The Wilson Foundation will Work Harder for Racial Equity

Like so many in our community and nationwide, we, at the Wilson Foundation, were sickened to learn of the tragic and unnecessary death of Daniel Prude at the hands of Rochester police officers. We were outraged but not surprised because our country’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is separated by a chasm based on race. We continue to work for the community to which we aspire: one that recognizes the need for transformative change to the systems that failed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, and countless, faceless others so that they recognize the dignity of every human being.

The public commitments we made to racial equity just three months ago, which we reaffirm mightily, have led us to take some significant actions to date. Specifically, we have

• undertaken an internal program of equity-focused training and leadership development;
• started an Internship program to bring a Rochester-based activist into our institution to help us deepen our inroads with
social justice activities while providing valuable professional experience to and mentoring of the Intern (recruitment in
• allocated resources to develop a table of youth funders in the city;
• set up our next grant round with equity considerations in focus; and
• launched a new investment portfolio screening process to identify and potentially eliminate holdings that raise significant
social and governance concerns, especially the equitable and fair treatment of workers.

The events in Rochester hit us hard. We recognize we need to do more. So we resolve to work harder, using our financial, human, and relational capital in aid of our mission area and to see racial equity finally established in Rochester systems, to the benefit of all. We continue to call on our peers to work together to do the same.

Jessa McIntosh, Board Co-Chair
R. Scott Wilson, Board Co-Chair

Wilson Foundation Board of Managers
September 2020

Who we Are

The vision of the Wilson Foundation is to act as a catalyst for change

Our mission is to work toward the single goal of reducing the impact of trauma and housing instability
on the youth and families of the Rochester area.

Work with us

Let’s work together to reduce the impact of trauma and housing instability on youth and families in our community. We welcome applications that fall into any of our areas of strategic focus: Capacity Building, Collaboration, Prevention, or Advocacy. Together we can be a catalyst for change.

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The SHIFT study examined long-term outcomes of families in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany residing in three types of housing programs: emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. It identifies trauma as pervasive among homeless mothers and is a predictor of unemployment, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and long-term residential instability. Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States, approaching 40% of the total homeless population. View the Full Study from The National Center on Family Homelessness.