The Joint Affinity Groups, a national network of identity-based philanthropic organizations, issued a statement on Thursday saying that Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation “is treating Native communities disrespectfully” and “failing to follow” the best practices that philanthropic organizations should seek to accomplish.
According to its website, JAG consists of six identity-based groups that together possess decades of experiencing leading the call for creating more racial and social justice within the field of philanthropy.
Representatives of all six from those groups, including the Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy, signed the statement, which you can read here.
Also in the news release, Carly Hare, executive director of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a group that advocates for more resources and funding for Native communities, said that Snyder should consider some of these questions about his foundation.
On March 24, 2014, Dan Snyder announced the launch of the Washington DC football team’s Original Americans Foundation. With this announcement we encourage you to consider some the questions below that this foundation presents:
· Does using an identifiably racist/stereotypic mascot term really ‘honor’ Native communities?
· Is it exploitive to offer funds or other financial benefits to underserved tribal communities in exchange for tacit permission to continue using that identifiably racist/stereotypic mascot term?
· When does public relations outweigh racism?
· How will the foundation work with existing Native and Tribal foundations and long-term funding partners?
· What is the actual commitment by the foundation and how is that compared to other corporate foundation benchmarks?
· Can philanthropy leverage/increase investments to make foundations like the Original Americans Foundation irrelevant?