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Does donating money advance racial equity?

In addition to publicly protesting and demanding reform to combat racial injustice, many individuals and companies have shown their support for racial equality by donating money to organizations that serve the Black community. Some critics question if donating money will actually provide long-term solutions to racial inequality. As more organizations work to turn money into systemic change, do financial donations advance racial equity?


Big Talk From Big Tech On Racial Equity, But Not All Workers Are Buying It

The Minnesota Freedom Fund raises donations to bail out protesters

Black Lives Matter network establishes $12M grant fund

Additional resources to think about

Generous Giving or Phony Philanthropy? A Critique Of Well-Meaning 'Winners'
In his book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas takes on the “win-win” philosophy of philanthropy.

Darren Walker on Justice-Based Philanthropy | Skoll Foundation
The president of the Ford Foundation discusses justice-based giving.

5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today
Donating money is just one way to participate in the movement for racial equality.

'Decolonizing Wealth' Addresses Philanthropy's White Supremacy Problem, Offers Solutions
In his book Decolonizing Wealth, philanthropist Edgar Villanueva lays out a framework to shift philanthropy from gift-giving to building community.

Billions have been raised for racial equity groups - what comes next?
This BBC News article talks about the next steps that organizations are taking to put the money they've raised to fight racial inequality to work.

Black & African American-Focused Charities | Charity Navigator
See how charities score in terms of financial responsibility, accountability, and transparency.


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  • What are the various elements (building blocks) that make up the whole?


What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

  • What do you notice (about the way the message is constructed)? 
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  • What makes it seem “real?”
  • What's the emotional appeal? Persuasive devices used?

How might different people understand this message differently from me?

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What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?

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  • How would you find what’s missing?
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Why is this message being sent?

  • What's being sold in this message? What's being told? 
  • Who is served by or  benefits from the message
    – the public?
    – private interests?
    – individuals?
    – institutions?

5 Key Questions of Media Literacy used with permission from the Center for Media Literacy.
Copyright 2002-2021, Center for Media Literacy,


Does donating money advance racial equity?

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