Letter to the Community
Jacquelyn L. Lendsey
Chair, Board of Trustees
The Consumer Health Foundation implemented the second year of its strategic plan in 2015. As part of that plan, we shared our intention to reduce our overall spending. We made this decision in order to balance our intentionally high spend rate during the years following the 2008 recession (2009-2013), an uncertain and financially challenging times for our grantee partners. Now we are in a new time marked by social upheaval, and while we will continue to carefully steward the foundation’s resources, we will also take advantage of every opportunity to deepen our work on racial equity.
Since the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, there have been a number of police killings that have been covered by the media as well as concurrent protests in places like New York, Baltimore and Ferguson. In the wake of these killings, the #BlackLivesMatter movement was born and has been instrumental in influencing the national discourse about racism in America, including attention to racism by major presidential candidates, both liberal and conservative.
In our own backyard in Baltimore, Maryland the 2015 death of Freddie Gray sparked protests and led to new efforts to address racism and the long-standing poverty faced by the city’s African-American population. The protests were also the fuel that led the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) to develop a learning series for foundation CEOs and Trustees entitled Putting Racism on the Table. The six-session series occurred during the first half of 2016 and featured dynamic talks on structural racism, white privilege, implicit bias, mass incarceration, racism beyond “black and white” and philanthropy’s role in addressing racism. The philanthropic community is now poised to identify institutional practices and programs, including grantmaking, that can contribute to the elimination of racialized outcomes.
As many of you know, CHF has been committed to advancing racial equity since we were established in 1994. We have been using our annual meeting over the last decade to raise awareness of the impact of structural racism on health and social outcomes. Last year, Harvard University Professor Dr. David Williams spoke convincingly at both CHF’s annual meeting and the WRAG annual meeting about the “house that racism built” and the need to dismantle it by addressing segregation, bias and the ideology that whites are superior and people of color are inferior.
We believe that we are in an opportune moment to dismantle “the house that racism built.” The national dialogue about racism is well underway. The philanthropic community continues to get trained on grantmaking with a racial equity lens. In partnership with grantee partners Bread for the City, La Clinica del Pueblo, Safe Places for Advancement of Community and Equity, the DC Office of Human Rights, the DC Children, Youth and Investment Trust and Georgetown University, CHF co-hosted a roundtable with D.C.-based policymakers and agency leaders as well as foundations and nonprofit organizations in late 2015 about racial equity and the role of local governments. In addition, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and the District are all working in various ways on equity, and CHF has provided capacity building resources to train our grantee partners and other stakeholders on racial equity tools and strategies.
We have a shared responsibility to create a region in which everyone has an equal opportunity to live a healthy and dignified life. Differences in health and life expectancy between whites and people of color — which contribute to thousands of people being ill or dying in our region each year — can be avoided. Our communities can become places of opportunity through equitable public policies that enable people to get the health care they need, earn income, and generate wealth to support themselves, their families and their communities. We look forward to working across sectors in the coming months and years to achieve this vision.
STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION
as of December 31, 2015 and 2014
Cash & cash equivalents
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
Excise tax receivable
Total Current Assets
Furniture and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation of $189,514 and $188,760, respectively
Program related investments
Liabilities & Net Assets
Accounts payable and accrued expenses
Grants payable, current portion
Total Current Liabilities
Deferred rent and lease incentive
Total Net Assets
Total Liabilites & Net Assets
STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES
for the Years Ended December 31, 2015 and 2014
Unrestricted Net Assets
Revenues and Gains
Interest and dividend income
Total Revenues and Programs/Administrative
Management and General