On the Frontlines: Nonprofits Led by People of Color Confront COVID-19 and Structural Racism
The Building Movement Project’s report, On the Frontlines: Nonprofits Led by People of Color Confront COVID-19 and Structural Racism, shines a spotlight on how 2020’s social upheavals are affecting people of color-led (POC) nonprofit organizations and their communities, programs, leadership, and financial sustainability. The report also provides recommendations to strengthen these nonprofits, leaders of color, and their communities well beyond the crisis response and recovery period and for decades to come.
The nonprofit sector, the third-largest employer in the United States, is in a state of uncertainty and flux in the wake of the pandemic and economic instability. Not surprisingly, POC-led nonprofits, which tend to be smaller, less resourced, and community-based, face an even more challenging set of circumstances. Their very survival—and that of the communities who rely on them—is at stake.
Simultaneously, POC-led nonprofits are leading and participating in advocacy and organizing efforts for equity and justice. The uprisings of 2020 against anti-Black racism have galvanized POC-led organizations to build cross-racial coalitions and to push for systemic and structural changes.
As this report shows, POC-led nonprofits are on the frontlines of response and recovery efforts related to both the pandemic and the calls for systemic change. As a result, their programs and strategies are shifting, and their financial and leadership needs are increasing. Despite these conditions, POC-led nonprofits are refusing to return to business as usual. They are charting new paths for systemic change, solidarity, and sustainability. The nonprofit sector, philanthropy, and government actors must follow the lead of POC-led nonprofits in order to secure a more equitable and just future for everyone.
Source: Building Movements