November 2021 Newsletter
“Cash Crops” is a new series of work by Bay Area artist Cheryl Derricotte that considers the six major American agricultural crops that motivated the transatlantic slave trade from the 1600’s to the 1800’s – tobacco, sugar cane, cotton, rice, coffee and wheat – and the enduring role they play in today’s world. The history of American cash cropping is considered a parallel account of our nation’s economic might and racial inequity. Cash crops were instrumental in building the American economy despite being excruciatingly labor-intensive to produce. Visit re.riddle gallery
As we move into the season of gratitude, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who take an interest in how ReWork the Bay strives to envision an equitable Bay Area where everyone has access to quality, empowered jobs that allow them to benefit from and shape the region’s growing economy.
We believe envisioning an equitable future requires imagination and creativity, and it also demands a truthful understanding of our past. One way ReWork helps bring that understanding to our partners in philanthropy is through ourRacial Capitalism Community of Practice (CoP).
What is Racial Capitalism?
The term “racial capitalism” is a concept originally proposed by Oakland-born Black political scientist Cedric J. Robinson to describe the extractive way America’s capitalist economy derives social and economic value from another person of a different racial identity. If you would like to take a deep dive on the way the American economy was designed, take a look at this interactive timeline, “To what extent was our economy designed to be fair?” by Take on Wall Street.
Our Community of Practice, a partnership of ReWork, Liberation in a Generation and Christina Garcia Consulting, offers grantmakers an opportunity to learn about the ways racial capitalism has created our current conditions, and take concrete actions to contest its’ influence in their work. Over the course of 6 months, participants:
- Reflect on racial capitalism, how it impacts and shows up in grantmaking, with grantees, and in the community.
- Explore why and how racial capitalism matters in advancing toward an inclusive economy, and how a deeper understanding of the principles can inform more community-centered grantmaking practices and transformative funding strategy.
- Translate knowledge and intention into action through projects tailored to each individual philanthropic institution.
Building on the success of our first Bay Area cohort, we are now partnering with Funders for A Just Economy at Neighborhood Funders Group to bring the program to their national funder audience–that cohort just kicked off this week!
If you are a funder (or know one) with an interest in and commitment to increasing their awareness and practice of anti-racism in solidarity with communities of color, please reach out to me to connect on joining ReWork the Bay. We will be offering our members another Bay Area Community of Practice cohort in Spring 2022. It’s going to take all of us to make much needed change!
I hope you are all able to enjoy your friends and family as we start the holiday season.