The following is an excerpt from Convergence Partnership Executive Director Amanda Navarro’s piece sharing the shift to center racial justice in the Partnership’s health equity mission. Read the full piece on Candid.
For many of us working in philanthropy, 2020 was a wake-up call for overdue reflection.
The toll of the pandemic and then the rallying cries following the murder of George Floyd called for philanthropy to ask some tough but important questions. Are we being bold enough given this moment? Are we using our own power effectively and to the best benefit of the communities we work with as funders? How are we amplifying community power and agency of the people most impacted?
We had to examine if we were walking our talk, and we realized we needed to step up our game. Reflecting on such questions of accountability and power led the Convergence Partnership in bold, new directions, and I’d like to share a bit about our journey here.
At the heart of the Convergence Partnership, a national funder collaborative to advance racial justice and health equity, is the knowledge that we can achieve greater impact when listening, learning, adapting, and aligning our work together. We test ideas and take on issues that individual institutions wouldn’t or couldn’t, and the partnership model allows for institutions to go above and beyond their organizational priorities to achieve greater and more expansive impact. Convergence has always been about showing that the sum can be greater than its individual parts.
Over the last fourteen years, we have created a space where people from foundations with different priorities, practices, and funding approaches come together to reexamine individual ways of operating to push ourselves to break away from the comfortable and move into the necessary.