Reflections across multiple cases of this wicked problem
The authors (and more who we hope will be joining us) have confronted an apparent mismatch between extensive but time-limited funding given to government bureaucracies in the US and the desire to create or catalyse systemic and sustainable change overturning longstanding pre-existing inequities, including disparities linked to structural racism. Cases include funding county and city health departments in a major urban area to address the disproportionate burden of Covid on marginalized (“Black and Brown”) communities and populations and funded efforts to address opiate addiction that have had racially biased outcomes. We propose to examine the challenges in existing strategies of time-limited funding and how to design alternatives. We will also address and try to benefit from the generational tension between the cynicism that arises within those of us who have seen multiple funding cycles come and go for decades while inequities persist and the hope and insight that people who are newer to these problems might bring.
KEYWORDS: philanthropy, systemic change, structural racism