Published in Nonprofit Quarterly | September 23, 2016
Harnessing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to empower US communities of color
By Diana Campoamor
Many of us hear “sustainable development goals” and picture a poor rural village in Sierra Leone, or a hungry child in Bolivia. But the 17 goals that all 193 countries that are members of the United Nations (UN) adopted at a summit in 2015 aren’t just a framework for faraway international issues. In fact, many of the issues addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are all too real in the US: gender inequality, poverty, hunger, quality education, environmental sustainability…the list goes on.
And, here at home, these issues disproportionately affect communities of color. Inequality in the US correlates to the color of people’s skin, to their parents’ last names, to the status of their legal residency, and to the zip code where they live. A working Latina mother living in Texas may not have heard of the SDGs, but she knows she’s worried about where her family’s next meal will come from. A black teenager in Chicago may not have heard of them, but he knows a diploma from his badly-performing high school won’t matter much to a college admissions counselor. And a Chinese immigrant working in a poorly-ventilated factory in New York knows her cough might not go away, but she also knows she can’t get good medical care without legal residency.
Last week in New York City, Hispanics in Philanthropy co-hosted an event with the Ford Foundation, ABFE, AAPIP, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, CHANGE Philanthropy, and the Council on Foundations to discuss the SDGs and how the philanthropic community can harness their power to lift up communities of color in the US.