We seek a just and equitable New Jersey where people of all races and communities have equitable access to opportunities to thrive.
In 2016, the Dodge Foundation began its equity journey in earnest, culminating in a strategic plan centered on a vision for an equitable New Jersey. In 2020, as mobilizations for racial justice swept the country and the pandemic abruptly exposed the devastating impacts of structural racism and inequity on people’s lives, we answered the call of these crises to imagine a new way and then to put action to our words. We knew that it was time to change ourselves inside and out–to more deeply center racial equity and justice in all aspects of our work, to transform our philanthropic approaches to be more just and regenerative and to shift more power to those who are closest to the harms and solutions to structural racism and inequity. As our transformation continues, we have embraced a learning mindset and committed ourselves to investing in and taking guidance from networks, movements, organizations, and leaders who are on the front lines of this work to address the root cause and repair of structural racism and inequity.
We are deeply grateful to the many people and organizations with whom we have partnered; we are energized by what we have learned and have been able to accomplish since we began this pivotal shift. For example:
- In 2020 and 2021, we quickly mobilized rapid-response resources to support our grantees in the midst of overlapping crises that required us–as many across philanthropy experienced–to be more nimble, expansive, collaborative and creative. We continue to practice new grantmaking approaches that emphasize simplified and less time-consuming processes and unrestricted support.
- In 2021, we launched Imagine a New Way grants to organizations using strategic tools to address root causes and repair of structural racism and to create just systems and tackle barriers to equity in New Jersey.
- In the spirit of bringing all of our resources to bear to realize a more just and equitable New Jersey, we have continued to align our endowment with our vision and launched a new multi-year pilot investment program to enhance the lives of historically undercapitalized communities in the state.
- At the beginning of 2022, we announced the Momentum Fund, and the inaugural cohort of ten community-selected organizations who are addressing the root causes of structural racism across New Jersey. These organizations are receiving three years of flexible funding to explore new approaches and self-determine the best course forward in their work.
- Throughout this period, we have also assembled and embraced new, visionary team members with a diversity of skills and experiences to advance our transformation to center racial justice and equity in all that we are and all that we do.
- At the beginning of 2023, we launched new program priorities centered on racial justice, which is the focus of the Dodge Foundation going forward.
Over its storied history, the Dodge Foundation has helped build arts, education, environment, and local journalism ecosystems across New Jersey. Today, building on this legacy and our learnings, we are applying our time, talents and resources to support those who are directly addressing deep-rooted injustices and inequities that continue to hold back our great state. Across New Jersey, our partners are building and mobilizing movements to create just systems, policies and narratives that will ensure long-term sustainable wins. From advocating for immigrant, worker and climate justice; to drawing on the arts, health and wellness as catalysts for equity and repair; our partners are leading vital, creative efforts to transform New Jersey into one of the most just and equitable states.
At every step, we are approaching our work with intentionality and action towards racial equity and justice.
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