Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter
By Sarah Lyman, Executive Director, Alliance Healthcare Foundation
In the wake of more national outrage and protests related to police brutality against black Americans, further fueled by a pandemic that is disproportionately impacting people of color, we again bear witness to the devastating results of systems historically designed to oppress non-white individuals and families.
As we grieve with families suffering from unnecessary loss of life and mistreatment of loved ones, it’s hard to truly grasp the fear, despair, and anger that our black friends and neighbors are feeling in this moment in history.
All of us have a role to play in addressing and uniting against the brutal inequities that have persisted in this country for generations. As we engage in the national dialogue about racial equity and social justice, may we also actively spread love, dismantle injustice, and raise children who help us build a new America where equitable access to health and safety is a basic and fundamental human right.
Here are a few communications this week that we found insightful and pertinent:
My mother moved us from Mexico in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, aware that America was still contending with racism. She viewed America as the land of opportunity but soon found racism, along with sexism, to be the greatest barriers to her success. While she hated those openly racist, she actually had more trouble dealing with the more liberal. Though she tried to hide our economic status, in her church she was looked upon as ‘needy’, which to her translated to ‘weak’. She was anything but weak. The paternalism of their offers of help ate at her. “They take my pride away. Even the nice ones believe Mexicans are dirty and lazy.” She had little use for help that made Mexicans appear weak. Pride and self-respect were the drivers of my mother’s resourcefulness that got me through college.
In a 1963 letter to other pastors, while in the Birmingham jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote: “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate.” Noting their paternalism, he continued, “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill.” Read more here.
We came across this simple illustration: “A Guide to White Privilege” by Courtney Ahn Design, and thought it was worth sharing. This graphic depiction provides a closer look at an uncomfortable, yet critically important topic. Understanding how white privilege can fuel injustice, and what that means for each of us as individuals and within our organizations is an important conversation to be having.
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About Alliance Healthcare Foundation. We work to advance health and wellness for the most vulnerable in San Diego and Imperial counties through collaborative funding, convening and advocacy.
We believe wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, economic and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Society, community, neighborhood and family are collectively responsible for creating an environment of health and wellness. Wellness is personal and is not the same for everyone.
We currently operate a portfolio of five programs:
- i2 Innovation Initiative—also referred to as “venture philanthropy”—based on the thesis that innovation capital (often high risk, high reward) is needed to transform the current paradigm (high cost and poor outcomes) and improve quality, increase capacity and reduce costs;
- Mission Support—based on the belief that trusting those closest to our constituents and providing core operating support for great organizations will best advance our mission;
- Responsive Funding—based on the belief that it is important to be responsive to time-sensitive community needs and opportunities;
- InvestUp—based on the belief that it is important to actively and strategically be looking for ways to meaningfully advance our mission and it is worth spending some or all of our corpus—beyond the earnings off of our endowment—if we can substantively, sustainably and positively change the dynamics, and
- Impact Investments—based on the thesis that we can activate our investment portfolio to achieve more positive impact.
Our History. In 1982, the San Diego Community Healthcare Alliance (Alliance) created the first Preferred Provider Organization/Network (PPO) in the United States. From 1989 through 1994, the Alliance funded Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) through profits from its Community Care Network (CCN) operations. In 1994, Alliance sold CCN to a national healthcare company and channeled the proceeds from CCN’s sale into an endowment of $83 million for AHF. That endowment has enabled funding of approximately $64 million (USD) in direct funding and approximately $41 million (USD) from national and local funding partners in San Diego and Imperial counties. Our endowment holds approximately $80 million in assets today, with funding for programs and operations derived from endowment investment earnings. Learn more at AllianceHF.org