The Satterberg Foundation strengthens our communities by promoting a just society and a sustainable environment. Doing this work deepens the interconnection of our family. We envision a world in balance with vibrant communities in which all people enjoy the opportunity to grow and thrive. In order to be transparent, trustworthy stewards of the Satterberg Foundation’s resources we state and affirm the following values: Integrity, Community, Joy, Compassion, Respect, Responsibility, Life Long Learning and Moral Courage.
The recent murders of Black people at the hands of police is yet again another moment that demands we reflect on society and ourselves. Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, recession, and rising unemployment, viral racism and police brutality are colliding together and baring to the world the deep, historic inequities Black people face in our nation. Our organization stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the organizations and individuals combatting injustice and systemic racism. We support BIPOC individuals speaking up to have their voices heard and demand change, and we advocate alongside communities in removing barriers so that all people may grow and thrive.
This current moment is not new; it is a response to the centuries of oppression and the pain caused from the lineage of Black lives that have been stolen—and that continue to be stolen—by systems deeply rooted in white supremacy. We acknowledge that as a philanthropic organization and as a society, we must center those most impacted in our work and listen with open hearts. We must continue to reflect on how we are showing up as individuals and organizations, and to be informed by others about what is missing in our work and intentions.
We must also ask ourselves if we are doing enough. At Satterberg, the Board and Staff have been learning by walking along our racial equity journey. We continue to ask ourselves if we are doing enough to promote a just society and sustainable environment, and how we are stewarding social capital. We aspire to practice humility, recognizing our position of power as a funding partner. Satterberg’s Board and Staff will meet later this month. We will use this time to dive deeper into conversations about how to better steward our resources to ensure BIPOC organizations have the capacity to enact community-led solutions and address systems change work. We will also continue our conversation about what it truly takes to become an anti-racist organization and affirm our commitments. We acknowledge and affirm that Satterberg Foundation has a role to play in the dismantling of white supremacy and institutional racism.
This crisis is escalating a conversation on the function and approaches of our society. We take our role as stewards of resources seriously, so that we are accountable and transparent in our responsibility to those we are in partnership with and to the manifestation of the Foundation’s mission. We respect our relationship with all of you and we continue to stand with organizations and individuals using their voice every day, for decades, to bend society’s arc toward justice.
Satterberg Foundation Board of Directors Statement on our approach to ending racial injustice – August, 2020
Now Is The Time
The Satterberg Foundation acknowledges that we gather on Indigenous land: the traditional territory of Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish Tribe (Dkhw Duw’Absh).”
The world has changed. For more than two decades, the board of the Satterberg Foundation has been engaged in the work of addressing social injustice. As a board, we are challenged to know how best to effectively address these issues without the lived experience or understanding of how it is to be a person of color, especially a Black person of color, in this country. In an effort to more effectively make real change in the world, we have hired a diverse and talented staff who bring experience and a significant perspective, we have engaged in DEI training to increase our understanding of the issues, and we have adopted a philosophy of trust-based philanthropy – we’ve felt confident that we are making progress in creating a just and inclusive society. It seemed like all was going well.
And then came the heartbreaking murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mr Floyd’s murder has reawakened our vision of what needs to change in this world. There have been other times in our nation’s history that have served as catalysts for major change, and this is one of most significant. Too many times our Black communities have protested against the loss of Black lives. For many reasons, this time feels different. To see the unprecedented level of sustained attention to the need to change our world is encouraging. With cautious optimism, we see this as a moment of great opportunity to make real change.
We are responding to the moment by funding efforts toward police reform and committing to sustained support of the movement to end institutional racism, especially in the areas of education, wealth disparity, representation, criminal justice reform, and health care. We vow to support the efforts of organizations led by people of color. We affirm our shared belief that Black Lives Matter.
The board fully endorses the statement written by our Executive Director, Sarah Walczyk – we trust in our staff to use their knowledge and experience to help our board make the best choices as to how to direct our foundation’s resources in making real change.
For our part, it’s time for an in-depth examination of our own implicit biases, the things we learned (or never learned) during our education and upbringing, and our internal processes within the Satterberg Foundation. We commit to continuing the conversations, to engaging in more training and to walking the talk. We feel a strong sense of urgency – now is the time for change. We accept that we will make mistakes and continue to learn as we engage in this process.
At the Satterberg Foundation, we believe that we are in a period of liminality – a transitional period in our organization and in our nation. We will never, and can never, be in the same place again – the time is right to move forward. We welcome and appreciate the contributions of others doing this work.
Satterberg Foundation Board of Directors