PCN Gathering Recap

epip-iconOn November 5th and 6th, EPIP held its People of Color Network Gathering (formerly, the Professional Development Fund or PDF) at Harvard University. For those of you who don't already know, PCN offers participants access to professional development training and intergenerational learning opportunities, with the intent of diversifying and retaining people of color within the sector. The content of the PCN gathering itself is three-fold: 1) personal connections to social justice work; 2) understanding structural racism; and 3) bringing this work back home. EPIP’s Executive Director, Rahsaan Harris, acted as lead facilitator, with additional support from Hehershe Busuego of The Boston Foundation.

Nakisha Lewis of the Schott Foundation for Education moderated the Emerging Leader Salon with featured speakers: Javier Torres of The Boston Foundation and Karla Nicholson of the Haymarket People’s Fund. This evening networking and professional development event connected emerging leaders to more senior leaders in the field. Emerging Leader Salons have been a part of EPIP's work since our founding in 2001. They facilitate inter-generational learning and relationship building, highly valuable opportunities for both senior leaders and emerging practitioners. Our co-hosts for the evening program were New England Latinos in Philanthropy (NELIP) and New England Blacks in Philanthropy (NEBIP).

Also in conjunction with the PCN gathering, and together with the Proteus Fund and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University, EPIP co-hosted a workshop and session on "The Science of Wringing Out Racial Bias " that was free and open to the public. The workshop was presented by Johanna Wald of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute. It was immediately followed by a panel discussion between Denise Porche, Executive Director of the Island Foundation, Amber Bradley, Director of Assessment Tools at the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and EPIP’s own Rahsaan Harris to discuss the philanthropic implications of implicit bias, and was moderated by Andrew Grant-Thomas, Director of Programs at the Proteus Fund. More information, including a video of the presentation, is forthcoming.

We would like to thank our Leader Salon sponsors: Associated Grant Makers (AGM); Schott Foundation for EducationAsian Americans/ Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (Boston), and EPIP Boston. We would also like to recognize and thank the Proteus Fund and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice for putting together a fantastic workshop on implicit bias.

In preparation for and immediately after the gathering, Rahsaan shared a number of resources with participants to help them better understand structural racism, and the intersection of race and philanthropy. These resources, listed below, are being made available to all EPIP members in our efforts to provide you with the tools you need as change agents working to make an equitable world.

  • To begin, test your own racial biases at Project Implicit
  • Wages of Wins: Looking Again at Implicit Bias in the NBA
  • "The Constitution vs. International Rights: Philanthropy’s Wrong Turn”: William Schambra making an argument against "Taking Account of Race". His argument paraphrased: keep it simple... just stick to the American Constitution. That's good enough.
  • "Structural Racism and Community Building" by the Aspen Institute. Structural racism defined... "how race shapes political, economic, and cultural life in the United States, and offer insights for integrating a racial equity perspective into the work of community building and socioeconomic justice".
  • Foundation Diversity Policies & Practices Toolkit from The California Endowment: "Materials in this toolkit came from the following organizations: Akonadi Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Diversity in Philanthropy Project (D5), Donors Forum of Chicago, Foundation Center, Ford Foundation, Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, Hyams Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Minnesota Council on Foundations, New York Regional Association of Grantmakers, Northern California Grantmakers, Rockefeller Foundation, The California Endowment, The San Francisco Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. The toolkit is organized into five categories pertinent to philanthropy: (a) policy statement, (b) governance and workforce, (c) grantmaking, (d) contracting with vendors and consultants, and (e) investments."
  • The Race Matters Organizational Assessment - Advancing the Mission Toolkit from the Annie E. Casey Foundation: Assess if your organization has one of the following approaches: Color-blind approach | Diversity-only approach | Race-tentaive approach | Equity-focused approach.
  • Race Inequity Frameworks Toolkit by Funders for LGBTQ Issues: Grantmaking with a racial equity lens involves “analyzing data and information about race and ethnicity; understanding disparities—and learning why they exist; looking at problems and their root causes from a structural standpoint; and naming race explicitly when talking about problems and solutions.” GrantCraft and Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity.
  • Philanthropy in a Changing Society - a Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors report on workforce diversity in philanthropy.
  • Taking Account of Race - speech by Gara LaMarche. Foundations must take account of race in all of their work in order to get beyond racism, said Gara LaMarche, The Atlantic Philanthropies President and CEO, in this speech at the Waldemar Nielsen Issue Forums in Philanthropy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute in Washington.
  • Race and Philanthropy | Resources You Can Use - compiled by Rahsaan Harris, Phd.
  • Measure Yourself as a Leader - prepared by Rahsaan Harris, PhD.


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