2015 National Conference




May 12-14, 2015. New Orleans, LA

Join us in celebrating our recent success, the 2015 EPIP National Conference! It was a transformative conference with the purpose of developing leaders who are better equipped to advance social change. For the first time ever, EPIP convened in the South to unite members and allies from across the country for honest conversations that address our most salient issues. Through the lens of social justice, we exposed conference participants to fresh ideas, provided stellar examples of emerging leaders, and created pathways to meaningful change. It was fun!

To learn more about the conference, take a look at this year's program booklet.

Relive all the highlights on our Eventifier page!

Download our conference report.

Watch the videos!




EPIP in NOLA: Emerging Voices / Empowering Communities

The theme for this year’s national conference highlights our ability as emerging leaders to be agents of change while positively impacting our communities. EPIP in NOLA will unite members and others in the field to address social disparities and discuss best practices all in an effort to advance social change. The conference afforded participants the opportunity to network with peers, add new skills and expand their knowledge base – all of which can be applied immediately to their work. Through the lens of social justice and racial equity, we exposed conference participants to fresh ideas, provide stellar examples of emerging leaders, and create pathways to leadership

Hotel Information

All conference activities (other than site visits) will take place at:

Le Méridien New Orleans
333 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Please call the hotel directly at (504) 525-9444 or connect via its online reservation website (or copy and paste the following link into a web browser: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/epipattendees) to make your room reservation. To guarantee this special group rate of $189 per night (plus applicable taxes), you must make your reservation no later than April 27, 2015. After that time, higher rates will apply and rooms may not be available. Please identify yourself as a EPIP Conference attendee.

General Conference Info

Registration is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel. It will be staffed the following hours: Tuesday, May 12, 8:00am – 7:00pm, Wednesday, May 13, 7:30am – 5:00pm and Thursday, May 14, 7:30am-4:00pm. You will receive your name badge, which is required for all meal functions, when you register. Please wear it at all times.

Food and Drink
Your conference registration fee includes: the opening night reception, Tuesday May 12; breakfast, lunch and the evening reception, Wednesday May 13; breakfast and lunch, Thursday May 14; and refreshment breaks throughout the conference.

Bus Departures
Buses for all Community Learning Tours will depart at 2:00pm from Poydras Street.

EPIP needs and appreciates your feedback. Please take a few minutes to complete your workshop evaluation forms. An overall conference evaluation will be emailed to you after the conference.

Business Center
There is a business center on the 1st Floor that is open 24 hours a day.

Smoking Policy
The hotel is a non-smoking property. 

Program Tracks

1. Place-Based Funding with an Eye on the South
What can we learn from “place-based” funding and apply to the South? What does it take to successfully fund social justice initiatives in local regions? What lessons have been learned from funders working regionally? What are the particular challenges that funders and nonprofits face in the South?

2. The Intersection of Social Justice and the Arts/Culture
How can support of the arts and culture have a sustainable impact on struggling communities? How can we ensure that local culture doesn’t get left behind in our efforts to pursue economic development? How can art and culture be employed to advance social justice?

3. You Say You Want a Revolution? Strategies for Collective Impact and Movement Building
What does it take to make significant societal change? What sparks a revolution? How are movements built?


We are grateful to the following sponsors for supporting the 2015 EPIP National Conference:


Get great exposure among EPIP’s conference attendees by becoming a sponsor! We welcome sponsorships at various tiers. Download this document to find out more.


The EPIP PIPEline Stahlership has been established to support emerging leaders in their practice, and to honor EPIP’s founder, Rusty Stahl. EPIP is committed to sending our members to the conference, especially those with limited professional development budgets. If you would like to apply for funds, please fill out this brief online application. For EPIP alums and partners who are interested in sponsoring a member to attend the conference, please contact [email protected] for further information.

