February 2, 2021
Supporting all of our communities
We at the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) recognize that our city is made up of many vibrant socio-cultural communities. Removing systemic barriers to equity will allow all of these communities to thrive.
If we hope to serve all of Edmonton’s communities well, we must involve equity strategy at every level of our work. Our position in the community affords us various forms of power, such as capital, networks and influence. This means our commitment to equity must be explicit and absolute. By amplifying community power and voices, we help transcend barriers and allow groups to reach their full potential.
Year in Review
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a massive change to our society and exposed the inequities built into our current system. To address these inequities, we learned that we must recognize achieving equity as an ever-changing and ongoing process. Our organization must be adaptive and responsive to community needs to create equity. In March 2020, ECF created the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and through this fund granted $1.9 million – of which 59% went to equity-seeking communities. Through a partnership with the Government of Canada and Community Foundations of Canada, ECF granted $3.2 million through the Emergency Community Support Fund – 78% of these grants went to equity-seeking communities in the Edmonton area.
The current attention given to anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism has created an opportunity for ECF to take additional action in support of anti-racism initiatives. The Anti-Racism Fund was created in 2020 to support the works of Black-led, Black-serving and Indigenous-led and -serving organizations in Edmonton, and so far $0.4m has been granted. This fund is important as it allows ECF to engage, empower and build awareness about the positive impact these organizations make in the community. The pandemic has been an opportunity to involve equity strategy in our efforts to build back better.
In 2021, ECF will continue to be responsive to the changing needs of the Edmonton area and the many people and socio-cultural communities that are part of our great community. We will keep striving to ensure that we are supporting and creating inclusive and equitable communities. We will continue to increase our work with diverse people and communities towards shared goals and engaging diverse voices to ensure all communities within the Edmonton area see themselves reflected in the Foundation.
Thanks to the Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) for encouraging us to reflect on our past year and to plan for the next. See some of their work on equity, including their 2020 Vital Signs report on gender equality or this video on trust-based philanthropy.