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Philanthropist Susan Sandler gifts $200M to racial justice orgs

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Philanthropist Susan Sandler kicked off the week by pledging to invest $200 million in social justice organizations focused on fighting the systemic racism in battleground states.

According to the New York Times, Monday, Sandler announced the initiative which will be carried out through the newly formed Susan Sandler Fund.

In a Medium post, Sandler, who learned she had a rare form of brain cancer four years ago, explains that this decision comes as a result of a shift in her political priorities.

Susan Sandler racial justice thegrio.com
(Credit: The New York Times)

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She went on to highlight that the grants are being sent to progressive groups serving underrepresented communities such as the Texas Organizing Project, New Virginia Majority, and the New Florida Majority.

“I have come to believe that the most effective way to transform societal priorities and public policies is to change the balance of power, not change the minds of those who hold power,” she wrote. “When government is responsive to — and, frankly, fearful of — the people who most bear the brunt of inequality and injustice, then better priorities, practices and policies follow.” 

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“In ways big and small, each of us can establish a legacy. I’m grateful that I’ve been given the time since my cancer diagnosis to establish mine. I urge each of you not to wait to work on establishing yours,” she concluded.

The publication also notes that she is just the latest contributor to an increased effort to put money behind racial justice organizations in the wake of the killing of George Floyd who died in the custody of Minneapolis police after an officer knelt on his neck.

“This fund really underscores what’s left out of many philanthropic discussions,” said Vivian Chang, a veteran of the California nonprofit world who will serve as the fund’s executive director.

“This concept of being accountable to real people with real problems, that is what catalyzes change, it’s what generates urgency and creativity. And so that’s why we’re focused on increasing the power and influence of those who bear the brunt of racism.”

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