I don't want to get into too many specifics in order to retain anonymity, but basically I have become increasingly frustrated and frankly angry about some things playing out at my organization and would like to do something besides just being angry about it:
-My program pulls in hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant funding, because the larger organization's development team "can't" do it/raise funds for our program as well as the rest of the organization, even though we're a program within the organization?!?
-My program employs black and brown folks from marginalized communities and uses this/their presence on staff when it benefits (eg. to show how "inclusive" we are and how we're working on racial justice but then doesn't do any lifting to help pay their salaries, and an extremely unfair work burden falls on my program/Black & brown staff as they are at the frontlines in terms of direct services and/or no one else in the larger org steps up/we don't hire to fill these significant gaps
-Going off of the above point, we have had significant staff turn over in the last few years and only 2 of the positions have been replaced. We have not replaced communications or business manager positions, and so it is women and women of color at my organization who are now having to do an insane amount of budgeting/payroll/communications tasks (not part of their job descriptions)
-My program has received implicit and explicit threats of a desire to shut us down (even though we are extremely successful by several metrics) and complaints because we have brought in so much grant money which has created accounting issues because the larger org did not implement necessary infrastructure or raise funds to hire someone to help deal with it
-And, we have been forced to siphon off grants secured for my program to the larger org when larger org needed to pay other staff and have had to "reserve accounting funds" but now, actual program staff are at risk of not getting paid in a few months because larger org dipped into our program's reserves
I'm nearing my tenure at this organization as I will almost certainly be moving out of the community next summer. But I love my coworkers, I am extremely proud of the program I work with, and it makes me so angry to see how the larger organization is blatantly taking advantage of my non-white coworkers to fill gaps that aren't their responsibility. I am concerned for the mental health and wellbeing of my coworkers.
Any tips on how I might bring this up to higher-level folks (such as our board and executive director) in a productive way? I've thought about drafting a letter, because 1-on1 convos with our ED seem to be slippery at best.
I know the org is trying its best but I do not think it's ok that the biggest casualties are folks who are from exploited and marginalized communities, who are doing all of our direct service work. I don't see how we can preach social justice when we allow these kinds of insidious internal dynamics to take root.
Thanks for any insight you might have!
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