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How Can Philanthropy Advance Martin Luther King’s Goals? 13 Leaders Weigh In

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Fighting Structural and Historic Racism

K. Sabeel Rahman

Racism has long driven pervasive political, economic, and social disparities in this country.

Those inequities arise not just from individualized and blatant forms of discrimination but also through historical, cumulative, structural policies that have combined to inhibit wealth, opportunity, well-being, and voice for communities of color.

Structural racism morally weakens our democracy and must be eradicated at the root. In order to build a democracy with genuine equity and inclusion at its foundation—as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned—we must commit to institutionalizing policies that tear down these structural barriers to racial equity, close the racial wealth gap, build sustainable wealth for communities of color, and actively empower our communities as full participants in our democracy.