The following is a transcript of the video above, from our webinar on “Remaking the Economy: Owning Our Future.” View the full webinar here.
Rodney Foxworth: My piece is really speaking to those who are maybe uncomfortable thinking about the opportunity for ownership, the opportunity for control, the opportunity for power—and what they can actually do to assert their collective vision. One of the things I recognized is that there’s a mindset shift that needs to occur. Esteban [Kelly] had mentioned some things in terms of what the role of philanthropy can be. I have addressed that in my piece as well. One of the things that’s really a baseline is unrestricted resourcing and capital to be provided to organizations, because that can be a place for institutions to be able to build an opportunity for some power, to build some equity, for ownership or control. There has to be a baseline, organizations having a mindset to be comfortable with asking and demanding and situating themselves for that type of conversation.
What I found is that, because of so many issues, historic and our own personal experiences—being a person of color, my team being majority people of color, particularly women of color—oftentimes, there’s just things that we’re perpetuating. Like these systems—do we even deserve to have power, control, and ownership? That’s actually something that we don’t say and articulate, but it’s something that we live in. It’s a significant thing to recognize that there’s some brass-tacks steps that need to be taken for us…opportunity changes individuals, right? There’s some opportunity for that to happen.
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I actually think there’s a significant piece here on mindset shifts, both in terms of capital from the foundation community, but as institutions, as nonprofits. How do we perceive ourselves? Do we see ourselves as worthy of having power, control, and ownership? For us, it’s been a pretty long journey over the last several years building up enough of an economic resource that we can start to begin to invest and build alongside other institutions to create these sort of reciprocal economies, and be able to create shared value economically between each other so that we can actually be able to continue to build. But the biggest piece for that…is first accepting that we actually deserve to have power, control, and ownership.