News • December 19, 2023

To Those That Held Us Down:

Dear Friend,

When I joined Equality NC as Executive Director, I knew I was joining an organization whose leadership had voted to adopt an explicit race equity lens, making Equality NC one of the few in the Equality Federation that embraced the truth that we cannot work for LGBTQ+ equality without grappling with the racist foundations of the U. S. and its legacy in our everyday lives.

Early on in a casual conversation with a long time ENC member and supporter, I said that I wanted people to "See themselves in this movement." What I meant as I was explaining my vision for our work was that I wanted people to feel connected to ENC, to feel empowered, and to find their role in fighting for their own liberation. I knew that to be an organization for all people, the staff needed to look like the people we aspire to serve, and we needed to be telling all our stories.

For the past 44 years Equality NC has benefitted from a true cross-section of public, private, and family foundation support. However, over the past five years we have been stunned by the outpouring of support we've received across the nation. We have been unbelievably blessed and frankly, a little lucky to have the support of foundation funders, partners, and advocates who trust us, believe in us, and wholeheartedly support our work. We know you receive tons of appreciation, but I wanted to take this opportunity to be as specific as possible.

Thank you for simplifying processes and being transparent.

Thank you for giving us the space to pivot and find innovative solutions to get this work done.

Thank you for making connections to other funders and supporters who know and understand how important this work is and continues to be, especially during a pandemic and in election years.

Thank you for asking the all-important question, "What is it that you need?"

Thank you for unequivocally trusting and advocating for Black Woman leadership.

Thank you for elevating and celebrating this movement.

Thank you for getting it right.

Thank you for providing essential support in a crucial time when it seemed as if the world was on fire. You stepped up, advocated for us, and kept our doors and countless others open. We know you have a tough role to play in philanthropy. You must balance urgent and never-ending needs and competing priorities, while serving your own leadership and funders, and being responsible stewards of your resources.

We consider our relationship with you a true partnership that can only blossom with transparency, communication, and humanity. As we look ahead to what's next for Equality NC and our communities, we know it includes our shared commitment to providing equitable access and opportunities to our most vulnerable and utilizing philanthropy to transform this world for the better.


Happy Holidays,

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