Centering Racial Equity

We are committed to intentionally and explicitly centering racial equity internally and in our program work within our communities.

An Urgent Need for Change

Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic, and LatinX individuals and families across our country, continue to face deep-rooted racism, poverty, health disparities and a lack of opportunities perpetuated over generations by unjust systems and policies. These are compounded when there are intersections with gender and sexual identities, disabilities, age, religious beliefs and other categories that can marginalize people.

Since GreenLight Fund began in 2004, our work has been deeply community centered. We have partnered with communities to remove barriers to inclusive prosperity and create opportunities for individuals and families to move out of poverty – especially those historically impacted by structural racial and economic inequities.

During that time, our work has had a significant positive impact on these disparities. Yet, without explicitly centering the deeply rooted link between poverty and race, we can inadvertently perpetuate the kinds of racial power disparities and dynamics we seek to eradicate. We recognize that at times GreenLight’s effectiveness has been impaired by our own practices, structures and mindsets. While we have made intentional, tangible progress identifying our blind spots, addressing practices stemming from our power and privilege, overcoming biases, and strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion over the past several years, we know we still have much more work to do.

Our Commitment to Racial Equity

We named Centering Racial Equity as an undergirding pillar to our strategic plan adopted in 2021. Moving forward, we are committed to intentionally and explicitly centering racial equity in everything we do – both internally and in our program work within our communities.

  1. Strategy: Elevating racial equity as a core component of GreenLight’s strategy to enable us to set priorities and targets and measure our progress.
  2. Team and culture: Continuously building a diverse team of leaders, staff, and board members, and creating a culture of belonging, trust, and accountability.
  3. Selection process: Increasing diversity, representation, and participation of community members directly impacted by deep-rooted inequities into GreenLight’s selection process.
  4. Program model: Intentionally centering racial equity, and increasing equity and access throughout the GreenLight Method—from how we identify and elevate community needs, to how we vet, select, invest in, and measure proven programs.
  5. Learning: Leveraging GreenLight’s national footprint to accelerate progress towards racial equity by encouraging innovative approaches that deepen equity practices, and replicating what we learn across our growing network of sites.

Looking Ahead

Given our unique role, both raising funds and investing in nonprofit organizations in cities across the country, and the significant scale of our impact, we strongly believe that we have an opportunity and responsibility to advance racial equity.

GreenLight’s staff, leadership and board are fully committed. Although we are still figuring a lot out and know we still have much to do, one thing is certain: We hold ourselves accountable to our communities and each other to do this essential, urgent, and ongoing work to fully live out our values.

We look forward to sharing goals and our progress against them as we tackle challenges and engage in often difficult conversations to advance racial equity within our organization and across our communities.