RACIAL EQUITY ACTION COMMUNITY
Following the murder of George Floyd, which sharpened public focus on the police killings of so many Black people, Sound Philanthropy Founder and CEO Sarah Hopper committed to forging a path for Sound Philanthropy clients that would lead to anti-racist philanthropic practice founded in trust and relationship.
During a year of intentional conversations and deep listening with BIPoC community leaders about how to build effective equity practices, Sarah gratefully received the advice: “Everyone is hell bent on getting it right; there’s no way forward unless you get it wrong.” Accepting the premise that imperfect progress is still progress, in early 2022 Sarah launched the Racial Equity Action Community (REAC) as a disruptive challenge to the traditional, power-based approach to philanthropy.
Three Sound Philanthropy clients — two individuals and a foundation board of six family members spanning two generations — signed on to participate and fund the project, and three amazing local Black leaders stepped up to assume the (compensated) positions as REAC Committee members: Andrea Caupain Sanderson, Joe Lott, and Rashad Morris.
Ever growing, changing, and deepening, REAC is emerging as a model for relational, cross-racial collaboration and power-sharing in philanthropy. Together, white funders and Black leaders commit to deepening their relationships with each other, exploring and calling out how white supremacy shows up in philanthropy and in the room, and forming trust-based partnerships with Black- and Brown-led organizations making real change in our community.
Voices from the Community
“REAC is a learning community of leaders and philanthropists who strive to reimagine and actualize how a cross-racial group can address racial justice issues from a Black-centered perspective through love, compassion, and philanthropy. REAC is a space that allows me to imagine what a thriving Black community could look like based on the intersection of Black Liberation and philanthropy.”
—Dr. Joe Lott, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Washington and Founder, The Brotherhood Initiative
“I am moved by the responsiveness of our group to ensure resources for our community, the willingness to suspend old ways of doing philanthropic business, and by the profound desire to deepen relationships.”
—Andrea Caupain Sanderson, CEO, Byrd Barr Place & Co-Architect, Black Future Co-op Fund
“REAC has moved me personally by opening my mind and heart to change that I didn't realize I needed. It has opened a door that I didn't realize was closed. It's a brand-new world of learning and awareness that I had no idea I was missing. It’s also a lovely community of people that I am honored to be a part of.”
—Susan Dunn, President, Susan Elizabeth Foundation