Dispatch from #ForumCon22: Emerging With Boldness (Cross-Post)

The Funders Network is committed to sharing the stories and strategies of our members, partners and others in the philanthropic sector working to create more sustainable, prosperous and equitable communities.

Today, we’re sharing a recent blog post from Hazel Paguaga, a Program Associate at TFN who attended United Philanthropy Forum's latest conference in Seattle. This article  shares reflections from Hazel's experience at #ForumCon22.

#ForumCon22 in Seattle was an exciting return to being in person. There were several people who I finally got to meet after only knowing them virtually. I also made some new connections and felt incredibly welcomed as a first-time attendee. After entering the philanthropy world over two years ago there’s still so much to learn and the conference was full of amazing sessions and calls to action to lead by being bold.

I started off the conference with the Emerging Practitioners workshop led by Elyse Gordon and Laura Collier. The workshop focused on leveraging our roles as emerging practitioners to advocate for changes while navigating our day to day and supporting our members. They acknowledged the formal and informal roles we play at our organizations and highlighted the informal roles in particular that may often go overlooked. Roles like cheerleaders, IT support, catering experts, Chief Morale Officers, and more. It was encouraging to hear from my peers on how they are managing relationships in a changing world dealing with a pandemic, racial reckoning, climate change and more. We brainstormed on how we might change the sector and voted for our top ideas. Some of the top ideas were four-day work weeks, organization wide vacations, proper compensation with benefits, and flexibility. Emerging practitioners are leading by disrupting outdated practices, fighting burn out, embracing creativity and new ways of learning.

Read the full article on United Philanthropy Forum's website here.

Featured Image: "Seattle skyline" by dph1110 is licensed under CC BY


About the Author

Hazel is a Program Associate at The Funders Network, and handles the programmatic support for Inclusive Economies, Mobility and Access, and PPREP. She has a bachelor’s in sociology from Florida International University. She previously worked as an office assistant at Florida International University – Counseling and Psychological Services and as a research assessor at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.

When not working, Hazel enjoys listening to podcasts, making to-do lists, dancing, and exploring Miami.


Barr Foundation's Lisa Jacobson: Europe’s Bike and Transit Systems Are a Marvel, But Only For Some (Cross-Post)

The Funders Network is committed to sharing the stories and strategies of our members, partners and others in the philanthropic sector working to create more sustainable, prosperous and equitable communities.

Today, we’re sharing a recent guest column on StreetsBlog Mass from Lisa Jacobson at the Barr Foundation. (Lisa is also an alum of the PLACES Fellowship's 2017 Cohort and a member of the design committee for the Mobility and Access Collaborative, a TFN initiative.) Her article focuses on the gap in public transportation solutions and the communities they serve. 

During a recent six-day study tour with a group of climate grantmakers and advocates in Amsterdam and London, I marveled at the frequent and fully functioning rail, in contrast to my frustration with the T. The vast, connected networks of protected bike lanes, navigable without fear of Boston drivers or cavernous potholes.

I daydreamed about how it’d feel to have more pleasant travels, how much safer and happier our communities could be, and how we could rid our skies of so much climate-changing pollution.

The study tour also provided the opportunity to meet with people working and living in London and Amsterdam, who explained some of the many ways they are leading the world in terms of efficient, net-zero planning. Some of their successes include ambitious mode share goals (that they are realizing); dedicated revenue sources; electrified freight; and coordinated transportation and land use planning.

And yet, throughout the trip, I began to notice gaps in the way transportation solutions were planned. One key takeaway for me was that their approaches were not sufficient for the future of cities in the United States — and that we need to build and improve upon them.

Read the full article here

Featured image: Neighbors enjoy a Dutch "woonerf," or shared street, in Utrecht. Photo by Clarence Eckerson, Jr.


Going PLACES - Trading Palm Fronds for Maple Leaves: What Two Demographically Distinct States can Learn from Each Other

By Xan Avendaño, PLACES Fellow and Program Officer at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Going PLACES is an occasional blog series featuring the voices and experiences of TFN’s PLACES Fellows. For more information on the fellowship, and to read past blog posts from our fellows, visit here.

2022 PLACES Fellowship cohort in Burlington, Vt.

The first things I notice walking around Burlington are the notable differences from my home on O’ahu. In the parks, people rest under the shade of maple trees, rather than banyans or palms. On the water, instead of canoes, sailboats float under an evening sun. But perhaps one of the most glaring differences is the faces of the people I pass on the streets. While Hawai’i consistently ranks as one of the most racially diverse states in the country, Vermont is 94% White.  

