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Sam Cobbs

Elevating Others: A Message from Our CEO

PUBLISHED: Sep 13, 2020

In 2016, Tipping Point’s founder and then CEO Daniel Lurie wrote an Op-Ed in the San Francisco Business Times titled, The Conversation that Must Not Fade. Philando Castile and Alton Sterling had just been killed by police officers–people were outraged and wanted change. Daniel, a White man raised in a family of privilege, called out the inextricable link between race and poverty. It was a first for Tipping Point, an organization that up until then had been relatively silent on racial issues.

Four years later, I’m in Daniel’s seat, leading Tipping Point as a Black man born in the Mississippi Delta. I spent my young adult years living in East Oakland and working in West Oakland, where I quickly learned that police interactions could go horribly wrong. Here we are again after the horrendous murder of another Black man, George Floyd. I often get asked to provide my perspective when these crimes occur. But I have long believed it’s more important to create space for the voices closest to the work to be heard. In this case, to spotlight the perspective of activists and civic engagement organizations specifically dedicated to fighting for racial equity. This is how we’ll rise together.

Today, Tipping Point is doubling down on our belief in elevating others. We are pausing all fundraising and removing our donation page. This is a moment of transformation, a time to amplify, empower, and lift up organizations on the front lines of this movement. We are asking our donor community to give to the extraordinary organizations that are deeply embedded in this fight, including Ella Baker CenterEqual Justice Society, and PolicyLink. Over the next few days, we’ll be adding others to this list on our website.

Tipping Point exists to advance the most promising poverty-fighting solutions. Our north star is to break the cycle of poverty, which means we address the inextricable connection between race and poverty head-on, every day. But Tipping Point is not the activist organization on the front lines of the work that’s fueling the discourse around our country. Yes, fighting for racial equity is absolutely part of fighting poverty, but there are people and organizations that have made racial justice their north star. This is their moment, and we will be with them every step of the way by leveraging our platform to create greater momentum for change.

As Daniel said back in 2016, we cannot let this conversation fade away. I couldn’t agree more and so do millions of Americans in cities all across the country.

Let’s ensure that this moment drives the conversation–and more importantly action–as far as possible.

– Sam

A national non-profit that organizes with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make communities safe, healthy, and strong. 

A national legal organization that aims to broaden conceptions of discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias. EJS targets its advocacy efforts on school discipline, special education, the school-to-prison pipeline, race-conscious remedies, and inequities in the criminal justice system.

A national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity and advocates for groundbreaking policy changes that enable everyone, especially people of color, to be economically secure, live in healthy communities of opportunity, and benefit from a just society.

A grassroots civil rights project (part of Legal Services for Prisoners with Children) that fights for the rights of formerly-and-currently incarcerated people and families.

A global organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.

A national organization that addresses police brutality and reform at the local level, partnering with police departments and the community in the “co-production of public safety.

A national organization that works to strengthen the power of communities, and to ensure that public safety is defined and resourced through investments in education, health, jobs, and housing, rather than in the trillions currently spent on policing and jails.

A national organization that leads public awareness campaigns that build power for Black communities focused on injustice, corporate and political accountability, research on inequality and solutions for racial justice.

A national organization that works at the local level to reform specific policies and practices that cause racial and ethnic bias in the juvenile justice system.

A national non-profit that works collaboratively with local organizations in the region to advance new ideas and solutions in racial justice reform.

National civil rights organization for federal policy, dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma.

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