How Supporting RG Increases Funding to Social Justice

How Supporting RG Increases Funding to Social Justice

Our big fall fundraising and membership goals are to raise $100,000 and get 150 new members by the end of the year.

As Resource Generation (RG), we organize young people(18-35) with class privilege and access to current, earned, or future wealth to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power.

Supporting RG through membership dues helps increase funding to social justice, especially the types of grassroots organizations unlikely to get funding from mainstream philanthropy because their mission is too radical, too visionary, and too challenging to the status quo. Our members give on average sixteen-times more money[1] to social justice than they did before joining RG. A lot of of our members increase their giving by a lot more than that, too.

Will you join our community of 500 other young people with wealth as an RG member or increase your membership dues today?

Through dynamic organizing, praxis groups, political education, chapter events, conferences, local campaigns, and being in community with each other, our work as an organization helps grow our membership of young people with wealth taking action toward the equitable distribution of wealth, land, and power. Since our founding in the … Continue reading »

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Why Rich People Sharing Their Class Stories Have to Address Redistribution

Why Rich People Sharing Their Class Stories Have to Address Redistribution

One of the most insidious consequences of the rampant wealth inequality generated by capitalism is the idea that the individual matters more than the collective. If you are rich, it’s because you worked hard and deserve it. If you are poor, it’s because you are lazy and deserve it. Either way, it’s up to the individual.

And even if we see through the myth of meritocracy and want to end a system that makes a few people richer and richer at the expense of everyone else, the ‘solutions’ that get the most traction usually center an individual’s actions. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos are all involved in philanthropy and media swarms all over them when they do anything remotely philanthropic, but all of them are also the richest people in the world who get richer every year.  

Our culture’s obsession with individualism is also reflected in think pieces about how badly some rich people (especially liberals and progressives) feel about being rich [see here, here, and here] and shaming people for being poor. Even pieces that are oriented toward potential solutions to wealth inequality tend to focus on and worship individual philanthropists’ decisions … Continue reading »

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Check out our member’s op-ed in the Des Moines Register!

Check out our member's op-ed in the Des Moines Register!

When I was 18, I worked at a restaurant in Valley Junction and attended Des Moines Area Community College. It was a nice period of time. I had a steady routine and the elements of my life felt balanced.

I was washing dishes at the restaurant one afternoon when a regular customer stopped in to eat lunch and vent his frustrations with the government.

He complained that lazy, undeserving college kids such as myself were squandering his tax dollars. I listened intently to his rant, curious about the rationale of a man who called me lazy while I was at work. His anger was palpable and I was shaken by his words. He made the types of disparaging remarks that are often aimed at the working class. When he berated others for their use of government assistance programs, my heart hurt as a trust fund baby, the real welfare queen.

I am grateful for my family and the access I experience, while simultaneously feeling the magnitude of societal dysfunction and widening inequality. As someone who receives portions of a real estate development fortune, I benefit from the kinds of government handouts that make such substantial private profit possible.

Meanwhile, I … Continue reading »

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Leading on Wealth Redistribution as Young People of Color with Wealth

Leading on Wealth Redistribution as Young People of Color with Wealth YAHYA ALAZRAK

The first year I went to Making Money Make Change (MMMC), my life was changed.

I see all too often across communities of color the ways trauma can lead us to use the tools of capitalism, classism, and white supremacy in an attempt to find a sense of security that we and perhaps many of our ancestors were lacking.

Yahya Alazrak, featured, at this spring’s March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice with Resource Generation members and staff.

I’m a light-skinned person of mixed Arab/North-African and White heritage and come from a mixed-class background having mostly been raised in a poor to middle-class home with my mom and having access to a wealthy father and family*. That looked like free and reduced lunch during the year, counting coins sometimes to keep the lights on, and then spending summers on jet-skis with a family with net wealth around ~$15 million. My dad has given me cash gifts ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, but I have negative net wealth because of student loans I took out when I stopped talking to my dad for a few years. That is to say, parsing out my story, like for so many people of … Continue reading »

Posted in: Blog, Young People of Color with Wealth

Why MMMC, Why Now, and What’s Next?

Why MMMC, Why Now, and What's Next?

Have you registered for Making Money Make Change (MMMC) yet?

This year MMMC is November 9-12th outside of NYC. Register here.

Last year’s MMMC happened right after the election. Less than a year later, it’s hard to comprehend how much has changed. Before the inauguration, there was a small surge in collective giving; grassroots organizers called it the “Trump Bump.” Social justice movements don’t need a short-term donation “bump” but instead need everyone’s sustained care, funding, and time. We need more young people of color with wealth and more white people with wealth working towards social, economic, and racial justice in this time and at all times.

