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CAF Policy Team

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Charities Aid Foundation

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What role can giving and philanthropy play in working harder for a more fair and equal society?

10 June 2020

Recent events in the US and ensuing unrest around the world have drawn the public eye towards the fact that racial injustice is still rife in our society, despite years of hard-fought progress. Many from the black community have subsequently spoken up about their experiences of racism and about how bias (both conscious and unconscious) is embedded in our institutions and internalised in many aspects of everyday behaviour.

This has acted as a powerful wake up call for those of us who want to see a more fair and equal society, and has highlighted the need for us all to work even harder. We need to educate ourselves, share knowledge with friends, colleagues and family, and continue to call out the structures in our lives and societies that work to uphold systemic disadvantage for people of colour. This may well be uncomfortable, but it is vital if we are to stand alongside the Black community in exposing injustice and demanding change. 

Deep and difficult questions

CAF obviously doesn’t have all the answers to these deep and difficult questions, and neither would we pretend to. We know that we need to look at ourselves and the sector we work in as a whole with a critical eye, and strive to do whatever we can to be supportive of the cause of racial equality and justice. With that in mind, one thing we can do right now is to amplify the voices of people of colour we have worked with to explore trends and debate in global philanthropy and civil society.

The following episodes of the Giving Thought podcast contain important, and sometimes challenging, insights from BAME peers about ongoing challenges around diversity, inequality and racial justice; and about the role and the limitations of philanthropy when it comes to addressing them, and how we can reshape philanthropy to overcome these challenges. 

We are resolved to continue engaging with these issues through our work and to keep challenging ourselves. We would also like to use the platform we have to amplify the voices of people of colour where possible, so if anyone wants to work with us on that front please do get in touch at

Insights from BAME peers on the challenges of racial justice in philanthropy 

fozia irfan clip

Fozia Irfa
CEO Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation

In this clip from the Giving Thought podcast 'Philanthropy, equity, power and place', Fozia talks about the importance of understanding the nuances of inequality, as well as the difference between equality and equity.

danny sriskandarajah

Danny Sriskandarajah
CEO, Oxfam GB

In this clip from the Giving Thought podcast Philanthropy, equality and power in global civil society', Danny talks about the role of philanthropy in changing and remodelling/challenging power structures.

megan ming francis clip

Megan Ming Francis
Associate Professor, University of Washington

In this clip from the Giving Thought podcast 'Philanthropy, civil rights and movement capture' Megan talks about how funders can support civil rights movements like #BlackLivesMatter.


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Giving Thought

Understanding and reimagining civil society.

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