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princiPLEs for Black Equity©

A Guide for Pursuing Black Equity & Racial Justice in Philanthropic Initiatives and Government Systems


Research, empirical data and anecdotal evidence are clear: racial injustice continues to serve as a destructive force in society, undermining our democratic values of liberty, justice and self-determination for all.

Progress on Black equity and racial justice must be part of any forward movement in the United States- and will only be achieved when philanthropic investments, public policies, and institutional practices boldly confront racial injustice.

These Black equity principles, which are grounded in the essence of Black joy, community and resilience, were co-created by the Black Equity Initiative grantee organizations to serve as a guide and call to action for any Funder or government body seeking to disrupt racial injustice at scale.


Liberation begins with acknowledgment and honesty about the need to equitably shift the power relationship between black and white populations. This includes recognition of:​

  • Los Angeles, and indeed, the nation, have historical legacies rooted in institutional and systemic racism, both explicit and implicit, in intention and implementation.

  • The lived experiences of oppressed people are real, serving as part of our collective consciousness and hard evidence of systemic harm.

  • Political apathy and political neglect have created the socio-economic and socio-political conditions that perpetuate inadequate power dynamics.

  • Current policies and practices within systems, including philanthropic institutions, have either severely limited or outright failed to advance the interests of Black people.

  • The greatest gains in advancing a fully inclusive society have come from the success of community-led approaches to dismantling racism and oppression.

  • We need to fundamentally re-imagine Southern California to be a region fully inclusive of Black people and Black communities.


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