November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday

Thankful for … friends and family and donors and business colleagues and employees and bosses and board members …

Thankful for the nonprofit sector and those willing to fight and risk speaking out and …

I said I wouldn’t talk about the U.S. election anymore. But I just read the single most marvelous summary of how I feel and how so many feel… the single most marvelous call-to-action for those who can take the risk to speak out … And yes, I can and will continue to do so.

Thank you Charles M. Blow. Brilliant and wonderful and deeply sad and galvanizing and kick-ass and…. “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along.” 

Thank you New York Times. For keeping Charles M. Blow with you always.

Filed under: Social Commentary

November 14, 2016

I will stop now…after this last one…

Very good LinkedIn comment from Kevin Feldman about following U.S. law. And being donor centered. I agree.

But I have additional comments. About silence is consent. About public policy and advocacy. About the ethical and moral role of the nonprofit sector.

First read Kevin’s remarks: Do Not Let Your Politics Ruin Your Fundraising. Then scroll down for my response.

Do read Waldemar Nielsen’s monograph “The Third Sector: Keystone of a Caring Society.” See Chapter 1 in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition, beginning on page 6, “Why does this sector matter?”

And always keep nearby John Gardner’s beautiful monograph, “Building Community,” also discussed in my book Strategic Fund Development.

Check the Independent Sector for the Gardner and Nielsen pieces. I read both of these more than 20 years ago– and they’re still favorites.

Okay. Enough.


Filed under: Social Commentary

January 8, 2015

Racism…then and yes, still…

One of my favorite magazines is the Nonprofit Quarterly. I love the print publication and the daily online feed.

You probably think this magazine is all about the nonprofit sector. You know… things like fund development and governance and planning and budgeting and ethics and marketing and… You’re right. But not only those things…

NPQ also writes about what’s happening in society and what the nonprofit sector could SHOULD be doing about what’s happening. Things like public policy and advocacy and political action.

  • NPQ writes about Ferguson, Missouri (that race thing if you don’t follow the news in the U.S.) – and the other Ferguson-type stuff like Trayvon Martin and NYC and and . NPQ writes about racism.
  • Because if the nonprofit sector – and every single NGO – doesn’t have some concern about racism and poverty and government and public policy … Then why does this sector exist? If every single nonprofit is not interested in what’s happening in society … not just the nonprofit’s tiny part of society … then how can this sector matter all that much?

So read this article. EVERYONE read this article, “Teenager’s Murder Conviction Vacated – 70 Years Too Late,” written by Shafaq Hasan, from USA Today. Learn about the youngest American ever executed, 14-year old George Stinney, Jr.

  • Share this article with everyone you know. Your friends and family and and and ….
  • And remember that a publication serving the nonprofit sector – serving the professionals and volunteers working in the sector – writes about racism and other societal issues….. with the hope that nonprofits are doing something about it. With the hope that the NGO sector will stand up and speak out.

Do you subscribe to NPQ? Think about joining up in 2015.

And speaking of racism… Read “We Want Real Justice, Not Dead Cops,” by Carl Gibson and Binta Baxter. Posted on 12-24-14 by Reader Supporter News.

November 27, 2014

Dear Mr. Blow and Mr. Kristof

Today is Thanksgiving in the U.S. But still I went into my office to do a bit of clean up before heading out to the wonderful Feist/Cornell family with moms and dads and the delightful and special kids, Merlin and Forrest.

I checked the New York Times online. Read Charles Blow’s column about Ferguson. And I was so angry and sad. So I’ve spent about 1 hour writing the email below to Mr. Blow…and to Mr. Kristof.

And now, I’m sharing with you, my reader who read Simone Uncensored – social commentary.

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Dear Mr. Blow… And Mr. Kristof, too.

“We the people” must add together Mr. Blow‘s column “Fury After Ferguson” and Mr. Kristof‘s 4-part column“When Whites Just Don’t Get It.” (Read all four parts!) Maybe then “we the WHITE people” will get it.

But I doubt it. Too many people don’t understand unearned privilege (Dr. Peggy McIntosh and her writings). As I always say: “I’m a white, heterosexual, well-educated, affluent woman. I win except for gender. Because it’s a disadvantage to be a woman in every country in the world, including the U.S. But because I was born white and heterosexual, and I’m well-educated (thanks mom and dad) and affluent (partly due to all that unearned privilege previously mentioned!), I win. I win except for gender.

