#PhilanthropySoWhite: Challenging Structural Racism as White Leaders in Philanthropy

Grassroots Education Series
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#PhilanthropySoWhite: Challenging Structural Racism as White Leaders in Philanthropy

A Decolonizing Wealth event sponsored by the Schott Foundation
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
2:00 - 3:00pm ET

For over two decades the Schott Foundation has been a bridge, connecting philanthropy with community to resource broad based community-led movements for education equity. Part of building and reinforcing that bridge includes challenging structural racism in philanthropy and uplifting solutions rooted in equity through critical and thoughtful dialogue and trust in the power of community voices and community organizing for sustained change. In his new book, Decolonizing Wealth, Schott Vice President Edgar Villanueva writes:

Ultimately, the call to philanthropy is clear: it must fundamentally change its ivory tower culture, what it accepts as acceptable behavior, how it defines success and leadership, in order to really walk its talk: to embody the love of humanity. Up until now, diversity and inclusion tactics have been about getting different kinds of people in the door, and then asking them to assimilate to the dominant white culture. The issue is not recruitment of diverse humans—the “pipeline” focus of the past, getting people in the door, laying a seat at the table, as is often said—the issue is creating a culture of respect, curiosity, acceptance and love. It’s about building a whole new table.

Join us as we explore the unique journeys of three white philanthropic leaders striving toward race, gender and economic equity. Learn about when they first got “woke,” what they consider their role in philanthropy to be, how they have dealt with mistakes and criticism along the way, where they go for resources and support in their journey, how they hold themselves accountable to communities of color, and much more!

In addition, Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director of Groundswell Fund and Schott Vice President Edgar Villanueva will begin the webinar by sharing calls to action for white leaders and will serve as respondants to the conversation. For our many colleagues in philanthropy, this is opportunity to listen and understand how we as a sector contribute to racial inequities and our ability to change that.

Our speakers will include:

Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director, Groundswell Fund
Nick Donohue, President, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation
Greg Jobin-Leeds, Founder and First President, Schott Foundation for Public Education and author of When We Fight, We Win!
Pamela Shifman, Executive Director, Novo Foundation
Edgar Villanueva, Vice President of Programs and Advocacy, the Schott Foundation for Public Education and author of Decolonizing Wealth

Come with questions, insights, and calls to action!
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #GrassrootsEd.

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About the Speakers

Vanessa Daniel

Vanessa DanielVanessa Daniel is the founder and Executive Director of Groundswell Fund, the largest funder of the U.S. reproductive justice movement and of Groundswell Action Fund, the largest fund in the country centering giving to women of color-led 501c4 organizations. Under her leadership, Groundswell has moved nearly $40 million to the field, with a focus on grassroots organizing led by women of color, low income women and transgender people, and ninety percent of its total giving going to work led by women of color. Vanessa’s roots in labor and community organizing inspired a unique funding model at Groundswell: a program staff team of women of color who come directly out of grassroots organizing and who support grantees through grantmaking, capacity building, and funder organizing to raise the visibility of grantee work in the broader funder/donor community. Groundswell’s work includes the only fund in the country dedicated to supporting access to midwifery and doula care for women of color, low income women and transgender people, and a robust women of color-led Integrated Voter Engagement training program. In 2017, Groundswell received the National Committee of Responsible Philanthropy’s “Impact Award” for smashing issue silos and Vanessa was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of 15 “Influencers” who are changing the non-profit world. She is also the recipient of a 2012 Gerbode Foundation Fellowship, and the 2017 National Network for Abortion Funds’ Abortion Action Vanguard Award.

Nick DonohueNick Donohue

As President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Nick Donohue is leading efforts to reshape New England’s public education systems to be more equitable and more effective, supporting strong futures for our region’s communities.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Nick served as the New Hampshire State Commissioner of Education where he shepherded in systemic reform efforts to innovate teaching and learning. He also served as Special Master at Hope High School in Providence, where he oversaw implementation of the Rhode Island Commissioner of Education’s Order to reconstitute the school.

As a sought after thought leader in education transformation, Nick has worked throughout his career to expand access to high quality, innovative learning opportunities for New England students. His leadership in education reform continues to challenge traditional notions of schooling to respond to our changing world and the systemic inequities inherent in our systems of education, with the goal of preparing learners to contribute to a thriving democracy.

Greg Jobin-LeedsGreg Jobin-Leeds

Greg Jobin-Leeds is author of When We Fight, We Win! (New Press, January 2016). The book weaves together art, stories and interviews with leading activists and artists of 21st Century social change movements. He is founder of the award-winning Schott Foundation for Public Education, whose mission is to develop and strengthen a broad-based, representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality PreK-12 public education. He was the Foundation’s first president. He is a writer, high school and adult literacy teacher, teacher trainer, activist and socially responsible investor. A son of refugees who fled war, Jobin-Leeds has been engaged in struggles for racial, gender and economic transformation in Boston, New York, Spain, Puerto Rico, Central and South America. He has launched and nurtured high-impact social justice organizations that have won milestone victories for underserved children and families.

Pamela ShifmanPamela Shifman

Pamela is the Executive Director of the NoVo Foundation, and a lifelong advocate for girls and women. An organizer, activist, and change maker, Pamela brings an inclusive and highly collaborative leadership approach to the foundation’s work, guided by a deep commitment to ensuring that philanthropy centers the most marginalized people in the pursuit of justice and meaningful change. Since joining the foundation in 2008, and as Executive Director since 2014, Pamela has advanced NoVo’s efforts to end violence and discrimination against girls and women, and has developed a sharp racial and gender justice lens for the foundation’s work, culminating in such efforts as Move to End Violence, a 10-year initiative to strengthen the movement to end violence against girls and women in the US, and a historic $90 million commitment to support girls of color.

Edgar Villanueva

Edgar VillanuevaEdgar Villanueva is the Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education where he leads a team to support education justice movements through grantmaking, strategic communications, policy supports, and networking. Edgar is a nationally-recognized expert on social justice philanthropy, beginning his grantmaking career in 2005 as a Senior Program Officer at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina. Later, Edgar served as a Program Officer at the Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle where he managed at multi-million dollar national portfolio supporting multi-issue movement building. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance (Berrett-Koehler, October 2018).

Edgar also holds various leadership roles on boards and advisory committees in the philanthropic sector including: The Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, Fund the People, and the Andrus Family Fund. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Native Americans in Philanthropy and is an instructor with The Grantmaking School at the Johnson Center at Grant Valley State University.