RG Leadership Transition

Dear RG community,

It is with deep gratitude that we are announcing RG’s Executive Director, Jessie Spector, will be stepping down on January 31st 2017.

Over her eight years on staff, and four as ED, Jessie has been part of … Continue reading »

Reflections on the campaign to fund Black liberation


Reflections on the campaign to fund Black liberation

In the last year, the movement for Black liberation has grown at an exhilarating pace.  Even as the systemic violence against Black lives continues, this social movement has built tremendous transformative power nationwide.  In the late summer and fall of 2014, we in RG realized that our organization needed to find ways to support this movement.  As young people with class privilege committed to the redistribution of land, wealth, and power, the most direct way that we could do that was through leading a fundraising campaign to give the movement resources to continue and grow.  We are proud that in the last year, RG has evolved into an organization capable of moving millions of dollars to the movement for Black liberation.  After the one-year anniversary of the Ferguson Uprising, we – Resource Generation members Ollie and Jason – want to reflect on the achievements and the challenges of the past year and our commitments to Black liberation movements going forward.  Many of the insights below come from our fellow RGers.     (more…)

Leaving the nest: why we became an independent nonprofit

I saw all the announcements about RG becoming an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Why are we talking about this again?

Great question. I may be a little biased as an operations geek, but I think it’s helpful to pull the curtain … Continue reading »

Learning from each other: Racial Justice work in our Chapter Leadership

By: bex kolins

Since joining the leadership team of the It Starts Today! campaign to fund Black led organizing work, I’ve been inspired, excited, and energized by the incredible work RGers are doing in not just redistributing our wealth, but … Continue reading »

How Do We Learn to Give?: On Giving to the It Starts Today Campaign

By Willa Conway

It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep; they suppose it is they themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is their system of reality and what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself—that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom only by setting someone free.

– James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Fight for 15

Fight for $15 action in New Orleans, April 15th 2015

I’ve been thinking about this James Baldwin quote in relationship to philanthropy for the past two years and it has come up even more strongly through the It Starts Today Campaign and our task to raise $1 million for Black lead organizing. What does it mean for me to give? I have money that I was taught to give away philanthropically from an early age. Yet, I’ve never felt that Baldwin was calling me to simply write checks to organizations that I have a connection to or that move me. This is a type of giving, but I do not believe that this is the type of gift that requires the vulnerability that could lead to liberation, to connection, to freedom.


Part III: Taking risks

This post is a part III of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Visit our campaign webpage.

Written by Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen … Continue reading »

Part II: Reparations are real

This post is a part II of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.

Written by Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea

(Soundtrack for this post: “There’s Something Wrong With This Picture” by Galactic)

In the Resource Generation community we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015. For many of us, this is an act of reparations.

What are reparations?

Image from http://gawker.com/what-reparations-in-america-could-look-like-1633066247

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) explains that reparations require governments and corporations to apologize and provide material amends for the history of slavery and white supremacy. Beyond this, N’COBRA points out that “all white people have to some extent benefited from slavery and… White Supremacy” and individuals who understand how they have benefited “if acting in good faith, would [also] contribute to reparations funds for use in assisting in the reparations process¹.”

As white wealthy individuals, reparations means redistributing our excess personal money to under-resourced Black communities, as a way to acknowledge and attempt to repair the wealth, land, and knowledge that has been stolen from Black people overall, but that has benefitted us personally². The wealth accumulated in this country, through theft of Black labor, property and dignity, has primarily benefited white communities:

  • The white owning-class produced immense wealth through chattel slavery;

  • In the 1940s and 50s, Social Security and the G.I. Bill built white wealth through privileging white beneficiaries and excluding Black people and people of color³;

  • And, less than a decade ago, Wells Fargo, among other banks, targeted Black communities across the class spectrum for subprime mortgages, essentially writing Black foreclosures into their business-plan4.


Part I: The movement is running, and we’d better keep up

This post is a part I of a three part blog series and RG campaign, “It Starts Today: Moving $1 Million to Black-Led, Black Liberation Organizing.” Click here for more info on the campaign.

