I am filled with joy and immensely humbled to write to you today as the new Executive Director of EPIP. In the few days since my appointment was announced, I have been overwhelmed - in the best of ways - with your messages of support, excitement, partnership, and hope for the future. I share that same optimism and zeal for this next chapter in EPIP’s history, and I am excited for what lays ahead. EPIP’s beloved community has been a dear part of my growth in philanthropy. Like so many of you, I found my people at EPIP, and through EPIP was able to connect with colleagues who I still count among my friends.
But more than that, EPIP was the place where I was encouraged to boldly articulate a simple truth which I have always known - for philanthropy to truly live up to its meaning, a love of humanity, our sector must advance equity by working collaboratively to address the systems, institutions, and practices which oppress, silence, and further marginalize others, both within and outside of its own walls. I am proud to be the first woman of color and first Black woman to be EPIP’s Executive Director, and it is my hope that in the years to come we will create more firsts together as we work towards a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable sector.
We have some new and returning initiatives that we’ll be rolling out this year, including a revamped Philanthropology curriculum to orient new staff to the field with a social justice lens and our new Inclusive Leadership Framework, which lays the groundwork for developing more philanthropic practitioners who center equity in all facets of their work and interactions with others. You will hear more from me over the next several weeks regarding what’s in store for EPIP this year and beyond, but in the meantime, I look forward to seeing many of you at EPIP’s 2020 conference in San Diego (and I encourage you to contribute to the conversation we’ll have there by submitting your proposals to the call for sessions).
Nearly two decades ago, several passionate young professionals came together to create a space in the philanthropic sector where they could learn, grow, and lead together. In the years since, EPIP itself has grown into the strong and leaderful community of changemakers that it is today. It is an honor to continue that growth, building this great organization with the support of the Board, staff, chapter leaders, and all of you.
Let’s build a better sector – a better world – together.