A Commitment from Essex & Drake – Combating Institutional Racism

By Chelsey Souza, CFRE

This is not a moment, it’s a movement. I have been asking myself, as a white business owner, what more can I do? What can we do as a firm to combat systemic and institutional racism? I can educate myself, and we can take action. I can commit to working for a more just society and better future for Black lives.
In the coming weeks, I will be seeking out interviews, articles, books and digital media by Black fundraisers and other fundraisers of color in an effort to listen, learn, and reflect. I will then work to create a plan in which I can better leverage my role as a white fundraiser to combat racism in our field.       
At Essex & Drake, we value community-mindedness and collaboration. We work with nonprofit professionals and community members from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of lived experiences without judgement – this is not enough. While ongoing learning and unlearning are a long-term process, we know action is needed now.
Going forward, Essex & Drake commits to providing 20 hours of pro bono services each year to Black-led organizations working for racial justice.
At Essex & Drake, we commit to doing more and look forward to sharing more with you about what that will look like in the long-term.