Written by: Lily Andrews, bex kolins, Jason Rodney, and Jen Willsea


Image taken from http://joyeuse.deviantart.com/art/Solidarity-of-Love-55201802


“We fight in the name of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killed by Detroit Police at the age of 7 years old, who never got to graduate from elementary school. We fight in the name of Mike Brown, who was killed by officer Darren Wilson, weeks before starting college. We fight in the name of Islan Nettles, a 21 year old Black trans woman who was pummeled to death outside a NYC police station in Harlem.”

– State of the Black Union, by BlackLivesMatter¹




In the midst of everything, this blog post is a call to let our attention rest on one fact: the struggle for Black lives continues to move. Are we moving with it?

In the Resource Generation community, we believe this moment is a tipping point for the Black liberation movement. As four young white folks with access to wealth, and the authors of this blog post, we believe that it is incumbent that we show up and make an investment in what promises to be a pivotal moment in our lives and in the movement for Black lives.

This is why we are going to move $1 million to Black-led organizing for Black liberation by May 20th, 2015.

Are you in? Make a commitment to give and be involved.


May 20th, 2015 would have been Mike Brown’s 19th birthday. Where were you on your 19th birthday? At college? Studying abroad? Had you already been told of the money you would inherit from your family, or had you already received your first financial gift?



Building the RG base

membershiprecruitmentLast year at the 2014 Transformative Leadership Institute, we tried a small experiment that I borrowed from my last job at KFTC.  It was called “Each One Reach One” and it was our first official trial of an organized member recruiting members program here at RG. TLI participants greeted the idea with a lot of enthusiasm and it was a fun and great way to gauge where some of our leaders were around building RG power collectively. By the end of the trial, five new members joined and an additional three more joined later on due to an initial ask from one of our leaders.

Why was this project important? Building a dues-paying base of members who fund their own organization is a measure of our power, investment, and commitment to this work. Our movement is built on what each of us can give in time and resources. It’s not a new strategy. As RG’s Program Director Sarah Abbott once said, it’s an age-old strategy cultivated and used by many other leaders before us who have laid the groundwork for this work to happen.  At RG, we are really blessed to have a robust and committed membership base and it’s made a lot of phenomenal work possible. However, we have some pretty ambitious goals and to reach them, we’ll need to grow.

Since the Each One Reach One campaign, the staff here at RG have worked to weave language around membership into all of our areas of work . We had some great member leaders reach out and recruit friends and family during the fall campaign and we are seeing our numbers exceed previous years. We exceeded our goal of recruiting 50 new members before the end of the year. Right now we have 332 members and we are on track to growing to 600 strong by 2020.

Two RGers that really dug into base-building and membership recruitment this fall were our Family Philanthropy organizer Iris Brilliant and Western Massachusetts chapter leader Adam Roberts. I caught up with them to ask a few question on their work.


Last Day to Register!

I’m writing to share with you about a movement-building delegation in the deep South. As someone who is helping to organize this delegation, I want to invite RG members to join us in Alabama the first week of March.

I’m a pretty new Resource Generation member, living in Birmingham, Alabama. I am helping the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice organize an exciting project: bringing progressive donors to the south to build cross-regional solidarity around funding racial justice grassroots movements.

bridge photo.jpg

As a volunteer on this delegation, I am excited to warmly and boldly invite the RG community to come out to Selma, AL this March for “Investing in Deep South Movements: Investing in the Nation!”

This delegation is a political education and relationship-building opportunity for folks seeking to learn and ground in recent Civil Rights History and current Southern struggles for justice.

This delegation is an opportunity to be a part of forming cross-regional alliances that will encourage us all to invest in Southern progressive organizing as we continue to build our movements locally and nationally.


Selfishly, I hope that RG members will join the delegation because I want your voices here in the South. I want to hear your perspectives and ideas about how we can support critical racial justice organizing in the deep South, and I know that the delegation will be shaped by your presence.

Moreover, I wholeheartedly encourage you to come on this delegation as a mobilization effort in moving $1 Million from the RG community to Black led, Black liberation organizing by May 2015, and in building our long term commitments to racial justice.

Please see all relevant information about the delegation here and below: