Susan Sandler, a progressive donor who survived an aggressive type of brain cancer after being diagnosed four years ago, is giving $200 million through her foundation to groups supporting social justice.
Sandler wrote a piece for Medium about her effort, which was initially shared with The New York Times.
"I have come to believe that, rather than trying to use persuasive papers and reports to attempt to change the minds of those who are making decisions, the more effective way to transform societal priorities and public policies is to change the climate and environment in which decisions are made," Sandler wrote.
"Specifically, to make the faces of the people with whom policy makers have to interact reflect the full racial, cultural, and economic diversity of the population that is affected by those policies. When our government, corporate, and other societal institutions are responsive to — and, frankly, fearful of — the people who most bear the brunt of inequality and injustice, then better priorities, practices, and policies follow."
She pointed to societal problems and "systemic racism," which has garnered increased attention since the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Floyd died while in police custody, and nationwide protests for change have since followed.
"Guided by this theory of change, we have developed a philanthropic investment strategy that is rooted in our analysis that the power relationships established by centuries of systemic racism are the greatest obstacles to creating a just and equal society," Sandler wrote.
"Accordingly, we are focused on supporting organizations that are led by People of Color and working to increase the power and influence of historically-marginalized communities of color."
According to The Hill, Sandler has supported Democrats for office in the past, including President Barack Obama and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. Harris is Joe Biden's running mate in his White House bid.
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