Our And/Both Moment – President’s Message July 2020
On June 5 we hosted Empowered Girl Talk, a conversation focused on diversity, equity & inclusion. While the event was already scheduled, we pivoted the purpose of this meeting after the death of George Floyd to create a space to openly & vulnerably talk about systemic racism.
I was asked to open the meeting with a few remarks, and I would like to share those remarks with you now.
Hello and thank you for joining us for our first Empowered Girl Talk.
I am Sarah Grace, president of Impact 100. Impact 100 is an all-women collective giving organization and our mission is to empower women to dramatically improve lives by collectively funding significant grants that make a lasting impact in our community.
As we were making the choice to pivot this conversation to a more direct and robust conversation on structural racism, I was asked to open with a few words on where we are as an organization on our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion journey.
While Grace is my middle name, often I come up short in this aspect of public speaking. So, I went in search of someone wiser and much more eloquent than myself to find the words to say to you tonight. And I found them in Glennon Doyle’s new memoir, Untamed.
8 years ago Glennon started her own collective giving nonprofit, Together Rising. I would like to read to you now an excerpt on her growth through this work.
“We’ve learned firsthand that folks are generally doing the best they can. Yet so many still can’t put food on the table or get medical care for their sick mothers or keep the heat on or secure a safe space to raise their children. Every night we’d go to bed wondering: why? Why are all of these people who are trying so hard still hurting so badly.
And then one day I read this:
‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’ – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Every philanthropist, if she is paying attention eventually becomes an activist. If we do not, we risk saving the systems victims while the system collects profits.
In order to avoid being complicit with those upstream, we must become the people of And/Both. We must commit to pulling our brothers and sisters out of the river and also commit to going upstream to identify, confront and hold accountable those who are pushing them in.
If we are to create a truer, more beautiful world, we must be people of And/Both. Let’s keep pulling folks out of the river forever. And every single day, let’s look upstream and give living hell to the ones pushing them in.”
As I sit here with you tonight, I believe this is our And/Both moment. This is our communal awakening to who & what may be upstream. Impact 100 was founded on the principles or equality and transformation. Tonight, we are taking one of our first steps to go deeper and further than ever before to deliver on these founding principles.
Being a part of this group has made me a firm believer in the need to be proximate to issues of injustice as we cannot impact that which we do not know (shout out to past president, Clare ZB, for the eloquent words). To fully embrace this moment of And/Both we must get closer. While 2020 has shaped up to be a year of physical distance in the world, for Impact 100 it has been a year of getting closer. We are getting closer to our work than ever before. Our team has done a brilliant job of creating moments of proximity for our members and the community in general.
I want to urge you to take part in one or all of our upcoming moments of proximity:
LIVE with Impact 100, every Thursday via Zoom or Facebook Live. Where we chat with a former grant recipient about their work and the way it’s changed
Our StepUp series hosted by Impact 100 members where we walk historic steps and learn not only about the history of our region, but also of an Impact 100 nonprofit partner
2020 Equity Champions Cohorts. This summer, Impact 100’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI) invites members and guests to lean into Racial Justice and participate in one or all of our Equity Conversations.