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

Amber Trout

Community Science
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Amber has expertise in organizational and leadership development, change management, and capacity building of nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors, emphasizing awareness of context as a crucial component to advance equity and inclusivity in organizations and in the communities they serve. Her experience with racial equity includes the evaluations of a collaborative of nine national racial equity organizations enhancing civic engagement and cross-racial messaging, leadership development programs with equity at the core, and the development of an organizational learning agenda for a nonprofit intermediary. Amber served as the director of the Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative at NeighborWorks America.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

It’s Time for Action: a Non-profit Funder Membership Organization Leads a State-wide Strategy to Shift Philanthropy at Scale

There have been numerous calls to action for philanthropy to center equity, and shift power to the community—yet many of these institutions are slow to act to advance their racial equity work beyond public statements. This session will share how Philanthropy Massachusetts, a nonprofit funder-membership organization developed a multi-prong approach to gain insights from a representative body of funders through a working group, staff, and a state-wide survey into the behavioral and organizational barriers funders might be facing in moving from thinking to action. We will discuss how these insights have used these findings to co-create racial equity strategies with their network membership to cultivate mass action at the state level to change systems and shift power to the communities they serve. Philanthropy Massachusetts will draw on its long history of working on race, diversity, equity, and inclusive over the years; participating in the D5 Coalition, a national coalition of funders and PSOs advancing REDI in the field; creating Diversity fellowships for midcareer professionals who transitioned into philanthropy; and convening the Grantmakers of Color network. The panel will also discuss the benefits of co-creating strategies in partnership with funders at different stages of their racial equity efforts, what communication messages were most helpful, and how peer-led action can lead to increase impact for communities that are historically and currently unfunded or under-funded and excluded. Together, the panel will communicate a new vision for a philanthropic state-level approach.

Speakers: Amber Trout, Alex McCray, Jessica Berns

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

So you have a vision for equity, now what?

Organizations are being called, more than ever, to respond to the elevated tensions and increased awareness of structural racism. In this session, we will discuss the role of an organizational learning agenda to build capacity and strengthen partnerships to have greater success in implementing your organization’s equity strategy. Often the reality hits that implementing an equity strategy means real change not just for the organization and leadership, but how people interact with each other day-to-day, moment-by-moment. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to build bridges across differences and still be able to name the root causes of inequities. An organizational learning agenda can provide the opportunity to create a more comprehensive learning and evaluation system to measure, maintain, and strengthen organizational diversity, equity, and inclusive strategy effectiveness. We will share our approach to using an organizational learning agenda to foster a strong culture around continuous improvement as a process to authentically address the root causes of inequities while building bridges across difference and accelerating progress. In this interactive session, we invite you to apply the process to your work.

Speakers: Amber Trout, Kien Lee, Yolanda Coentro