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OPINION: Funding a Humane, Flourishing American Democracy

by David Sarju


Imagine an America where Black and Indigenous (B/I) families and communities are flourishing, alive with laughter, goodwill, and unlimited possibilities; where the grandchildren of today’s young adults are born into a beloved community, knowing their humanity is broadly valued; where America itself is ascendant, valuing the humanity of all creeds and tribes. The Puget Sound region possesses a complementary collection of decolonizing organizations that heal fragmentation, alongside science-driven organizations that together can create a scalable national model. But the way forward is different than popularly imagined. “Charity” that demands acquiescence, dyssynchrony, and near-term results has not solved America’s core vulnerability — dehumanization.

Funders must provide capital so family and community, not charity, are the sources of sustained well-being. Together with key, proven strategies, funds must be released to also heal historical trauma, strengthen the existing network of B/I community assets, and ensure children from birth to 5 years of age experience nurturing early-learning environments. Then America will have a better opportunity to achieve the economic and social well-being imagined.

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