23 Apr HCF Board Members Sign On to Diversifying Investments Letter in Crain’s Chicago Business
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Our Board Members Amalia Rioja (Chair), Craig Huffman (Treasurer), Dr. Yesenia Lopez, and Caronina Grimble recently signed on to a letter published by Crain’s Chicago Business that provides a guide on how philanthropy can diversify its endowment investments as a way to achieve racial equity. They signed on along with other trustees representing 12 Chicagoland area foundations.
At Healthy Communities Foundation, this has been a critical component of our racial equity journey. We plan to share our learnings and approach soon to further encourage conversation amongst our fellow funders.
Here are some points outlined in the letter:
- Re-examine institutional criteria for selecting qualified asset-management firms. For example, if your firm requires a track record going back longer than five years, that systematically eliminates the majority of Black and Brown firms.
- Create diverse teams. Partners, senior leadership, and all teams inside and outside the foundation, including consultants and third-party vendors, need to contain BIPOC and particularly Black team members in significant leadership roles.
- Foundations should share data and success stories with each other on the fund managers they’ve allocated assets to, so these managers can grow and scale their assets under management, which in turn positively impacts our communities and the nonprofits we fund.
- Note when someone mentions the very idea that investing in funds managed by Black and Brown people means a “sacrifice,” realize the opposite is true. Not only will this investment deliver on financial return, but it delivers dividends on a mission return that every foundation, nonprofit, university, and company claims to want to achieve.