Dear friend,

I’ve been thinking about nutrition lately — not nutrition in the toxic diet culture way — but nutrition as in the necessary ingredients that fuel our bodies and also our spirits, our communities, and our movements.

This thinking was in part prompted by Alice Sparkly Kat’s 2023 horoscopes. I’m an Aquarius sun (happy Aquarius season to my fellow water bearers), and this particular horoscope invited me to reflect on the many kinds of nutrition that feed us. Here’s an excerpt:

There's food as nutrition: rich egg yolks, stinky natto beans, sour citrus freshness, and luxuriously velvety salmon. There's books as nutrition: wonderfully confounding texts that have you sitting in the dark just thinking about this, poetry that makes you see in a new way... There's touch as nutrition: those soft little pets that your cat [or dog] asks of you, those big tight bear hugs that you give when you see your lover hunched over... There's movement as nutrition: feeling the sunlight against your face as you make your way to the train, getting the opportunity to go to a new place with new plants, and looking into the horizon to remember that the world is large.

Credit to Alice Sparkly Kat.

There’s also community care, mutual aid, collective action, abolition, and liberating philanthropic assets as essential elements of nutrition.

The demands of our collective fight for racial, gender, economic, disability, and climate justice are enormous. We are under attack every day and the oppressive and violent systems we navigate are designed to keep us undernourished and without the nutrients we need to thrive. For these reasons, these essential elements of nutrition are even more top of mind for me to fuel our spirits, our communities, and our movements.

In this vein, Neighborhood Funders Group's work to organize philanthropy to respond with abundance and ease for BIPOC and low-income communities is critical. NFG knows our mandate is to move money to racial, gender, economic, disability, and climate justice and liberate philanthropic assets to feed community power.

I invite you to think about what are the nutrients (strategies) that we in philanthropy must employ so that we can nourish ourselves, our communities, and our movements and ensure that everyone can thrive with liberation, self-determination, and abundance.

If you have been seeking connection and co-conspirators in philanthropy, join NFG for our upcoming events — including our 2023 National Convening in Wilmington, North Carolina. This convening will be centered on Connection — another element of nutrition — and rooted in joy, camaraderie, care, fun, and purpose. More details below.

Wishing you a well-nourished week in whatever ways best suit you, your work, and your communities.
- Courtney

Courtney Banayad signature, she/her Director of Membership and Communications. Courtney is smiling with gold earrings and is wearing a black and green sleeveless blouse.