A Letter from Sheila Perrin, Co-Founder & President of The Perrin Family Foundation

As Chair of the Perrin Family Foundation, I am happy to share with you a copy of our new strategic frame-work. Following a history of supporting youth in more traditional direct service programs, we have gradually moved to a more targeted approach to supporting youth in addressing the social and racial inequities in their lives and communities. Our path has taken us from funding programs driven by adults to funding community change driven by youth. We recognize the value, the importance and power of leveraging our resources to amplify young people’s voice and leadership as they create change in societal structures.

We have funded youth-led social change for the past decade, and the social, political and historical events that have occurred during that time have made us reaffirm and deepen our commitment to social justice.The strategic shift we are now embarking on is also influenced by targeted evaluations of our work over the past ten years. Real data shows the value of youth organizing work and the need to help grow enduring and sustainable supports for a thriving youth organizing ecosystem in our state. We also have heard and responded to the call that we must be even more explicit about our commitment to racial justice and use our institutional platform to influence our peers in philanthropy to show up differently.

As our external strategy has shifted, so has our own governance. Our change journey has been enhanced and accelerated by the addition of new Board members and our community Strategy Council, who are now sitting at a table historically surrounded only by family members. This power-sharing journey has included deep reflection about the power we hold as a white family and hard analysis of the social and racial inequities we have lived with and benefited from throughout our lives. Our fellow community members have contributed to our tough conversations with grace and dignity. It has been challenging work which does not end with this document.

We hope you will read and learn from our strategic plan and join us on the path to “creating a society free from systemic oppression where Black and Brown youth can exercise their innate power and live fully, at ease in joy and liberation.”

Sheila Perrin

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