When our TFN PLACES cohort arrived in Vermont to learn about equitable community development, it was not clear what these two states, with such different ethnic demographics and geographic landscapes, could possibly learn from each other. Yet as we listened to voices discuss life in Vermont – the challenges and creative solutions embedded in rural areas, food systems and housing sectors – I felt the tectonic plates shift, bringing Hawai’i and Vermont closer together. Community development leaders in both states are wrestling with how to transition systems from land ownership to land stewardship, and how to increase and advocate for collective prosperity in an economic system that prioritizes individual gains. The scale and numbers of people of color might differ, but there is plenty to learn from each other. 

One area where this is most evident is in food systems. Community leaders of color in both states are advancing local solutions to healthy food systems that use agricultural practices to heal and grow people and land. We explored this intersection at the Intervale Center, where we were hosted by the center’s executive director, Travis Marcotte, and Nick Richardson, president and CEO of the Vermont Land Trust. The setting had an air of peace and urgency. The Intervale Center is a quaint community food hub that sits on a 360-acre campus of protected conservation land on the Winooski River. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Abenaki peoples fished wild salmon on that very land along that very river. Today, hardly any wild salmon remain.  

Shifting from extractive systems that diminish the salmon supply in the Winooski to systems where land is publicly accessible and food is sustainably grown by local communities is a daunting feat in today’s economic and political landscape. Neither Vermont nor Hawai’i small farmers have much access to the patient capital needed to produce food at scale. At the same time, with 80% of forest acreage in Vermont privately owned by individuals and families, it is no small task to reach a consensus with hundreds of private landowners, particularly in a state where individual freedom is embedded in the state’s motto: “Freedom and Unity.”  

Is there a way forward that allows individuals to thrive economically while collectively remaining united? 

Fellows gathered at the Intervale Center where they learned about innovative, replicable and place-based solutions used to address agriculture’s most pressing problems in Vermont.

In Hawai’i, leaders across the state are developing food hubs that aggregate small farm production to collectively meet the demands of large institutions like hospitals and public schools. In Vermont, leaders like Travis and Nick have visions for increasing the resilience of local farmers by entering large markets like Boston. At a localized level, a more recent effort from groups like SUSU CommUNITY Farm in southern Vermont represent an opportunity for the growing African diaspora to dig their feet in the soil, plant familiar foods and reclaim their own narratives around food and culture. These groups can learn from similar efforts like HuiMAU on Hawai’i Island, where the community is raising, healing and growing youth and Indigenous food crops on leased land.  

Similarly, new models of land stewardship and equitable community development manifest themselves in the housing sector. In conversations with public officials from the City of Burlington, we learned of the inequities and the innovations in motion to address them in the city with a population of 42,000.  

One of those inequities is shocking: Only 17 of the 6,000 owner-occupied homes in Burlington are Black-owned, even though Black people represent nearly 10% of the total population. Burlington is in a housing crisis, and the increased number of urbanites buying homes in Vermont during the pandemic makes bridging this racial divide even more difficult today than before. Hawai’i also faces rising housing costs at an even more severe scale, and it is becoming more and more difficult for local residents, particularly Pacific Islanders, to afford to live in their home community.  

One potential solution lies in the model of individual homeownership on community-owned land. The Champlain Housing Trust, a shared-equity homeownership model funded by the City of Burlington, combats housing speculation and maintains affordable homeownership opportunities in perpetuity through a community land trust model. This model makes homeownership work for families that can’t afford large down payments and want to make a long term investment in their home community. With 650 homes, The Champion Housing Trust (CHT), is one of the largest community land trusts in the country, and it continues to innovate toward a more equitable future. CHT has recently announced a downpayment assistance program specifically for BIPOC homebuyers, the first-of-its kind program in the sector. This CHT model, which is unafraid to name racial and ethnic divides with the goal of equitable progress, has  powerful lessons for our local community in Hawai’i that continues to see more lucrative housing being built and more families unable to afford to live in their  home state. 

Though it is tempting to focus on the differences between Hawai’i and Vermont, it is in each community’s response to similar challenges that we find solutions that can lift us all. Perhaps the greatest of these solutions lies in the second half of Vermont’s state motto: Unity. 

 


About the Author

Xan Avendaño (he/him) is a program officer at The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation in Hawai’i. He is a member of the 2022 PLACES Fellowship cohort.


Call for Proposals: TFN 2023 Annual Conference


We're headed to New Orleans in March for The Funders Network’s 2023 Annual Conference!

Do you have an idea for a session that will deepen learning, foster collaboration and catalyze action?

