The current moment begs a difficult question: not, “What are our values?” but, “How do we turn our values into action?”
We like so many others, are realizing – the path to justice is paved with good intentions. We may mean well, but we have to do better.
We stand with those who demand justice for Black lives; those who protest the complex systems of oppression that define our society; those who have suffered at the hands of police brutality and white supremacy; those who work tirelessly to connect communities and support our city’s most vulnerable.
We are continually inspired by our clients – the Philadelphia nonprofits that create and inspire art; strengthen and connect communities; educate and empower youth; advance adult learning; protect and preserve public spaces; keep our citizens healthy; provide safety and shelter; remove barriers to access; and give everyone the chance to lead the lives they deserve.
The good we see in the world is due to their tireless work. The change and transformation we see is due to their commitment to their missions. And so, in this moment, our charge is to put the entirety of our privilege, knowledge, and weight behind them. To lift them up, advance their work, and celebrate their ability to make Philadelphia better in every possible way.
Our values – empathy, candor, teamwork, effort, diversity – are ideals that can result in real, lasting, systemic change. It’s easy to say we believe in these things. It’s another thing to carry them out in every interaction, every project, every word.
As a team of advisors to the Philadelphia nonprofit sector, and as a white-led organization, we are particularly aware of how structural racism has impacted the sector, our clients, and the communities our clients support. We have a responsibility to confront ourselves and examine the ways in which we perpetuate and benefit from systems of oppression and injustice. We have a responsibility to provide strategic guidance that is grounded in principles of equity and justice, to engage in challenging and difficult conversations, and to amplify the voices of those who have historically been silenced. We have a responsibility to ensure that our firm is a diverse, inclusive, and racially-just organization that supports all nonprofit organizations in their efforts to envision their purpose, develop dynamic plans, connect ideas, and realize change and impact.
The bottom line is this: we have work to do. We intend to do it, not just in this moment, but moving forward, in real and concrete ways. And – now and always – we believe that Black lives matter.