Scholarship Application Deadline: March 30, 2015 at 11:59PM PDT


Registration at: https://www.greenmoonsolutions.com/epip2015/

Schedule in Brief


Tuesday, May 12

Time Activity
10am - 5:00pm Chapter Leader Gathering (CLG) – by invitation only
6pm - 7:30pm EPIP Conference Kickoff - Opening Evening Reception and Performance

Wednesday, May 13

Time Activity
8:30am - 10:30am Breakfast Plenary: Rebuilding Equitable Communities
10:45am - 12:15pm Concurrent Sessions
12:30pm - 2pm Lunch Plenary: Progressive Philanthropy in the South; Examining the Ecosystem for Social Justice
2:15pm - 3:45pm Concurrent Sessions
4pm - 5:30pm Concurrent Sessions
7pm - 9pm

Evening reception (offsite)


Thursday, May 14

Time Activity
9am - 12pm Breakfast Plenary: Signature Emerging Leader Salons
12:30pm - 2pm Lunch Plenary: Building a Movement Mindset; Leading from Where You Are
2:30pm - 5:30pm* Learning Tours (*note: this is an expected end time)
2:30pm - 4pm Concurrent Sessions
      Evening reception (Rolling Stone L.A.) Hosted and sponsored by Southern California Grantmakers, Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego 

 Please note that the schedule and programming is subject to change

Concurrent Sessions

More detailed descriptions, along with session times and location, can be found here

Learning Tours

Extend your EPIP conference experience beyond Le Méridien. Join one of three Learning Tours for an in-depth, hands-on exploration of the New Orleans community.

Tours will take place on Thursday, May 14th from 2pm - 5:30pm*. Spots will be first-come, first-served. Attendees are asked to check in for Learning Tours at the registration desk.

*Please note that the Arts and Culture tour will return to the hotel at 5pm. Both the Education and Community Resistance & Reclamation tours are expected to return to the hotel by 5:30pm, depending on traffic.


Arts & Culture

Overview: New Orleans is world-renowned for its vibrant and original culture, from the food to the music to the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. But what happens when that culture is threatened by natural disaster, gentrification and the need to monetize arts and culture for tourism? How do artists and culture-bearers survive and how is philanthropy supporting the evolving cultural economy?

This tour will bring together representatives from New Orleans vibrant arts and cultural community to discuss how art and culture has shaped the city and how the changing city is shaping the future of art and culture in New Orleans.

Location 1: Congo Square
Location 2: Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Restaurant and Gallery

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Shaka Zulu, Golden Feather Mardi Gras Indian Restaurant and Gallery
  • Stephanie McKee, Junebug Productions



Overview: New Orleans public education system has gone through drastic changes since Hurricane Katrina, resulting in the nation’s first all-charter district. While New Orleans has been touted by many as a model, others feel like the charter movement is under-minding public accountability and local control.

This tour will begin with a driving tour through the history of school desegregation in New Orleans, including a visit to the William Frantz School Campus now occupied by Akili Academy, made famous as the school desegregated by Ruby Bridges. The tour will continue with a “school choice” simulation and discussion lead by youth advocates from Kids ReThink New Orleans.

Location: William Frantz School Campus & ReThink Office

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Youth Members, Kids ReThink New Orleans
  • Aesha Rasheed, New Orleans Parent’s Guide


Community Resistance & Reclamation

Overview: What does it mean to be a young person in New Orleans post-Katrina? What does it mean to be young and Black, young and immigrant, and/or young and queer?

Lead by youth organizers of VAYLA New Orleans, EPIP members will be engaged in a teach-in on the issues young people of color and immigrant youth in New Orleans face post-Katrina and what they are doing to address it.

Location: VAYLA-NO

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Youth Members, VAYLA


Conference Leaders

Thanks to all who volunteered to serve on our committee!

  • Jayeesha Dutta, Gulf Restoration Network
  • Caitlin Fisher, Hunt Alternatives
  • Andrew Ford, Winthrop Rockefeller
  • Venessa Fuentes, Bush Foundation
  • Storme Gray, Council on Foundations
  • Patrick Hain, Annie E Casey Foundation
  • Ricardo G. Huerta Niño, Goldman Environmental Prize
  • Katja Kurz, Cultural Vistas
  • Lauren Hasey Maher, Intentional Philanthropy
  • Keahi Makaimoku, Hau’Oli Mau Loa Foundation
  • Vi Nguyen, San Diego Foundation
  • Stephanie Ramirez, Open Society Foundations
  • Christine Reeves Strigaro, Alliance for Justice
  • Sharon Rice, Generocity.org
  • Janet Sandoval, Avery Dennison Foundation
  • Daria Teutonico, Council on Foundations
  • Matthew Ubrig, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Coya White Hat-Artichoker, Bush Foundation
  • Sean Tennerson, The Case Foundation

Employer Approval Letter

Download our Employer Approval Letter template to help make your case for attending the 2015 EPIP National Conference.