In the wake of George Floyd’s death and the protests that followed, The Trustees of The Fund for New Jersey have issued a statement that reaffirms The Fund’s commitment to achieving racial justice in New Jersey through investment in policy reforms in housing, education, criminal justice, economic justice, and public health. The statement provides data and analysis on the interconnected crises of structural racism and COVID-19 in New Jersey. As the Trustees note:
Across this country, people of all races and ethnicities are focused on the ways in which Black Americans have been targeted and denigrated by the policies and practices of our public institutions. Americans, collectively, are coming to understand how deeply structural racism has shaped those policies and practices that disproportionately harm Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities. At the same time, in New Jersey as elsewhere, the COVID pandemic has underscored these racial disparities and structural inequities. People of color, again, are disproportionately impacted by the public health crisis and hurt most by the corresponding economic fallout. Addressing these crises requires a commitment to ending systemic racism.
Since 1970, The Fund for New Jersey has focused its philanthropy on improving the quality of life in the Garden State by supporting good policy decision-making. At its core, good public policy is the remediation of injustice and inequity. Since The Fund’s earliest years, its grantmaking has addressed the compounding inequities in opportunity, outcome, and influence, and sought to ameliorate these injustices. This has been our focus.
Now, recognizing this opportunity for systemic change, The Fund for New Jersey is increasing its commitment to address structural racism. As affirmed at its June 2020 Board meeting, The Fund expects to spend, beyond its regular grants budget, $900,000 in 2020-21 and again in 2021-22. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded The Fund $450,000 in support of these efforts.
As Kiki Jamieson, President of The Fund, has stated: “The Fund for New Jersey is proud to invest in diverse non-profit organizations that are working collectively and strategically to bring about systemic policy change in New Jersey. We encourage other foundations and nonprofits to join our effort aimed, in the words of The Fund’s statement, ‘to improve our state’s institutions, policies, and practices so that structural racism will end.’ ”
The statement further describes:
The Fund for New Jersey believes New Jersey’s COVID and post-COVID policy and advocacy response must address directly systemic racism and its effects. Reforms must be led by, and advance the rights and interests of, Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities.
Increased funding will enable support for:
- Policy/advocacy organizations that are at the forefront of developing and pursuing an ambitious collective racial justice policy agenda;
- Community engagement, including Black-led grassroots organizing and diverse networks of youth leaders that emanate from Black, Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities; and
- Shared resources such as coordinated communications, collaborative planning, and technology to support the collective effort.
The Fund for New Jersey works to improve the quality of public policy decision-making on the most significant issues affecting the people of New Jersey and our region. For 50 years, The Fund has supported organizations and initiatives that advance systemic and sustainable solutions to public problems through the work of policy, advocacy, analysis, and organizing.
For more information and to join this effort, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to us to get in touch with Kiki Jamieson, President of The Fund for New Jersey.
Kiki is part of the 2019-2020 Philanthropy Forward: Leadership for Change Fellowship cohort, a joint initiative of Neighborhood Funders Group and The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.