Eyes on the Future

Dear Nonprofit New York members, partners, and friends,

We wish we had words that could provide meaningful respite from the mix of outrage, despair, exhaustion, fear, or weariness you and your teams are feeling today.

We are not sure such words exist, but this we know for sure: We denounce the violence against Black communities across our country and in our own city and state. We denounce white supremacy in all its forms. We denounce the violence against people making their voices heard and stand in solidarity with those working to dismantle the structural inequity and injustices of our society.

We reaffirm our commitment to racial equity, in both our words and our actions.

Actions that make it clear we recognize the potent violence of racism. Actions that call out and counter anti-Blackness specifically, and shine a light on how the notion of white supremacy has shaped the ways we work and live together. Actions that acknowledge how the nonprofit sector reflects systemic racial inequity -- from the racial leadership gap we see in our teams and in our Boards to disparities in funding for leaders of color. Actions that demand new priorities from government leaders and institutions. Actions that are motivated by a relentless focus on what should and can be and how we can work collectively for change. Actions that dismantle racism by shifting power, demanding accountability, and honoring bravery.

We have seen our members stand up for their communities in remarkable ways over the last several months and weeks and days. They consistently put mission first and are finding creative and powerful ways to respond to evolving, increasing needs with limited and decreasing resources. Our members have worked to redefine what is essential and consistently demonstrate the crucial roles played by nonprofits in meeting a wide range of community needs -- enough to eat, a safe place to live and learn, and connection with arts, culture, and each other in ways that make us feel more human.

As Roxanne Gay said “We live with the knowledge that … no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.” The ongoing public health and racial equity crises have made it clear that there is no “going back to normal” for our sector -- At Nonprofit New York, we don’t want that normal.

Nonprofit New York knows that we can and must do better than we have done before. We take this as a charge to act on our values and push for new paradigms. Nonprofit New York wants to work with you to build a better normal together. We recognize this single statement cannot adequately reflect the breadth of pain we feel, the history we’ve lived, or the vision of change we seek to make real. But we are committed to pushing ourselves and our sector to confront and combat racism and we plan to uplift our members already doing this important work and share resources, discussions, and policy initiatives to dismantle white supremacy.

We will keep moving, together with you, with compassion, with courage, and with our eyes on the future.

In solidarity,
Nonprofit New York