In June, Omidyar Network committed $500,000 to organizations fighting on the frontlines for racial justice because we firmly believe that this work is core to our ability to create inclusive, equitable societies. While the funding is an essential step toward our vision, the way we invested was also critical to developing thoughtful partnerships with organizations already building or scaling innovations.
What does it mean to invest in justice? It begins with a clear-eyed recognition of the systemic racism that manifests within all of our systems to undermine the safety of Black and Brown people. Investing in justice means attacking the many resulting symptoms of white supremacy at their root by finding organizations working to innovate and advance holistic ways to create lasting change. It means being strategic and careful about ensuring that while we are looking for ways to address the wrongs that pervade our societies, we are not inadvertently causing more harm. With that, an awareness of our own limitations as a funder is required –– financial investments are a step at the beginning of a long-term journey towards holistic, strategic action. Finally, investing in justice means continuing to integrate racial justice with our firm-wide focus to reimagine systems: building an economy that works for all — an anti-racist economy is a key pillar of our point of view; realizing the promise of responsible technology; and fostering a more pluralistic society.
We searched around the country for Black-led organizations whose work combined economic, civic, or criminal justice reform with narrative shift or movement building towards racial justice. Among many organizations doing incredible work, the following five are achieving impact in ways that align with our current strategic focus.