Skip to content
Home Essays

Of and By

MacKenzie Scott  •  November 14, 2022

There is a poem by Gwen Nell Westerman that inspires me by shutting me up every time I read it. I had to close my laptop for a couple of days before writing this very short post.

Poem Bg Color

"Dakota Homecoming" first appeared in New Poets of Native Nations, published by Graywolf Press. Copyright © 2018 by Gwen Nell Westerman. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Over the last seven months, with the help of my team, I gave $1,990,800,000 to 343 organizations supporting the voices and opportunities of people from underserved communities. Of special note is that many of the organizations are funds. For anyone similarly interested in supporting the leadership of people from the communities they’re assisting, funds are a great resource. They pool donations and spread them across a diverse group of smaller organizations working toward a common cause. The funds we picked look for teams with lived experience in the issues they’re addressing, as we did when selecting the other non-profits in this giving cycle, and the 1,200+ recipients before them, many of which are also funds. You can learn more about any of them in the database we’ll be releasing soon, with information supplied by their own teams, and mission statements in their own words.

I recently learned a saying used in disability communities: “Nothing about us without us.” For me, it’s another beautiful and powerful reminder. I needn’t ask those I care about what to say to them, or what to do for them. I can share what I have with them to stand behind them as they speak and act for themselves.

See these gifts

See these gifts

Originally posted on Medium