Thoughts on… Doing the Work with Purpose Equity Team

August 6, 2020


We’re thinking about…

Doing the work. At this point, we’re in it. Our sleeves are rolled up, our tools are in-hand, or being forged as we go. It can be truly overwhelming (not to mention challenging, frustrating, uncomfortable, and exhausting) for any of us to try to apply the proverbial “equity lens” to our work. Nevertheless, we stay open, curious, and creative about what our issue spaces, organization, and world could look like if we expand our approach to account for those whose realities have never been honored before.

I am heartened when I look at Purpose’s projects, culture, and teams today and note how many human experiences are reflected. And, like so many of us, I realize that there are always new places to go with these efforts.

So we stay committed to both the big ideas and the small steps. To mental shifts, to pitching in, and to the everyday awareness and commitments that can make equity a part of our work’s legacy.  Catherine Addo


We’re inspired by…

No White Saviors. This advocacy campaign holds the philanthropic and social impact sectors to account on “the violence of the White Savior Complex” through legal action, education, and fundraising. We see this Complex in global advocacy when actors hold superficial, exploitative, and power-informed relationships with the communities they’re meant to support. 
-Contributed by Meredith Saucier


We’re reading…

7 Thoughts to Consider Before Creating Space. This post offers simple, sound advice for anyone looking to moderate a discussion on race. The guidance includes asking what your conversationalists need from a space, giving vulnerable participants permission to opt out, and being transparent about the conversation’s content upfront.


In Defense of Black Staff in the Political SectorInclusv, a community of people of color in politics and advocacy, published their survey findings detailing how some sector staff of color would like their organizations to express solidarity, support wellness needs, and balance collaborating with staff of color without leaning on them.


We’re watching…

Building Belonging in a Time of Othering. This talk by Haas Institute Director John A. Powell unpacks the divisive practice of “othering” one group of people or another. Belonging is a basic human need, and when a group is excluded from its own society on the basis of ethnicity, language, race, gender, physical ability, or another factor, the entire culture is compromised.
-Contributed by Prachi Rao

We’re living our values…

“Showing up is its own labor.” I try to add my voice to the collective. But I also want to honor that just putting on the clothes you want to put on is its own labor. Walking outside and into the world with everything that’s going down is its own labor. Hearing your name mispronounced or your pronouns messed up is its own labor. Showing up at work and burning out is its own labor. I feel it’s worth naming that even that inaction is part of the work. — Jaweer Brown


“It requires patience.” I would always hope that someone would  bring me into the conversation so that’s what I try to do for others. It requires patience, knowledge, and being vulnerable about what you don’t know or when you’ve made a mistake. I’ll see people speaking up in the comments and I try to approach those conversations with compassion. That’s where the racism is unfolding and that’s where I try to stay active. — Cameron Mussar