1) Racial Equity: The entire grant review process must be built on racial equity. We should clearly identify and directly address how society’s power structures show up in the operation of the Proposal Review Panel, including how assumptions about race may figure into the decision-making process. Specifically, white people should not dominate or drive the conversation. Additionally, the evaluation of different programs should include a basic understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources and assets within each community.
2) Intergenerational Leadership: In the West we often greet each other by saying, “How are you doing?” The Maasai people of East Africa greet each other by asking, “How are the children?” This greeting represents the idea that the well-being of the children defines the well-being of the community. The purpose of the Fund is to help the whole city of Baltimore to embrace and live out the worldview embodied in this Maasai greeting. Specifically, the well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility. The Proposal Review Panel must include youth leaders along with adults. Having different generations work together will reflect how our entire community must work together to improve the quality of life for our young people.
3) Community Ownership: The purpose of the Fund is to provide the communities typically seen as merely recipients of services with equal, authentic decision-making power to disperse the Fund’s resources. This means that the members of the Proposal Review Panel should reflect the totality of our community. Specifically, the Proposal Review Panel must include a variety of people who are highly committed to the communities they serve.
4) Collective Decision-Making: “Gatekeeping,” when one person has too much power in a decision-making process, marginalizes the people and communities who are most hurt by structural racism. Gatekeepers can use their power to circumvent community accountability and limit access to power and resources. Therefore, the Proposal Review Panel must structure its decision-making process to be collective, not individual. Specifically, the Proposal Review Panel will work together truly as a group to make decisions.