TFN invites you to submit a session proposal for our 2023 Annual Conference, which takes place March 20-22 in New Orleans.

Our annual conferences bring together funders from across North America to learn and share ways we can strengthen our ties to the people and places we serve, deploy resources where they are most needed, and push for powerful and creative strategies to address inequities and move toward justice.

We look forward to coming together in New Orleans to delve into and lift up the work that is making an impact amid escalating climate crises, erosion of civil liberties and economic inequities  —  all of which disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color.

Please read on for more information on how to submit a session proposal for TFN’s 2023 Annual Conference.

 

 *The deadline to submit a conference proposal is August 1, 2022.

Submitting a Proposal

→ Read the TFN Conference Proposal Guidelines for information on review and selection criteria, session formats and more.

→ Share your proposed session via our Online Proposal Form.


About #TFN2023

Save the date for TFN's 2023 Annual Conference, which will take place March 20-22 in New Orleans!We'll gather at the historic Hotel Monteleone, nestled in the heart of the city's French Quarter.Registration will launch in the winter. Stay tuned for more details!


Grounded in Racial Equity

Our conference planning committee and TFN team are encouraging session ideas that are interdisciplinary, cross-cutting and grounded in racial equity.

TFN’s Strategic & Racial Equity Frameworks share key strategies, our racial equity framework and action plan, and program priorities. Download a copy here.

 Curious about what we learned and shared at #TFN2022? Check out the full agenda and speaker list for TFN's 2022 Annual Conference: Seize the Moment in San Diego here.


Communities First Infrastructure Alliance

A few months ago, we hosted the #TFN2022 post-conference event, Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending  — setting the stage for future action, connection and collaboration.

We're excited to share an update on these efforts to ensure federal infrastructure dollars flow equitably, smoothly and directly into BIPOC communities.


Where are we now

First, the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance is activated!

The Funders Network has joined with more than 50 valued-aligned partners committed to Communities First principles. The Communities First Infrastructure Alliance is working with technical assistance providers, frontline communities and government leaders to build just, equitable, and more resilient communities, using the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) funds.

The Alliance is led by national equity-centered leadership groups including:

Other national, regional and local organizations involved in the Alliance include the Center for American ProgressNatural Resource Defense CouncilNew Urban Mobility (NUMO) AlliancePartnership for Southern EquityLocal Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), Neighborhood Funders Group, Urban InstituteGreenlining Institute, Emerald Cities Collaborative and Smart Growth America, to name just a few.

The Communities First Infrastructure Alliance members will work collectively to support communities with the resources, capacity and technical assistance required to actualize community-centered plans, projects and visions to meet this moment for the movement.

Second, Communities First is in active conversations with representatives from USDA, EPA and DOT as they seek to identify demonstration sites in key geographic regions. Once these sites have been identified, we look forward to working with the agencies to maximize their impact of technical assistance support.
Finally, in partnership with Amalgamated Foundation, the Communities First team has outlined the design for the funding infrastructure necessary to build the capacity for the organizations on the ground, as well as planning grants, matching grants, bridge loans, and other sources of funds to ensure that the federal money can flow with racial equity at the center.

The amount of work these last few weeks has led to incredible progress. But there is still so much work to do.

It’s time to begin building the fund that can provide the capacity for the organizations on the ground, as well as planning grants, matching grants, bridge loans, and other sources of funds to ensure racial equity in federal infrastructure spending.

Read on for additional action items and resources and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

We are all in this together.


Action Items

➡ Learn more and join the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance

➡ Fund Communities First to be the conduit of philanthropic support to frontline communities as they prepare to absorb federal funds in the future. Reach out to Helen Chin, helen@communitiesfirst.us to discuss procurement options.


Resources

White House Announcement

Read the May 18 White House Announcement highlighting philanthropic, nonprofit & labor organizations, including the Communities First Infrastructure Alliance White House Releases Technical Assistance Guide to Help Communities Unlock Resources From Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Media

Streetsblog | Episode 383: A Communities First Infrastructure Alliance

Research Pieces

PolicyLink | From ARPA to IIJA - Fulfilling the Promise of Equity
Communities First | ARPA Report 

Blog

ImpactAlpha Policy Corner | Keeping communities at the center of equitable infrastructure by reimagining risk, power and accountability


In solidarity,


Nine Communities Receive Partners for Places Mini Grants!

BY TFN STAFF

The Funders Network, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, is excited to announce the latest round of Partners for Places Mini Grants. These grants are intended to help local governments, place-based funders and frontline communities build relationships, align project ideas, and center racial equity in water, sustainability and climate action work.

