The staff of NEO Philanthropy stand with the Black community and state unequivocally and without hesitation that Black lives matter.
We find ourselves at an unprecedented crossroads. Across the world people are united against systems that for too long have treated Black lives as disposable. As a philanthropic intermediary we have long worked to support marginalized grassroots causes – including many initiatives that actively work to defend Black lives. NEO is proud to have been able to support their work and honored to continue to do so.
In this catalytic moment as the nation responds to the murder of George Floyd and so many others, the NEO staff came together as a team to share and support one another. For many, this moment is a time for self-reflection and a call to action. It is an opportunity to leverage our voices and privilege to create real structural change within our communities. For others, however, this is a moment that simultaneously carries hope, grief, anger and frustration.
We are honored to work with a broad and powerful coalition of advocates at the forefront of the fight for racial equality and this moment has renewed our commitment to them. As individuals who work in the philanthropic sector, we are calling on our partners and our colleagues to support the organizers and protestors as they march for the transformation of racist policies and systems.
Good will and good intentions are not sufficient
We need to acknowledge the tremendous power that we enjoy in this sector and take this moment to seriously evaluate how our choices may have upheld the inequities that we simultaneously sought to eradicate. Philanthropy must analyze how paternalism and white supremacy inform the dominant culture in which we work and even shape decisions we make. Good will and good intentions are not sufficient. We cannot let these continued injustices stand without doing everything in our power to build lasting change at NEO as well as be a leader in the philanthropic sector to help others do the same.
NEO pledges to continue to critically engage in its own antiracism and equity work as an organization to ensure our decision-making, practices and systems are aligned with the values central to our mission. As we continue on this journey toward equity, justice and accountability, we hope to join with others who share these values.
NEO Philanthropy Staff