Making Money Make Change is a chance to gather skills, knowledge, and community in order to resist what’s coming and what’s already here. We’ll do this in workshops and panels on classism, the racial wealth gap, and more including:

Funding our Collective Liberation presented with Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) How to Create a Social Justice Giving Plan in Turbulent Times presented with Northstar Fund Land-Based Reparations presented by Black Land and Liberation Initiative Centering Love in Investment: Returning the Heart to this Work with ReGenerative Finance

All of MMMC’s workshops are Continue reading »

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Our Money Will Not Liberate Us: What the NFL Protests Say About Wealth and White Supremacy

Our Money Will Not Liberate Us: What the NFL Protests Say About Wealth and White Supremacy

While following the news about the NFL protests over the weekend, I was struck by the complex interplay between racism and class privilege reflected in public commentary and criticism about the players. Organizing young people of color with wealth is a core part of Resource Generation’s work, and as we’ve connected with this part of our base we’ve learned about the nuances in how class privilege and wealth mitigates but does not block or end experiences of racism. This was echoed in a recent article, “When NFL players protest racism, some critics see only ‘millionaire athletes’ who should be silent,” where the writer notes that the pushback against Black athletes protesting racism and police brutality captures the tensions between wealth, race, and security. The author writes, “Many people have the false idea that money is a savior, capable of protecting those who have it from all of life’s uglier challenges.”

When it comes to Black professional athletes protesting police brutality, money does not protect them from the ugliness of racism — in fact being highly paid is something critics use in attacks against them. For example, conservative talk radio host Joe Walsh denounced the protesters as “ungrateful millionaire Continue reading »

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About that New York Times piece, “What the Rich Won’t Tell You…”

About that New York Times piece, "What the Rich Won't Tell You..."

In a piece published last week in the New York Times, “What the Rich Won’t Tell You,”[1] Rachel Sherman shares her research of how wealthy, mostly liberal, people hide some of the clues that they’re among the richest people in the country — self-hating benefactors of a deeply unjust and racist economic system. I grew up in a wealthy family; I have lived through countless situations where downplaying my wealth was positioned both as the polite and the moral thing to do. But unlike the families mentioned in Sherman’s piece, my discomfort with my wealth wasn’t tamed by ‘hiding tags’ or ‘bragging about shopping at Target.’ I found my way to Resource Generation, a nonprofit founded by young, wealthy, progressive women in partnership with poor and working class leaders to figure out how wealthy people can be transparent about their class and access to wealth in order to better support movements for economic and racial justice.

Hiding or staying silent about our wealth and class empowers a deeply unjust and racist economic system. The truth is, the compulsion to hide your class or wealth isn’t about politeness at all; it’s your gut telling you that your lifestyle (being able to … Continue reading »

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#DefendDACA — Resource Generation Stands with Immigrant Youth

#DefendDACA -- Resource Generation Stands with Immigrant Youth

We stand with the immigrant youth and families that are being targeted by the Trump administration’s announcement to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the next six months. No human being is illegal, period.

Today’s announcement is the most recent in a long list of violent, racist moves by the Trump administration targeting immigrants, refugees, Black people, and people of color — including the Muslim ban, covering for white nationalists in Charlottesville, pardoning Sheriff Arpaio from his ruthless and disgusting crimes, and rescinding the ban on military gear for local police.

In perpetuating white supremacy, xenophobia, and racism as an alleged means to create ‘safety’ or ‘economic security,’ the Trump administration is re-enacting tactics that have been deployed by the overwhelmingly white and wealthy ruling classes for generations. Hoarding wealth, exploiting poor and working-class communities, gutting corporate regulations, and forcing austerity on the 99% are the causes of economic insecurity, not immigrants. As young people with wealth who believe in another way — a future where wealth, land, and power are equitably shared — we need to show up today to be in solidarity with immigrant youth and #DefendDACA.

Show up. Today (Tuesday, September 5th) is a massive Continue reading »
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Outclassed: wealth, the myth of meritocracy, and affirmative action

Outclassed: wealth, the myth of meritocracy, and affirmative action

Universities have long been a political battleground representing some of the United States’ most deeply held beliefs about meritocracy, who belongs, and who is “deserving” of higher education. I’m an Asian American who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The political currents swirling around my alma mater land in a particular way for me as a young wealthy Asian American alumnus who cares about racial justice and whose family has benefited from affirmative action.  

UNC is a public university built by enslaved Black people in 1789 and was only open to white wealthy Christian men until 1887 (when white women were admitted) and didn’t admit its first Black students until 1951. UNC has been deeply shaped by white supremacy and segregation and the measures it has taken to repair some of the harm through affirmative action are currently being challenged. A lawsuit filed in 2014 alleges, “Sadly, Asians in particular are being discriminated against at UNC because lesser-qualified African-Americans, Hispanics — and even whites — are gaining admission at the expense of better-qualified Asians.”  (This is not true – in fall 2016 the first-year class of UNC was 14% Asian American when Asians represent about 3% … Continue reading »

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From Trust Fund to Funding Trust

From Trust Fund to Funding Trust

This past June, I made a gift of $80,000 to a social justice foundation in Boston called Haymarket. Simply put, I was able to give away $80,000 because I got it from my parents. The day after I graduated from college, they sat down with me in my half-packed bedroom and let me know that I was the owner of a trust fund worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was news to me, but it wasn’t exactly a shock; thanks to my parents’ careers in finance, I’d grown up squarely in the 1%, complete with fancy vacations, beautiful apartments, and four years at a boarding school where every freshman had their own horse. (Yes, that is a real thing.)

I stumbled across Resource Generation’s website a year later. (I found RG on the internet, of course — where else do millennials find things?) At the time, I’d done basically nothing with the money in my trust fund. Whenever I thought about it, I felt a wave of anxiety. I cared about building a more just and equal world and I knew that holding onto the money went against those values. But what if I gave it away and then … Continue reading »

Posted in: Blog, GIving