Allison Johnson Heist

Senior Program Officer, Learning and Leadership
Headwaters Foundation for Justice

Allison Johnson Heist is an organizer and facilitator working in social justice philanthropy. She serves as senior program officer at Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis, MN where she leads the Giving Project and supports grantees on the frontlines of movements for change. She’s trained, educated, and mobilized people across lines of difference to act for social justice locally and nationally. Allison serves on the board of directors of Resource Generation and is an alum of the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship through the MN Council on Foundations.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Organizing Rich People to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

We are living in a time of historic wealth inequality, and the wealth gap between white and black Americans has more than tripled in the last 50 years. Wealthy people of all racial backgrounds have benefited from the systemic exploitation and theft of land, labor, and lives and have a role to play in returning wealth to where it belongs.

This participatory workshop will connect wealth accumulation with systemic racism, and debunk the bootstrap and meritocracy myths about being rich. Participants will learn how their personal class and money story connects to the history of racialized capitalism, and action steps they can take to help close the racial gap. Resource Generation will share lessons learned from 20 years of organizing a multi-racial wealthy base towards racial and economic justice, and how to bring young wealthy people’s money, time, stories, and long-term commitment to movements.

Headwaters Foundation for Justice will share the nuts and bolts of the Giving Project, a multiracial and cross-class giving circle process that builds relationships and solidarity across class to raise money for movements. This session is open to people from all class backgrounds but is especially relevant to people in the top 10% of net wealth (see

Speakers: Iimay Ho, Allison Johnson Heist, Ekundayo Igeleke