The Partners for Places Mini Grants are designed to spark new relationships or deepen existing connections that will help communities develop a successful Partners for Places project application in the future.

Partners for Places is a matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government leaders, community groups and place-based funders. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to advance efforts to create communities that are sustainable, prosperous and just. These sustainability efforts take place from coast to coast, in communities both large and small and focus largely on empowering and engaging low-income neighborhoods.

These nine communities have received Partners for Places Mini Grants:

Charlottesville, Va.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Addressing Energy Inequity in Albemarle County, VA

Project description: To understand the distribution of energy burden in Albemarle County, both demographically and geographically, in order to identify strategies that the Community Climate Collaborative can utilize to align its climate and equity initiatives with the county's commitment to building a resilient, thriving community.

Frontline community-led group: Community Climate Collaborative

Funder partner: Adiuvans Foundation


Erie, Pa.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: City of Erie Sustainability Strategy

Project description: The City of Erie will partner with CAFE, The Hamot Health Foundation, CRANE and PennFuture to initiate a sustainability strategic planning process to build stakeholder consensus and implement local policies that help protect our natural resources through a lens of racial equity and environmental justice.

Frontline community-led group: Community Resilience Action Network of Erie, PennFuture and CAFÉ

Funder partner: Hamot Health Foundation


Gwinette County, Ga.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Initial Resilience Planning for Unincorporated Norcross

Project description: The project seeks to take initial steps towards a long-term comprehensive, proactive plan for the resilience needs of a diverse, Latino and immigrant-dense community that is under-resourced and climate-burdened.

Frontline community-led group: LiveNorcross/Gwinnett Housing Corporation

Funder partner: Latino Community Fund of Georgia


New Orleans La.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Equitable green designs for frontline NOLA neighborhoods

Project description: To help develop an equitable Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) tool for construction prioritization in NOLA communities. Protocols will help communities of color articulate their climate change vulnerability and needs for greening interventions, and be used to demonstrate how other frontline communities might implement a similar prioritization strategy.

Frontline community-led group: Institute for Sustainable Communities and Healthy Community Services

Funder partner: Greater New Orleans Foundation


Richmond Va.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Completion of a Neighbor-led Greening Plan for Richmond’s Southside

Project description: A neighbor-led greening plan centers people who are directly impacted by climate injustice and seeks to repair decades of systemic disinvestment in South Richmond.

Frontline community-led group: Virginia Community Voice and Southside ReLeaf

Funder partner: Virginia Outdoor Foundation


Santa Cruz, Calif.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Student-Centered Climate/Environmental Justice Art Sister City Partnership

Project description: Partners for Places Mini Grant funds will help support efforts to create a four-stage project which includes: Community Art Exhibition and the creation of mobile art pieces; mobile art pieces at in-classroom presentations to frontline students; student field trips to environmental justice murals; the creation of student art pieces and statements to share with Sister City students/communities.

Frontline community-led group: Sea Walls/Made Fresh Crew, Natural Bridges High School and Star Community High School

Funder partner: Community Foundation Santa Cruz County


Springfield Mo.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Urban Waters Access for All

Project description: This grant will be used to better understand people's relationship to water and barriers to accessing regional water resources. Funding will be used to facilitate community outreach and engagement, to better understand their connection to existing local waterways, water quality and barriers to access.

Frontline community-led group: Community Partnership of the Ozarks

Funder partner: Community Foundation of the Ozarks


Westland, Mich.:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Lower Rouge River Water Trail Leadership Committee

Project description: Friends of the Rouge will utilize funding from the Partners for Places Mini Grant to help facilitate its strategic planning meetings, community outreach, and engagement on park improvements in the Norwayne community in Westland, and help ensure the leadership committee reflects the diversity of the communities aligned with the water trail.

Frontline community-led group: The Norwayne Community Citizens Council and Friends of the Rouge

Funder partner: National Kidney Foundation of Michigan


Waco, Texas:

Amount: $10,000

Project title: Cultivating a Regenerative Food Culture in Waco

Project description: Partners for Places Mini Grant funds will be used to facilitate strategic partnerships to create a regenerative food culture and related infrastructure for food waste diversion from the landfill and education on food waste and composting. Historically disadvantaged Waco neighborhoods and Waco public schools will be the targeted frontline communities.

Frontline community-led group: Mission Waco

Funder partner: Cooper Foundation

About Partners for Places

Partners for Places will help turn Chicago schoolyards into vibrant green spaces for play and learning. Photo credit: Space to Grow

To date, Partners for Places has awarded over $8.5 million across North America in this successful matching grant program, leading to over $18 million in investments.

