Racial Equity - Funders for LGBTQ Issues
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6. Consider how dominant values, such as the belief that "hard work" can improve any person's economic standing, affects the grantee's ability to argue for solutions beyond the individual level

Pollsters routinely find that many Americans hold the belief that with enough work and perseverance, people can achieve their dreams and lift themselves out of their pressing conditions. However, empirical research shows that social uplift remains largely unavailable to people of color. Despite the talents and hard work of individuals, a host of societal barriers—schools with fewer resources, less access to health care, thin social networks with less access to wealth and positions of influence—impair the success rates of people of color. For organizations addressing the structural roots that lead to racial inequities among LGBTQ people of color, a grantmaker could reflect on how the limitations of "personal responsibility" values affect a grantee’s strategies, notably its framing of problems and solutions.

PrYSM operates within a national narrative on immigration that, at its worst, criminalizes undocumented immigrants who survive on low-wage, unstable jobs with no health care or legal protections; Southeast Asian families deal with the prejudice spurred by these values. Further, LGBTQ Southeast Asian youth struggle with their own communities' values such as an allegiance to family (who might not tolerate their sexualities and gender identities), heterosexist traditions (such as arranged marriages) and the financial incentive to marry family members from their native land to provide a better life in this country, despite their LGBTQ identities.

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A grantmaker could ask: How do national values—personal responsibility, individualism, meritocracy and equal opportunity—shape the context for the grantee? Are there other values within communities of color that complicate how problems are understood and solutions are reached? And what happens to LGBTQ people of color who deal with multiple, conflicting values?