We as a sector must speak up for Palestine

[Image Description: A protestor at a protest holding up a sign that says “Not war, it’s colonialism. Not eviction, it’s ethnic cleansing. Not conflict, it’s occupation. Not complicated, it’s genocide.” Image by Nikolas Gannon on Unsplash]

Hi everyone. This is my fourth blog post on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza. Before I go further, yes I condemn Hamas’s atrocities committed on October 7th against Israeli civilians. And I also condemn antisemitism, a serious issue that has been on the rise all over the world.

And I condemn the war crimes and terrorism against Palestinian civilians that Israel has been committing since then, and for the past 75 years. As you read this, the number of Palestinian civilians that the Israeli government has massacred approaches 16,000 since October, including nearly 8,000 children. The death toll of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinian civilians this year has surpassed the Nakba of 1948. It will get worse, as Israel ramps up its aggression against southern Gaza, where it had previously told civilians to evacuate to. There is no place for Palestinian civilians to go to be safe. And as winter approaches, there will be more famine and starvation. The death toll will rise even higher.

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Asymmetric Expectation of Gratitude: What it is, and why it’s harmful to our work

[Image description: A heart-shaped green leaf standing upright out of a knot made of rope. Image by Kranich17 on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, before we get started, a few cool things to check out: First, my friend the amazing Kishshana Palmer, has a virtual workshop series geared towards nonprofit leaders. It starts next week. Check it out.

Second, the Institute for Policy Studies released a new report on the shenanigans of billionaires. Please read it, get angry, flip over the nearest table, and then contact Congress to demand they do something about it.  

Finally, past and present funding professionals, please fill out the First Draft Funders Survey with your opinions on philanthropy and how it can improve.


As Thanksgiving is this week, I start to think about our society’s and our sector’s weird dynamics around gratitude. We’ve been trained to be thankful, to have an “attitude of gratitude,” to keep a gratitude journal, etc. This is mostly great. When everything feels overwhelming and out of control, gratitude can often be extremely grounding.

However, we don’t talk enough about the negative sides of gratitude. Specifically, there are ingrained notions of who is expected to be grateful to whom, and it is grossly lopsided, and we’ve been conditioned to just accept it. I’m going to call it the Asymmetric Requirement of Gratitude (ARG! I mentioned it briefly earlier here). Here are a few ways that it manifests:

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10 DEI lessons we seem to have forgotten and need to remind ourselves of as we talk about Israel and Palestine

[Three young children amidst rubble from a building. In the foreground is a child standing near a red blanket, one finger in their mouth, starting pensively to our right. Behind them are two smaller children resting in the shade. Image by badwanart0 on pixabay]

Hi everyone. Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting messages regarding my two posts on Israel and Gaza. Most of them have been kind and encouraging. Some have been thoughtful in their disagreement. And some have not been so thoughtful, such as the colleague who called me a Nazi because I support a ceasefire and an end to the genocide and ethnic cleansing that Israel is committing against Palestinians in Gaza.

I have lost many followers and some work because of my stance, but it doesn’t matter. What I and others calling for a ceasefire have been experiencing cannot compare to the profound pain and suffering Palestinians are experiencing right now and have been over 75 years of Israeli occupation.

I also want to acknowledge that many of us are affected by trauma, including intergenerational traumas from horrific injustices in history. What our parents and grandparents endured lingers in our souls. Everyone is understandably on edge, and the horrific atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians on October 7th and the horrific atrocities being committed by Israel against Palestinians in retaliation deeply affect us.

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Actions you can take in light of the unfolding genocide in Gaza

[A small child, about 7 to 10 years old, holding some blankets, amidst rubble. Image by hosnysalah on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. As you can guess from the title, this blog post will be serious and likely anger some people.

Over the past few days, as lifesaving food, water, energy, and internet are cut off for people in Gaza, the Israeli government has already massacred over 8,000 people, half of them children. Israel has trapped thousands under rubble with its bombs, plans to kill more civilians, and is displacing a million Palestinians from one end of an open-air prison to another.

We must call it for what it is: ethnic cleansing and genocide, committed by the Israeli government against Palestinians in Gaza.

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Our sector’s role in calling for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine

[Image descriptions: Two lit candles, one in the foreground and one in the background, against a dark backdrop. Image by Ri_Ya on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. This blog post will upset some of my colleagues and likely lose me a few followers, and possibly even some friends. I understand. But having a platform comes with the responsibility of using it to speak up against injustice.

I know the past several days have weighed heavily on everyone’s mind as we learned of the horrifying atrocities committed by Hamas. The already high level of antisemitism has increased over the years, culminating in last week’s violence and brutality against Israeli civilians, including children and the elderly. The horror is too much for many of us to fully comprehend. There are still hostages being held and people still suffering. As a society and as a sector we must condemn the terror and cruelty committed by Hamas.

And as vocally we must condemn the Israeli government’s response, which has been to launch a second Nakba, a horrific level of death and destruction, on Palestine and its people. 2.3 million Palestinians live in Gaza. Half of them are children. Cutting off food, water, and energy, and ordering civilians to evacuate Northern Gaza while raining death on families fleeing for their lives and vowing to do more—this is genocide; this is ethnic cleansing. We must be firm in condemning these war crimes, especially as the US government is openly supporting the Israeli government and its violence and inhumanity against Palestinian civilians, including children, who are not Hamas.

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