EPIP 2020 Conference Call for Sessions

This summer, from June 22-24, the EPIP community will come together in San Diego, CA for the 2020 EPIP conference. Our theme is Sankofa: Reclaiming Our History to Reimagine Our Future, and as with all of our conferences, we want to lift up the voices and work of our members, partners, and the broader sector throughout the conference. This call for sessions is open to all leaders, changemakers, and activists working in the social good sector. Whether you work in philanthropy, at a non-profit organization, or directly with communities, we invite you to submit a session proposal.

Learn more about our theme, tracks, and session formats below.

Conference Theme

The theme for our 2020 Conference is Sankofa: Reclaiming Our History to Reimagine Our Future. Sankofa is a West African concept that invites us to reach back to gather the best of what our past has taught us in order to reach our fullest potential as we move forward. For this conference, we are looking for sessions that align with our conference theme and re-orient us in ways of giving outside of 'traditional philanthropy', highlight transformative philanthropic practices, and elevate collective healing as a part of moving forward towards a more liberated and inclusive future.

Conference Tracks

Track 1: Decolonizing Stories seeks to elevate the forgotten histories of giving and philanthropy in communities of color. We wish to feature forgotten, reclaimed and/or never voiced narratives, and also create space and infrastructure to share and affirm narratives that explicitly generate meaning and POWER within philanthropic practice. Sessions will highlight individual and organizational strategies and practices to unlearn and accurately, inclusively, intentionally and explicitly center the experiences and leadership of the most marginalized people of color.  

Sample topics could include:

  • Emergent strategies to challenge ahistorical, dominant cultural narratives and values and advance accurate and complete stories of indigenous communities and people of color's contributions to building wealth and cultures of giving
  • Supporting and partnering with efforts to create, change and disseminate new and complex narratives with cultural institutions, publishing, arts and entertainment, news, digital, or social media, and other domains. 
  • Tools and resources to embed new ways of thinking about strategy and evaluative practice within grantmaking

Track 2: Disrupting the Status Quo challenges us to advance transformative work in the sector which is rooted in the knowledge and wisdom of communities of color. We cannot solve intractable problems that face us by using the same thinking and actions that created the problems themselves. To create lasting positive impact, our sector needs new ways of participating, planning and problem-solving. As our common humanity unites us in both our struggles and achievements, we must together envision a future for our sector which centers the dreams and needs of the communities we serve. Sessions in this track will highlight adaptive and transformational approaches to build philanthropic cultures, practices, partnerships, and initiatives that center the voices of the most impacted in the development of grantmaking and programmatic strategies. 

Sample topics could include:

  • Forward failing and successful efforts to address the entrenched power dynamics within funding relationships
  • Understanding and managing risk tolerance in the current climate
  • Utilizing design thinking and other creative strategies to develop a dynamic vision for the future of philanthropy
  • Building trust-based, philanthropic partnerships with historically marginalized communities 
  • Developing inclusive, anti-oppressive workplaces to encourage and nurture diverse leadership
  • Enacting change within an organization from a non-traditional position of power and authority

Track 3: Embracing Collective Approaches to Healing views healing as an integral part of individual and collective longevity and liberation. Healing experienced as resiliency and survival practices addresses the reality of generational trauma, the ongoing impacts of colonization, racism, sexism, homophobia, violence, and economic disenfranchisement by centering the collective safety and emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental, political and mental well-being of communities. Sessions in this track will highlight lessons learned from funders and partners who are both doing and funding the work of healing justice and share resources and tools to best examine and support the long-term care and sustainability of social justice movements and their leaders.  

Sample topics could include:

  • The role of healing justice and holistic security and strategies for self-care, wellness, resilience, allyship, power-building and survival
  • Navigating the shift to embed, embody, and support healing justice and trauma-informed philanthropic practices
  • Efforts to engage in truth and reconciliation, restorative justice, or other transformational processes
  • Building trusting, mutually respectful relationships within our institutions and with communities
  • Creating space at the table for others to show up whole and authentic

Track 4: Sankofa Conference Theme/Open Track provides space for sessions that best fit with the overall conference theme or do not fit neatly into one of the above tracks. The conference planning committee will place accepted submissions into sessions that best complement the session topic.

Session Formats

EPIP encourages session proposals that speak to and align with the 2020 Conference theme and tracks described on the previous page. Additionally, we encourage submissions that are creative and seek to engage participants beyond the traditional panel-style presentation model. To ensure greater interaction and dialogue within our workshops, we strongly encourage sessions that are dynamic in nature, with minimal use of PowerPoint presentations. Examples of creative presentation types include:

UnPanel / Fishbowl Dialogues
Duration: 60 minutes
Similar to a traditional panel, there are 4-6 speaker on a topic. Instead of facing an audience in a row with a moderator, however, the speakers sit in a circle with the audience in concentric circles around them. This witnessed conversation on a topic can be quite powerful, helping to bring clarity and shared experience to everyone attending.

Speed Geeking
Duration: 60 minutes
Presenters do a 5-7 minute presentation for a small group. After the allotted time, the group rotates on to the next speaker. This repeats for a full hour. This format is a great way to hear different perspectives on a given topic in quick succession.

World Café
Duration: 60 minutes
Tables are set like a small cafe with 4-6 people per table. A conversation is put forward with attendees spending 15 minutes at a table. At the time’s end, a host is chosen to stay behind and summarize the conversation to the next group that comes to sit at the table. The other people move on to different tables and another round of conversation happens. At the conclusion of three rounds, there can be a share out of conversations held.

Formal Presentation with Audience Participation
Duration: 60 minutes
If you have a big, well-developed idea you may want to prepare a formal presentation, and plan time during the session to involve the audience.

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