Annual Report 2018-2020
Across the philanthropic sector, the last several years have been a clear period of transformation, marked by the recognition that business as usual is no longer feasible for the creation of a just, connected and inclusive society. For many, including us here at GEO, this transformation began organically with internal shifts and leadership changes that shaped the fabric of our work well before the pivotal year that 2020 turned out to be. While the ongoing global pandemic and heightened awareness of persistent, historical racial and economic injustices offered us opportunities to build a better future, they first demanded that we, as grantmakers, look inward and critically assess our roles as people with power and privilege.
The fact remains that institutional philanthropy has routinely prioritized expediency over relationships and status quo and efficiency over long-term equity. But none of these are sustainable in our charge to address multifaceted structural inequalities, let alone within solid relationships with those on the ground working in communities. Across our field, the fog has lifted, revealing that our mindset, policies and practices — and the systems that house them and cultures that perpetuate them — must change if we are to be successful in creating the world we want to see.