The Only Way Forward
Two weeks ago, I wrote about AFP’s initial response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other people of color in the United States and around the world, and the recent protests in cities across the globe.
I received great feedback. There was a lot of support. Others liked the general expression while disagreeing with various aspects of what I wrote. Please know that I—and all of us at AFP—hear you. We take your feedback to heart, and it will help inform our direction as we move forward.
AFP is in this for the long haul. What we say now is important, but even more important is what we will have done in the coming three months or six months, then a year, and then beyond. We remain committed to change that is long-lasting and impactful, not to comments or ideas that sound good now but remain unfulfilled as public attention turns elsewhere.
We are likely going to make mistakes because we do not know everything about this issue. But we are not going to refrain from acting for fear of making a mistake. These are difficult—and for some, uncomfortable—conversations, but AFP is resolute in turning conversations into action. We’re going to bring in experts. We’re going to bring in a variety of voices. We’re going to develop good policy, both internally at AFP Global and for our chapters and members around the world, to become long-term champions of diversity, inclusion, equity and access.
We have identified certain actions for the short term. First and foremost, we will support several organizations working on issues of equality, racism and racial justice through monetary donations. We’ve identified Bryan Stevenson (a past speaker at our AFP ICON) and his Equal Justice Initiative as one recipient, and are looking at two other organizations, including one in Canada.
Today we are hosting a townhall from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT focused on social justice, inclusion and fundraising. Participants include Michelle Edgerton, Ken Miller, Kishshana Palmer, Simone Joyaux and Marco Corona.
We are also developing a series of panels and webinars about racial justice, diversity and equal pay. In addition, you’ll see a bundle of webinars and resources about these issues that we’ll be offering at no cost to all members. More information to come shortly on these and other programs.
Finally, if you think these are not AFP’s issues, or if you believe that AFP needs to stick solely to fundraising, let me say this. Nothing could be further from the truth. This isn’t some realignment of our issues and values. We are talking about fundamental human rights. Common human decency. The way we all need to be treated and respected and valued in our society. At its core, that’s what fundraising…the IMPACT profession, is all about.