The matching grant program brings national funder investors together with place-based funders to support equitable sustainable climate action and green stormwater infrastructure projects. The program is currently supported by six investor foundations: The JPB FoundationThe Kendeda FundThe Kresge FoundationNew York Community TrustThe Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust, and the Pisces Foundation.

Read about the latest round of Partners for Places matching grant recipients here.

To learn about the previous round of Partners for Places Mini Grants, visit here. (All grant announcements can be found on the Partners for Places webpage.)

For questions about the Partners for Places Mini Grants or matching grants program, please reach out to Ashley Quintana.

Partners for Places FAQ's

→ Where is Partners for Places making an impact?
Read previous grant announcements and explore the Partners for Places Grantee Map here. 

→ Where can I learn about completed Partners for Places projects?
Visit the Partners for Places Idea Bank to explore what grantees are doing, learning and sharing. 

For more information about Partners for Places, please reach out to Ashley Quintana, ashley@fundersnetwork.org. 

 

"Nature's Artistry" by Olin Gilbert is licensed under CC BY

"Nature's Artistry" by Olin Gilbert is licensed under CC BY

"my community" by marneejill is licensed under CC BY-SA


Highlights | Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending

"We need you to help cities, towns and community-based organizations to build capacity and develop great transportation plans that build thriving communities for generations."
- Pete Buttigieg,
Secretary of Transportation

With the federal government poised to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure and economic development, how can we ensure that funds are equitably spent in ways that support historically marginalized communities of color?

The Funders Network recently co-hosted a hybrid gathering to dig into that important question – bringing together a thought-provoking panel of speakers that included leaders in philanthropy, government and community movement-building.

The event, Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending, co-hosted by TFN in partnership with  Communities First,  Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Neighborhood Funders Group,  focused on federal infrastructure, economic development and building generational wealth for BIPOC communities.

More than 300 attendees joined us either virtually or in person following our TFN Annual Conference in San Diego on March 16.

Below you will find a full recording of this event, as well as key takeaways, event resources and next steps.

Our thanks to our co-hosts and to our amazing speakers (including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg) for giving of their time, talents and expertise.


Key Takeaways

  • Communities need access to flexible funds. The bureaucracy that often underpins government (and sometimes philanthropic) funding is more harmful than helpful. Solutions to big problems are dynamic. Funding must be dynamic to meet the need most effectively.

 

  • We must build criteria to align with “shovel-worthy” projects and demonstrate good practice.  There are many places nationwide that are demonstrating excellent practices of community-led visioning and planning and are detailing how they will approach infrastructure to achieve equity. By building criteria based on these demonstration sites, we can ensure that funds get to where they need to go.

 

  • Technical assistance should be accountable and in service to frontline communities and their priorities. The systemic under-investment in Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-wealth communities has restricted the communities’ ability to direct and to receive trillions of infrastructure dollars. A network of technical services from trusted practitioners who prioritize equity values must be mobilized to support the readiness of communities for investment, as well as to repair past harm and equitable investments.

Event Resources

Event recording 

Recording of the two-hour virtual briefing is posted on YouTube.

Graphic recordingsYen Azarro was our incredible illustrator who captured and summarized our conversation with beautiful imagery, as well as the collective operating assumptions for the briefing.

Key Takeaways

High level takeaways of the challenges and solutions related to driving the equitable deployment of federal infrastructure investment are clicked on the Challenges Jamboard and Solutions Jamboard.

Take Action
We urge you to sign-on to the Communities First Principles as these are a solid starting point of commitments from which philanthropy can move forward collaboratively as a sector.


Featured Speakers

 

Top row: 

Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation

Kizzy Charles-GuzmanExecutive Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice

Helen ChinPresident, Communities First Fund 

Christopher CoesDeputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation

Michelle DePass, Immediate Past President, Meyer Memorial Trust 

Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water 

Salin Geevarghese, President & CEO of SGG Insight, LLC

Bottom row: 

Sekita GrantVice President Programs, The Solutions Project 

Judith LeBlanc, Executive Director, Native Organizers Alliance 

Justin Maxson, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Transportation

Maria Lopez-Nuñez, Deputy Director of Organizing and Advocacy, Ironbound Community Corporation 

Michael McAfeePresident & CEO, PolicyLink

Deputy Asma Mirza, Chief Of Staff, COVID-19 Response Team at The White House 


Who's Speaking @ TFN2022? Plenary Presenters | Flash Talks | Conference Highlights

REGISTER HERE

Who will be taking center stage at TFN's 2022 Annual Conference: Seize the Moment in San Diego?

