Rest, Reflect, Ready to Go

I needed a break.

The eternity that is the year 2020 has brought many personal challenges. Fear and despair from the state-sanctioned murder of my brothers and sisters, and the harming of those who stand with us. The loss of my job, from a once thriving and evolving organization now headed towards the dust of history due to the pandemic. A miscarriage.

So, my partner and I left. In the Chihuahuan deserts of West Texas, I finally had a moment to breathe.

What happens when your CR-V has less clearance than you thought.

Because 2020 is a massive troll, the trip was not without its own challenges.

Despite those challenges, I was able to sit and reflect on what’s next for me, for my household. The answer is what it’s been for a while for me. To borrow a phrase from my education friends, I’m pushing for equity and excellence in the social sector.

That looks like a sector where orgs reflect and are accountable to the communities they live in. It means anchoring in frameworks like trust-based philanthropy and the groundwater approach to racial equity. It’s funders increasing their payouts and letting go of the power they hold over organizations. It’s all of us stepping up to push for the types of systemic change that would put many of our employers out of business.

Words are easy. The planning, energy, dedication required to make this your work is not so easy. I’m happy to see more people find this out over the last few months. I’ve spent my career as an agitator in this sector: inside large organizations that only knew the status quo, and publicly as a founder and as an advocate for those working in and affected by our work.

After months of turmoil, fear, doubt, I’m ready to dive back in.




I endorse ideas, not people. 10th Man. Advocate for practical, fact-based decision making.

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Marcus D Cunningham

Marcus D Cunningham

I endorse ideas, not people. 10th Man. Advocate for practical, fact-based decision making.

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