and holds us back from living up to its promise. Just as alarmingly, it was met with minimal initial law enforcement response, a stark contrast to the overwhelming force deployed against peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors a few months ago.
I have struggled to find the words to articulate the multitude of emotions that I am feeling in this moment. I struggle still. And I imagine that for many of you, the events of yesterday have left you angry, hurt, disappointed, unseen, and stunned. So allow me to say this. We see you. And you are not alone.
Posted on June 02, 2020
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. We speak their names, honoring their humanity and mourning their untimely and unjust deaths.
To those who are hurting, who are raising your voices, and who are actively fighting back against oppression, we see and support you. Black Lives Matter. Today and every day. And Black people deserve more than what this country has historically given them.
Right now, I am feeling a multitude of emotions. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Devastation. Exhaustion. These names - these people whose lives were stolen - are but the latest in a long list of Black lives taken unjustly. It is a list going back as long as this country’s history, when Black and Indigenous people were dehumanized, their bodies considered capital as their labor was extracted and their families separated, all to build the country we live in today.
It is a list lengthened by the insidious systems of oppression, injustice, and racism that manifest time and time again into illness, poverty, lack of opportunity, and violence. It is a list that has seen the country through slavery and segregation, forced migration and redlining, the Trail of Tears, the Tulsa Massacre, and the school-to-prison pipeline.
This is America.
And while nothing we do can erase a single name from that list, we can and must honor their lives by working to destroy systematized racism and injustice. Below there are some things that you as philanthropic professionals can do. If ever there has been a time for philanthropy to wake up, it is now.
Posted on October 24, 2019
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I have always been an advocate for justice. As a nearly lifelong community organizer, I have spent years navigating through grassroots organizing spaces, institutions of higher education, traditional nonprofits, foundations, and multi-stakeholder collaborations. From a young age I was fortunate to be politicized by former Black Panthers, SNCC organizers, community activists, and young peers with whom I still share a deep connection.
Still, I can remember sitting in a church in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans in 2008, surrounded by dozens of community residents, organizers, advocates, and movement builders, and experiencing, for the first time, my privilege being challenged as a white-passing straight man. At that moment, I realized that even though both of my mother’s parents emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. as teenage orphans and my grandfather is from Acámbaro, Guanajuato and of indigenous descent, I have received the benefit of whiteness my entire life and through every stage of my career. From that point forward, my life became dedicated to dismantling systems of inequity.