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Over the last several months, we’ve heard from many of you. Some have reached out to celebrate the winners of the Brilliance Awards. Others have offered feedback about the pilot programs. Several have reached out with specific questions–When will you offer the Tzedek Impact Awards again? When do you plan to roll out the Tzedek Fellowship and re-open applications? What plans do you have for future programs? What grants are you offering in 2020?
Here are some updates we have to share.
Since announcing our pause for the cause, we’ve engaged in deep and important internal work. At the start of our journey we worried that pausing was self-indulgent, a luxury that many of the gorgeous organizations that we fund could not afford, especially when there is so much work that needs to be done. Instead what we found is that we could not afford to not wrestle with questions about power and white supremacy. As funders who hold a vision of justice as our North Star, being in right relationship with our power is essential for not reproducing harmful effects that are so common in the philanthropic sector.
This month, we received the results of our community-based research. The report synthesizes the wisdom of 29 of Asheville’s non-profit and movement leaders, past-Tzedek fellows and community partners, and leaders in the field of social justice philanthropy. Eleven Ashevillians also served as trusted advisors to guide the process and analyze the data.
So what are we up to now?
We are on the verge of beginning AMKRF’s first-ever organization-wide 5-year strategic plan informed by the community-research.We are undergoing a full-fledged organizational restructure, shifting roles and shifting power. We are evaluating the pilot programs, what worked, what didn’t work, and what were the impacts. We are learning about trust-based philanthropy and exploring how to convene community-led grantmaking processes. We know this work is emergent, imperfect, and messy. And it takes time.
Funding of local and regional organizations working in the areas of racial justice, LGBTQ equality, and combatting anti-Semitism continues. We will have more information about the future of pilot programs, Tzedek Fellowship, and grantmaking in early 2020. Thank you for being with us on this journey.
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