Lori Villarosa

Executive Director
Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)

Lori Villarosa is founder and executive director of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, the first organization whose mission explicitly focused on increasing grantmaking aimed at combatting structural racism. Prior to launching PRE in 2002, she was a program officer at the Mott Foundation, advancing more than $24 million in grants addressing institutional racism. She has worked with countless funders and activists, partnering to deepen strategic investments that are responsive and accountable to communities of color and POC-led. She also has served on the boards of several foundations.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Moving to Racial Justice Grantmaking — Outside/Inside Strategies to Shift Power

How do we ensure that the perspectives of communities of color and other other most impacted communities are shaping and driving the philanthropic change agenda, especially around racial justice?

This interactive session will engage participants to lift up both examples and messages of activists claiming power to transform philanthropy in advancing racial justice. It will share local and national level lessons from Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit, PRE's Guide to Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens, NCRP's Power Moves, and more, with focus on trends and questions of funders moving from racial equity to racial justice and building, wielding, sharing - and importantly - yielding power, and what that truly means in grantmaking.

The outside/inside emphasis will seek to honestly examine the relationships and roles of effective organizing from the community/grantseeker side to disrupt, reform or reclaim resource flow and decision-making; advocacy, organizing and training from intermediary roles to change frames and build skills; and organizing, bridge-building or leading from within institutions to transform policies and practices. How can we play our roles most with impact and accountability?

Speakers: Lori Villarosa, Caitlin Duffy, Lisa Leverette

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Increased Activist Philanthropy: What’s Working for Racial Justice Movement Building and What’s Challenging

As increasing numbers of former organizers and activists enter the ranks of organized philanthropy and more donors become #woke, there have been some exciting shifts in some of the approaches of funders eager to advance work on racial justice and other areas of social justice. While this has been encouraged and welcomed by many in the movement, managing the power dynamics, accountability and clarifying roles can remain a challenge - and perhaps even an added layer when the funders are not just friends or former partners - but clearly see themselves as activists still. What do folks dependent on funding resources want to lift up as practices to keep growing and encouraging? What are some practices or blind spots that may need illumination? Join this discussion from whichever seat you're in and be prepared to engage in a highly interactive discussion of strategy, role and collaboration for greatest collective work. We will hear from organizers that have been part of exciting progressive partnerships with activist funders sharing what and why they have worked. But the session will also provide space for honest reflection about what might be challenging recognizing the power imbalance doesn't go away just because the funder is cool without a range of clear mechanisms in place.

Speakers: Lori Villarosa, María Poblet, Ingrid Benedic

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Moving Foundations Toward Racial Justice Grantmaking

Join us to discuss  case studies conducted by PRE on California Endowment, Woods Fund of Chicago and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation - each of which has been on a trajectory to move toward greater grantmaking aimed at combatting structural racism to achieve racial justice. The foundations operate at different levels (local, statewide and national) and are at different stages of their evolution. This session will share stories from various vantage points of trustees, staff and grantees - and importantly, will lift up lessons and opportunities where activists were able to engage and influence the institutional change processes to move funding toward racial justice.

Speakers: Lori Villarosa, David L. Neal, Caronina Grimble, Sandra Witt

Presentations from Facing Race 2012

Organizing Racial Justice Philanthropy

Four intermediaries working to move funders will share current tools and efforts to strengthen racial justice grantmaking. This interactive session will also engage nonprofits in strategizing about their role in organizing racial justice philanthropy. How can the racial justice field and other social justice activists push or support change, and how can we all be more strategic about the levers of power in an arena that has far more privilege than accountability?

Speakers: Dennis Quirin, Lisa Ranghelli, Lori Villarosa