And, I find my winning to be appalling and angering and I sure as hell do feel guilty. (By the way, I love to watch people flinch when I say my of unearned privilege. I can work it in to just about any presentation. I write about it. I use it in my consulting. And I listen but certainly respond when white people tell me they don’t have privilege and men tell me they don’t have privilege. But some people do get it. They recognize my privilege and their own. They’re pleased that I’m speaking out.)

I fantasize about a world where everyone understands the nature of their own personal (unearned) privilege. My fantasy includes everyone recognizing that we shouldn’t talk so much about “disadvantage” but rather talk about unearned privilege. We can make more progress that way, with that acknowledgement and that conversation.

As you say in your column, Mr. Blow… And I’m paraphrasing and adding my own spin to your thoughts: What the hell do the advantaged/privileged expect to happen but violent revolution when we privileged continue to ignore (or only modestly recognize) what’s happening?

  • How do we expect parents to explain to their children to “find a police person” when you’re lost or hurt or need help. But be careful, my son, because you’re a black male. Walk slowly towards the cop. Keep your hands visible at all times. Make sure you don’t have anything that might be construed as a gun — maybe a bottle of water in your hand or a bulky snack in your pocket. And by the way, don’t ever wear a hoodie. And don’t be too tall or too big or too black or or…
  • How do we expect our LGBTQ neighbors to live? Deny your sexual orientation. Hide it as best you can. Be careful about the pronouns you use. Because…Well…You know. You’re just too different. And different is dangerous. And gods and goddesses might not approve of you. And…
  • And if you’re a woman…Let’s see…The U.S. is something like 82nd in the world when it comes to the number of women in the federal legislature. Women are still paid less than men for the same work. Any profession dominated by women has lower wages. And, yippee…Facebook will now pay to freeze your eggs? Wow.
  • And class… Money… The rich. What middle class? And the poor. And tax rates that are less for Warren Buffett that his secretary! (And Mr. Buffett is appalled but the U.S. Congress isn’t.)

John Rawls (in his book A Theory of Justice) tells a story that Warren Buffet paraphrased and I paraphrased again and others do, too, I’m sure: “Imagine that it’s 24 hours before you’re born. And a genie appears to you and asks, “What rules do you want in the world when you’re born… rules to apply to you and your children and your grandchildren. But you don’t know if you’ll be born white or black, rich or poor, male or female, heterosexual or homosexual… What rules do you want in the world?” I want a world where it doesn’t matter. The rules (and the behaviors) are the same for everyone.

We create our world together. And we in the U.S. have created together a classist, rich/poor, homophobic, racist, sexist society. And the privileged must fight for those our society has marginalized. Marginalized on purpose. Marginalized because we don’t understand and recognize privilege. Marginalized because we’re too afraid and too ignorant and too “busy” to stand up and speak out. I always remind people, Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t march with blacks only. There were some whites there, too. The privileged must work with the marginalized. Not in a patronizing manner! In in equity, sharing recognition.

So we have Ferguson. And we’ll continue to have variations of Fergusons … whether for racism or sexism or homophobia. Because even when we pass laws — we the people still behave in racist, sexist, homophobic, classist ways.
Of course, Mr. Blow, you and Mr. Kristof say that there’s no excuse for violence. Of course, I agree. No excuse for violence. But there sure are lots of reasons for it. And if “we” won’t listen to “them” and create an “us” that fights together without violence…. Then what do we expect to happen? Nonviolent change is what is needed. Peaceful revolution is the right thing to do. But that sure isn’t getting us very far.
I wasn’t in the grand jury room in Ferguson. I wasn’t there with the Trayvon Martin decision. But I’m really angry at both. I’m angry at the communities and the U.S., my country. I’m angry because too many of our systems – like the courts and the police – refuse to fully acknowledge the racist, sexist, homophobic systems they work in. Because all of our systems are like that unless the people within talk and talk, monitor and watch and fight for equity.
The Ferguson grand jury could have chosen to conduct a public trial. They didn’t. I’m not surprised. U.S. society and U.S. systems and U.S. institutions and the application of U.S. laws and regulations favor the privileged. Favoring unearned privilege. White. Male. Affluent (and especially the rich). Class. Heterosexuals.
Welcome to the USA.  Thank you Mr. Blow and Mr. Kristof for speaking out publicly, for trying to get people to listen and actually hear. And maybe to act.
Simone Joyaux
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That’s it. Now it’s time to head out to be with dear friends for Thanksgiving. And these friends understand privilege – theirs and mine.

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