Our line-up of thought-provoking and inspiring Plenary Presenters and Flash Talk speakers will share their insights on community organizing, collaboration, belonging and movement-building — and how funders can support critical efforts to move our communities toward racial, environmental and economic justice.

We'll learn how youth activist Nalleli Cobo of STAND-L.A. played a central role in fighting an oil company dangerously polluting her South Central L.A. neighborhood, and what we can learn from the coalition of community groups she helped bring together.

We'll hear from Norma Chávez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, about the ongoing fight for civil liberties and justice for marginalized people — and why funders need to step up and “seize the moment” in this pivotal and fragile moment in American democracy.

Our Tuesday Plenary will focus on community organizing ⁠and the ways philanthropy often fails those on the frontlines of changemaking, with a frank conversation with Crystal Hayling of the Libra FoundationNikkita Oliver of Creative Justice and Diane Takvorian of the Environmental Health Coaliton, moderated by Dr. Carmen Rojas of the Marguerite Casey Foundation.

In our Closing Plenary, we will hear from Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation, about people-centered leadership in these complex and uncertain times — and what it takes to fully support the Black, brown and Indigenous leaders pushing for justice on critical issues.

And that's not all: We'll also share in an interactive plenary session to learn actionable takeaways that will help grantmakers support belonging, forge connections, and build community across differences, courtesy of Marnita's Table. And we'll experience the power of storytelling to explore the issues of climate change, economic opportunity and racial equity with a special presentation by San Diego's own Playwrights Project

Read on for full descriptions of our Plenary & Flash Talk presenters, and be sure to check out our TFN2022 website for the full agenda and conference highlights.

REGISTER HERE


Plenary & Flash Talks

Opening Plenary

Photo Credit: Playwrights Project

Playwrights Project — Where Stories Take the Stage | Monday, March 14 | 12 p.m.

We’ll officially kick off TFN2022 with a special Opening Plenary presentation by lifting up the voices of San Diego-based performers.

Playwrights Project, which focuses on the power of theater to connect to universal themes, will explore the issues of climate change, economic opportunity and racial equity.

The group’s mission is to empower people of all ages and backgrounds to voice stories through theater, inspiring individual growth and creating meaningful community connections. Playwrights Project programs reach 10,000 people annually, connecting with youth in San Diego schools and underserved populations of all ages.


Monday Afternoon Plenary

Photo by Carina Lofgren Photography

Trust-making: Building Equity, Belonging & Community| Monday, March 14 | 4 p.m.

What’s the difference between “all are welcome here” and “this space was created with you in mind?” How can we build equity and bridge division?

Join us for an interactive, peer-to-peer experience crafted by Marnita’s Table, a mission-driven nonprofit that brings people together to find common ground on important public policy issues.  This session will provide practical tools for you to build sustainable community engagement, leadership and collaboration across race, class, culture and other means of self-identity.

We’ll also explore two projects involving collaboration between Marnita’s Table and TFN members that lifted up and leveraged the insights and wisdom of collective community voices: “Healing from Trauma” (with the Catalyst Initiative of The Minneapolis Foundation) and “Foresight for the Future of Health” (with 17 regional and national health foundations, including the Kansas Health Foundation and the Minneapolis Foundation.)


Tuesday Plenary

Community Organizing: How Philanthropy Falls Short & How we Can Do Better | Tuesday, March 15 | 9 a.m.

Community organizers work tirelessly to bring about change in the communities they serve. Each win is a step toward building a broader movement for justice, self-determination and transformational change. While foundations increasingly recognize that change starts with community organizing and shifting power, and many share the goals of frontline leaders, the ways that foundations have supported organizing often have caused more harm than good.

Join us for an honest conversation with community organizers and funders as they pull back the curtain on how philanthropic investments have come up short, and share wisdom on how funders can support community organizing differently to much greater effect and impact.

Speakers: 

Nikkita Oliver, Executive Director, Creative Justice

Crystal Hayling, Executive Director, The Libra Foundation

Diane Takvorian, Executive Director, Environmental Health Coalition

Carmen Rojas, President & CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation (moderator)


Closing Plenary

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel 
Leadership in this Moment: What it Takes & What it Looks Like | Wednesday, March 16 | 11 a.m.

In frontline communities across the country, Black, brown and Indigenous leaders are fiercely taking risks and pushing radical shifts, working across silos and sectors, and nurturing the next generation of community changemakers.

