EPNO is an organization that has always focused on collective action to tackle some of our region’s toughest problems. Today, EPNO joins all members of the local community who are standing up for racial justice and an end to the police brutality and gross inequities that plague our city and our country. We support those protesting and advocating this week that Black Lives Matter, even in the face of violence. EPNO seeks to face this moment of crisis together as a community of philanthropists, nonprofits, and advocates with our eyes open to the anguish and imbalance all around us.
Over the past decade, EPNO has strived to support racial equity. We have included more focus in our curriculum on promoting racial equity and eradicating systemic injustice. We are proud to support and stand alongside local nonprofits that are working on the front lines of the fight against systemic injustice and racism. We urge you to consider donating your time and resources to the organizations listed below, and to other organizations and causes that engage in this important work:
- The First 72+ (Human Rights & Justice, 2019)
- Ubuntu Village NOLA and Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights (Juvenile Justice, 2018)
- Rethink and Operation Restoration, home of The New Orleans Safety and Freedom Fund, New Orleans’ own bail fund (founded by an EPNO alum) (Juvenile Justice, 2017)
- Voice of the Experienced (V.O.T.E.) (Workforce Development, 2015)
Further, we seek to uphold the work of Black founders, leaders, and activists that are working to end anti-Black racism and state-sanctioned violence. The nonprofit and philanthropic sector is overwhelmingly white, and most organizations are white-led. More control means more funding, and more funding means more control. We must upend this cycle that systematically ignores the experiences and needs of people of color. For our 2020 giving cycle, our board will work to expand the social and racial justice components of our curriculum. Additionally, in 2020, the focus statements of our teams will include requirements for potential grantees to address racial and social equity within their given impact area.
These are small steps for now, but we are committed to learning more and doing more to ensure equity, fairness, and justice in our city. We hope that you can join us on this journey.
The EPNO Board