Leading Together 2021 - Advancing Equity Sessions

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These sessions featured diverse voices on issues such as inclusive economic prosperity, racial injustice, income equality, and values aligned philanthropy.

Numbers Don’t Lie: A Data-Guided Approach to Addressing Racial Inequities in Philanthropic Practice

Tuesday, June 15 | 1:10-2:00 p.m. ET

Philanthropic giving to communities of color remains low. In 2016, The Pittsburgh Foundation began a journey toward more just grantmaking, leading with data to achieve greater equity. This session will provide an overview of an approach that led to sustained increases in monetary and non-monetary support of Black and Brown led and serving organizations, a shift to relational engagement, deep staff learning and a foundation for a meaningful response to 2020's racial reckoning.

The Path Forward: Prioritizing Racial Equity in Unexpected Places

Tuesday, June 15 | 1:10-2:00 p.m. ET

Let’s be honest: when you think of regions in the U.S. where you expect funders to commit long-term effort to centering racial equity in their work, Appalachia does not come to mind. But the Appalachia Funders Network is doing just that — committing 10% of its annual budget to anti-racism development and supporting members in deep and dedicated DEI professional development planning. Join us for a participatory session to learn how this work is being carried out. And as a gift, you'll leave with some tips and tools to further focus your own DEI growth.

Designing With, Not For: The Journey to Develop a Community-Forward Program

Wednesday, June 16 | 1:20-2:10 p.m. ET

How can funders plan for the future in the midst of uncertainty? The 11 funders of The BUILD Health Challenge® share their process undertaken with communities to rethink, redesign, and reconsider efforts to advance health equity. Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the co-development process with communities was just as important as the outcomes in pursuit of a community-forward and racial equity-centered program, and how funders turned insights into action.

The Power of Relationships to Build Equity and Change Systems

Wednesday, June 16 | 1:20-2:10 p.m. ET

In response to severe racial disparities in COVID-19 impacts, Maine’s philanthropic sector has used its social capital to help facilitate access to emergency resources from the public sector for grassroots, immigrant-led organizations. Three Maine funders will explore philanthropy’s role in building relationships between public-sector agencies and grassroots organizations as a strategy for deepening equity. Participants will share approaches and resources they are using to transform complex systems and increase equity in their communities.

Digital Dependencies, Discrimination, and Democracy: What are Philanthropy’s Roles?

Wednesday, June 16 | 2:20-3:10 p.m. ET

Every aspect of public life depends on digital systems. Awareness and adaptation to the potential harms of digital systems is critical to pursuing positive change. Black women are leading the way in scholarship and advocacy regarding the intersections of digital systems, racism and discrimination - in every domain of action from community advocacy to education and healthcare. We’ll work from community-based data justice efforts, scholarship on digital identity, and advocacy around artificial intelligence to demonstrate ways that foundations can “upgrade” their strategies to fit our digital reality.

Equity Everywhere for Everyone: A Place-Based Model for Community Change

Thursday, June 17 | 12:50-1:40 p.m. ET

The status quo of current policies, processes, and institutions that perpetuate inequities in the American South must change. The solution is to transform perceptions, beliefs and behaviors so that a community-driven value of racial equity is common place. To do so requires a movement, a set of coordinated interlocking community institutions working in unison to create normative change. Fifteen organizations in Spartanburg County, South Carolina came together to form the Spartanburg Racial Equity Collaborative and produced the Spartanburg Racial Equity Index and the Spartanburg Racial Equity Collaborative Strategic Plan. The American South needs transformative change, and this model will be scaled throughout the American South so that community-driven solutions will transform racial equity into a regional value experienced by everyone, everywhere, every day.

In this session, we will share how a small city of 300,000 is advancing racial equity through systems change and racial healing. Our logic model includes four goals: 1.) spreading the word to increase awareness; 2.) mobilizing citizens for individual and collective action; 3.) providing opportunities and resources for individual and organizational change and; 4.) institutionalizing change.

Values-Aligned Philanthropy: Saying No to Hate

Thursday, June 17 | 12:50-1:40 p.m. ET

This interactive panel discussion will discuss the ways in which foundations have encountered and confronted the issue of hate funding. Roey Thorpe, a social justice strategist, will discuss the research she’s conducted for the Council on Foundations on values aligned philanthropy that included interviews with staff from more than 25 foundations, philanthropy serving organizations, and philanthropy advocates. A moderated panel discussion between Roey and community foundation leaders will follow, including a Q&A session with the audience. 

Centering Black Community Voices in Pandemic Response – Regional and National Approaches

Thursday, June 17 | 1:50-2:40 p.m. ET

Join a conversation about how two community foundations stepped up to respond to the Pandemic. Early in the Pandemic, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint convened the Greater Flint Coronavirus Taskforce on Racial Inequities building on the lessons of the Flint water crisis. The East Bay Community Foundation stepped up as the philanthropic partner and convener for the COVID-19 African American Education and Outreach Partnership, a national demonstration project. The foundations’ CEOs will kick off this learning exchange and be joined by public health experts, faith and civic leaders from the South, Oakland, CA and Flint, MI. The discussion will amplify racially equitable philanthropic practices that address structural and institutional change.

Creating a Racial Equity Community Narrative with Strategic Plan Alignment: "A Milwaukee For All" Case Study

Thursday, June 17 | 1:50-2:40 p.m. ET

Are you preparing to launch your new strategic plan or give lift to advancing your leadership position within the community? Does your organization want to develop a bolder voice around its commitment to racial equity and inclusion? Achieving your organizational goals takes buy-in, inspired donors, and cross-sector community partnerships. But how do you build a genuine shared community vision that can support your strategic priorities, such as reimagining philanthropy and systems change? This session shares a case study of what it took to build a strategic vision for "A Milwaukee for All" and will engage attendees via examples of how the Greater Milwaukee Foundation repositioned itself to be a transformational community change leader. The Foundation has successfully engaged its donors and community partners to work together for racial justice and meaningful change. This platform also helped the Foundation raise visibility for its Comprehensive Development Campaign. Attendees will: gain the knowledge and confidence needed to develop a bold racial equity and inclusion narrative; learn the value and process for crosssector, diverse stakeholder inclusion, including young leaders of color; and receive a "how-to" guide for external launch success.


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