They are the first to provide mutual aid and support, to stand up to cascading injustices, to build political power, and to demand change. To meet the needs of the communities they serve, they are helping build movements and modeling new leadership formations.

Yet the painful truth is that these leaders are managing multiple crises with extremely limited resources.

In our closing plenary, we will hear from Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation to better understand the many ways philanthropy must step up, shift norms and actively invest in leaders who are fighting for racial justice, energy democracy, immigration reform, voting rights and other critical issues.


Flash Talks

Nalleli Cobo
Campaign Organizer, STAND-L.A.; Co-founder, South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition | Monday, March 14, 3:45 p.m.

When a community in South Central L.A. began their fight against an oil company polluting their neighborhood, a young Latina girl played a central role: Nalleli Cobo, who was 9 years old when she started suffering from mysterious body spasms, asthma, headaches and nosebleeds so severe she had to sleep sitting up so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood.

She and her neighbors in this predominately Black and Latinx neighborhood launched a battle against an active oil well site located in front of her house. But Nalleli didn’t stop there: She was part of a group of young activists and local organizations that successfully sued the city to demand more regulations in oil extraction.

Join us to hear from this passionate youth organizer, who is now a campaign organizer for STAND-L.A. and co-founder of the South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition, about how community groups are coming together to protect the health and safety of Angelenos on the front lines of urban oil extraction.

We’ll hear her firsthand account of what inspired and motivated her to take action at an early age  — and why philanthropy needs to listen to the voices of this next generation in the battle for environmental justice.

BONUS READ: Learn more about Nalleli's activism in this BBC News story.

 


Norma Chávez-Peterson

Executive Director, ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties | Wednesday, March 16, 0:50 a.m.

Norma Chávez-Peterson is the executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties (ACLU SDIC), a prominent force for the protection and expansion of fundamental rights in the region.

An integral member of San Diego’s civil rights community — with nearly two decades of leadership, organizing and advocacy experience in California’s second-most populous county and southern borderlands — she was instrumental in creating the ACLU SDIC’s integrated advocacy campaign to advance priority issues such as criminal justice reform, police accountability and immigrant rights.

Norma  will join us for a Flash Talk sharing her insights on the ongoing fight for civil liberties and justice for marginalized people — and why funders need to step up and “seize the moment” in this pivotal and fragile moment in American democracy.


Let's Get Together at #TFN2022!

REGISTER HERE

We can't wait to see everyone in San Diego at #TFN2022, March 14-16!

TFN believes that collaboration and connections are where real change takes root.

That's why we've built a learning agenda for #TFN2022 that includes opportunities to socialize, strategize and share with peers and partners in the philanthropic sector.

From a pre-conference convening focused on climate impacts and disaster response to our post-conference briefing on ensuring racial equity in infrastructure spending, we hope our attendees will identify ways to align strategies and catalyze action around critical issues.

Our San Diego conference is also a chance to network and socialize — in person! — for the first time in two years.

Read on to learn more about our Sunday Night at the Movies, Peer-to-Peer Sharing, evening receptions and two theme dinners focused on democracy and inclusive economies. (And our California funders have even more chances to connect at a dinner organized by TFN's Smart Growth California and a gathering to launch the San Diego Funders' Collaborative.)

(Be sure to take a look at our TFN2022 Conference Agenda to see what else we'll be learning in San Diego!)

Although we are excited to gather in person, we remain committed to the wellbeing of our attendees, vendors and TFN team. As we make every effort to keep you safe, please take a look at our updated Health & Safety section to learn more about our policies on coronavirus vaccines, testing and mask requirements during our time together in San Diego.

To help facilitate appropriate social distancing, we are asking attendees to indicate their interest in conference events using the TFN2022 conference app. Please note that space is limited for some dinners and other events.

REGISTER HERE


Social Events at #TFN2022

Welcome Reception: Meet Pat Smith, TFN President & CEO 

Sunday, March 13 | 5:00 PM PT

Join TFN's President and CEO Pat Smith for light refreshments and a chance to connect and network with other attendees of TFN2022.


Sunday Night at the Movies | CITY RISING: Youth & Democracy

Sunday, March 13 | 6:30 PM PT 

We’re continuing a popular TFN Annual Conference tradition for TFN2022! Join us March 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Sunday Night at the Movies, which will feature movie-friendly snacks and a timely, thought-provoking film followed by a Q&A.

This year’s film is CITY RISING: Youth & Democracy, a one-hour documentary that follows the stories of youth leaders, allies and organizations as they challenge institutional and systemic issues through civic engagement.

