A Note from Shane
As we look back on 2020—a generation-defining year that changed all of our lives in a profound way—I want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible resilience and strength of the Liberty Hill community. Through a global pandemic that threatened both lives and livelihoods, and a national uprising for racial justice that challenged and ultimately changed hearts, minds, and laws—the fight for social justice has continued.
And you have been with us through it all.
This is the moment Liberty Hill was created to meet. Every step from our founding more than 40 years ago has prepared us to rise to the challenge of this time together—a community of activists, leaders, donors, visionaries, and fighters for justice all united in a common goal to advance social justice and equity. This past year, our partners stepped up like never before, transforming protest to power and making incredible progress and significant policy gains in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They pushed to get incarcerated youth released from lockup where COVID-19 was spreading unchecked. And thanks to their efforts, we are one step closer to ending youth incarceration as we know it due to the recent Board of Supervisors decision to move youth out of the probation system and create a Department of Youth Development that emphasizes emotional support, counseling, and treatment. Our partners also won eviction protections to prevent unscrupulous landlords from kicking tenants onto the street during a time of social distancing; and they continue to fight to protect Black, Brown, Native American, and Indigenous people from the effects of the toxic oil drilling that puts residents at higher risk of respiratory conditions during the pandemic.
I was so inspired to see our dedicated partners step into the gap in the face of COVID-19 and provide a lifeline of support to their members, assisting with essentials such as groceries and food, rental assistance, and technology setup and support.
Our donor activists also went the extra mile throughout 2020, contributing above and beyond their previous gifts to help power our Rapid Response Funds for Racial Justice and COVID-19. These emergency funds enabled our grantees to keep up the fight for progress and adapt their current outreach methods to the new reality of digital organizing, virtual events, and Zoom meetings.
This past year made an indelible mark on all of us.
And it truly took our entire Home for Progressive Philanthropy to keep the wheels of progress turning. Thanks to the incredible partnerships between our grantees, staff, board, government and foundation partners, and dedicated donor activists, we were able to hold the line in the fight for justice and gain ground during one of the most challenging times in our history.
The 2020 Impact Report details the progress we made in the face of a global pandemic and a national reckoning on racial justice. I hope you will be proud of what we were able to accomplish together and inspired by the fighting spirit that keeps the fires of justice burning through even the darkest of times.
Shane Murphy Goldsmith
Liberty Hill Foundation