Our Commitment
to Youth, Structural Equity, and Anti-Racism

Grantmakers for Thriving Youth (GTY) is a funders’ forum that promotes equitable systems, structures, and opportunities for a comprehensive approach to learning and development so all young people can build and strengthen the skills and capacities they need to thrive in learning, work, citizenship, and life. 

We are guided and informed by the needs of young people.

We actively seek to learn from and respond to the lived experiences of young people, particularly those most directly impacted by inequitable systems and structures. 

We are committed to equity.

While GTY Steering Committee foundations may be at varying points in their internal and external anti-racism journey, all individual GTY Steering Committee member representatives commit to participating actively and with discernment about positionality in spaces and structures for coordinated learning and/or action to accelerate their individual and collective equity leadership.

We address structures and systems.

We envision and are committed to building the systems and structures that allow all young people to thrive. Yet we realize that young people’s development is interrupted by systemic racism in specific ways and as funders we are committed to identifying and dismantling the structural and systemic inequities inherent in and that are reproduced in our education and youth development ecosystems. 

We are a big tent.

GTY is a diverse set of funders in terms of areas of investment that include focus, approach, geography, systems, ideology, and particular groups of young people served.  Our diversity is a source of strength because we share a commitment to improving our education and youth development ecosystems to support all youth to thrive.

We learn together.

GTY provides spaces and structures for funders to be in community with one another, learn from and contribute to the learning of peers, and receive support to advance equity. As part of this learning process, we also respectfully challenge one another to advance our thinking.  

We leverage the tools of philanthropy.

We reaffirm our responsibility as grantmakers to use the tools of our profession – including the capacity to listen to and understand the needs of the field and communities – to invest financial and in-kind resources, to facilitate convenings and connections, and to help the field create and share narratives.

Photos credit: All4Ed.org / license

Ultimately, GTY intends as a community to, individually and collectively:

  • align our work in ways that eliminate structural inequity and racism;
  • distribute leadership across GTY participants;
  • center the voices and experiences of youth, families, and others closest to the work, especially those who are historically most marginalized;
  • support efforts that invite, engage and design solutions;
  • and co-produce knowledge in partnership with field leaders, researchers, youth, educators, families, and communities.

Our Working Definitions

Understand what we mean by “Thriving Youth” and “Structural Inequity and Racism”.

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