Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

What if Philanthropy Were Community-Centered?

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Saturday, 11/19
10:45 am to 12:15 pm

While we are all members of “the community,” what does it mean to share power with members of our community who live at the sharpest intersection of systems of oppression, namely race, class, and gender identity? How do we anchor everything we do in the belief that those most marginalized—Black people and people of the global majority who have recently lived with issues such as housing instability and homelessness; low wage work and wage theft; and unemployment and underemployment—should have decision-making power over the resources that are distributed in our communities? This means that private foundations, even the most progressive among us, should have trustees with recent lived expertise on the board, and community members should participate and lead at all levels of the foundation, including grantmaking, communications, strategic partnerships and mission-consistent investing.

In this session, we will share the story of if’s multi-year, ongoing community-centered transformation, invite participants to examine it under a microscope and in a crystal ball, and explore what is made possible if institutions and the broader philanthropic sector truly centered community. By the end of this session, participants will have: 1) a reconsidered definition of community, 2) deeper knowledge and understanding about the challenges and opportunities that can come with centering community in philanthropy, and 3) ideas, connections, questions, actions, and resources that can support their efforts to make philanthropy community-centered.