2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent history. The onset of COVID-19, the resulting economic crisis, and the uprising against systemic racism has forced us to reflect on our commitment to community. On what it means to operate as a whole rather than in isolation. For us, it means caring for our community in meaningful and tangible ways.
In order to do our part to address the inequities that have impacted communities of color across the city, RVC has provided a $2000 Community Care Investment to each of the 100 staff on RVC’s payroll, which includes the staff of our Operations Support partner organizations. This act will serve as the single largest expenditure in our organization’s history
Given the lack of meaningful government financial support during this crisis, we feel that the most impactful thing to do with these resources is to give them to our communities so that they can be distributed directly to those most impacted by the ongoing pandemic. In the words of Laura Wright, Operations and Finance Director at our partner Washington Building Leaders of Change, “A lot of our staff, like many in our community, are going through tremendous changes during this season– three of our staff have had to move, one has become a primary caretaker for a loved one, several staff members have become new parents, and so much more.”
Funding equity has long been one of the bedrocks of RVC. We must exemplify the very behavior we hope to see funders engage in, and ensure that we do not fall into the same mindsets that we are working to dismantle. Just as we ask our funders to trust nonprofits and fund them without restrictions knowing they’ll make the right decisions for their communities, we know our Black, Indigenous, People of Color staff will make the right decisions about how best to invest these funds in our communities. This decision is not only our small contribution towards taking care of our community, but also pushing the sector in a more equitable direction.
We don’t know what is going to happen with this pandemic. I am hoping funders will continue to center Black, Indigenous, and People of Color during this time. Now, more than ever, we need to do this. Our communities have been hurt by this pandemic.”Regina Elmi, Somali Parents Education Board
We are often told to save our money for a rainy day, that we need to stay safe and be conservative. Funders tell us they cannot give away that much money in order to save for future rainy days. But it’s pouring outside. And our communities are drowning. We recognize that we have the privilege of having steady funding, at a time when so many in our communities do not even have a steady place to call home. It is our moral imperative to care for our community in meaningful and tangible ways. Our Community Care Investment is our way of doing just that.