By Sherlyn Assam (May 21, 2021)
A milestone in our sector
In a historic moment for Canadian philanthropy, two foundations made a capital transfer of $3.85 million to Canada’s first Black-community-oriented foundation (the Foundation for Black Communities) — followed by the Canadian government pledging $200 million. How and why did all this happen?
The FFBC had called for a $200 million endowment from the government and philanthropic sector to support a mission of ensuring Black-led and Black-serving organizations have more resources to serve their communities. Inspirit Foundation and Laidlaw Foundation were Canada’s first and only foundations to answer FFBC’s call for support, pledging 3.5% of their capital base.
Responses to “Unfunded”
These contributions follow studies of Black Canadians being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and the release of Unfunded: Black Communities Overlooked by Canadian Philanthropy, a report showing that the Canadian philanthropic sector has failed to invest in and meet the needs of Black communities.
However, with the arrival of FFBC, the sector is witnessing what can happen when philanthropy prioritizes the reallocation of wealth.
PANL Perspectives spoke with Sadia Zaman, CEO of Inspirit, and Jehad Aliweiwi, Executive Director of Laidlaw, to learn about the process behind their historic contributions. The following questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.
“I think that it would have been deeply problematic had we not acted”–Sadia Zaman, Inspirit...
“I think that it would have been deeply problematic had we not acted”–Sadia Zaman, Inspirit Foundation
Interview by Sherlyn Assam. Inspirit Foundation is giving a $1 million endowment and $350,000 in unrestricted donations to the Foundation for Black Communities. PANL Perspectives spoke with Sadia Zaman, CEO... More
“The only two foundations who answered the call are led by non-white people”–Jehad Aliweiwi, Laidlaw...
“The only two foundations who answered the call are led by non-white people”–Jehad Aliweiwi, Laidlaw Foundation
Interview by Sherlyn Assam. Laidlaw Foundation is giving $1.85 million towards an endowment to the Foundation for Black Communities. PANL Perspectives spoke with Jehad Aliweiwi, Executive Director of Laidlaw Foundation,... More