Our commitment to a more equitable community
The Westchester Community Foundation is proud of our commitment to create a more equitable community. The events of 2020 made clear to us that we needed to do more to embed racial equity in our work. We felt strongly that before we issued any public statement, we first needed to examine our own practices and processes. We needed to ask ourselves whether the Foundation as a philanthropic leader was doing all it should to address racism in Westchester County. The staff and board has begun an internal process of learning, listening, and reflecting.
Here are some of the initial steps we are taking in our journey to bring racial equity and inclusion to our work.
We are updating the Westchester Index so that it is centered in racial equity. The new Index will provide both data and stories designed to foster wider community conversation about our community's progress toward reducing disparities in opportunity.
Our grantmaking practices are under review—with a racial equity lens—to identify areas to deepen our support to nonprofits that have been unfunded or underfunded. This has included increased commitment to capacity building as well as ongoing one-on-one feedback to applicants.
We are identifying opportunities where we can provide capacity building to organizations who want to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion more intentionally in their work.
We are examining our governance practices to ensure that our board of advisors is reflective of the communities we serve.
We are committed to continuing to learn. Following are some resources we have been tapping. We invite you to explore them too, and please share your thoughts with us on how we can work together for a more equitable community.
DEI Resources and Links
The website Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. It offers tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for people who want to increase their understanding and to help those working for racial justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities, and the culture at large.
The Race Matters Institute provides information for government units, nonprofits, community-based and regional organizations, philanthropies, and state and national networks to become more race-informed and equity-focused in their work.