The film dives into the role and work of youth organizations in California, demonstrating how young people are organizing their communities to participate in public policy and make lasting change in pursuit of a more just and equitable future for themselves and the world they live in. More engaged, better trained, better allied, and on the shoulders of a rich legacy, young people are fostering hope for a better future for themselves and the nation.

The effects of these movements are far-reaching, and their voices will ultimately impact the social health of communities across the country and beyond.

About the series: City Rising is a documentary series that examines social justice issues affecting California communities, illuminating the journey of California’s neighborhoods advocating for policy change to improve upward mobility for their communities. CITY RISING is produced and presented by KCET, one of Southern California’s two flagship PBS stations, with support from The California Endowment.


When Waters Rise: Pre-Conference Breakfast 

Monday March 14 | 9:00 AM PT

The Greater New Orleans Foundation launched the When Waters Rise Initiative in June 2018 by bringing together community foundations and place-based funders to discuss foundations’ roles and responsibilities in contributing to equitable disaster recovery, rebuilding and long-term resilience in coastal communities and geographies most vulnerable to sea level rise and major storms. The informal network of more than 80 funders and partners continued to convene to discuss challenges, share best practices and codify lessons learned well into the pandemic.

Participants have expressed interest in exploring formalizing a network that supports ongoing peer learning and collaboration in disaster response. The Greater New Orleans Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation, will assess the feasibility of a formal disaster philanthropy and response network by getting a better understanding of the landscape and value-add that a network like this could have for its members.

This is the second TFN Annual Conference to hold space for a When Waters Rise gathering: The Greater New Orleans Foundation hosted a When Waters Rise event at our 2019 Anniversary Conference in Miami, a coastal city facing the threats of sea-level rise and other climate impacts.

We’re thrilled to give our TFN2022 attendees the opportunity to attend this pre-conference breakfast convening to continue the conversation on the West Coast in San Diego.


Peer-to-Peer Sharing 

Monday March 14 | 10:15 AM PT 

*Concurrent Sessions"

Elly Brown, Co-Executive Director, San Diego Food Systems Alliance

Join us for a food-focused conversation focus on San Diego County Food Vision 2030, which aims to guide collective action toward a healthy, sustainable and just food system over the next decade. We’ll learn about Food Vision 2030, launched by the San Diego Food System Alliance in 2021 following a two-year planning process that engaged more than 250 cross-sector organizations and nearly 3,000 people — primarily low-income residents, food producers, workers, business owners and tribal communities.

Pamela Gray Payton, VP Community Impact, Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer at the San Diego Foundation

Join us for a conversation with Pamela Gray Payton, VP Community Impact, Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer at the San Diego Foundation (TSDF), to learn more about TSDF’s strategic priorities to advance racial and social justice initiatives. In 2020, with seed funding from TSDF, SDG&E, Wells Fargo Bank, and Cox Communications, as well as guidance from a community-led advisory committee, the Black Community Investment Fund (BCIF) was launched to increase racial equity and generational wealth for Black San Diegans. Gray Payton will highlight the Black Homebuyer Program which is helping to narrow the gap of racial wealth in San Diego by providing wealth-building opportunities through Black homeownership.


Theme Dinner: Making Our Democracy Work for All 

Monday, March 14 | 7:00 PM PT

The Partnership for Southern Equity and The Funders Network invite you to a special dinner conversation about ways funders and community partners are joining forces to make our democracy work for all. The dinner program will highlight several exciting initiatives to grow the infrastructure and nurture people-powered leadership for community and social change, including efforts to develop youth as civic leaders. Please join us for good food, drinks and company.


Theme Dinner: Inclusive Economies 

Monday, March 14 | 7:00 PM PT 

Please join colleagues at the Irvine Foundation and TFN for a dinner and discussion of ways that funders are supporting Inclusive Economies strategies. The dinner program will feature program staff at the Irvine Foundation sharing how their focus on inclusive economic planning and priority communities is providing opportunities for BIPOC and low-wage earning communities to thrive through access to good quality jobs. We’ll invite dinner colleagues to share their work to advance inclusive prosperity and we’ll reserve lots of time for conversation and getting to know one another.


Smart Growth California Funder Dinner 

Monday, March 14 | 7:00 PM PT

Come learn more about and connect with funders active in Smart Growth California’s statewide steering committee, San Joaquin Valley Funders’ Collaborative, Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative and San Diego Funders’ Collaborative. After two years of meeting virtually, we’re ready and excited to meet in person and do what we do best, learning together, building relationships, aligning our work and pursuing opportunities for collaboration. The dinner is open to Smart Growth California workgroup members, our larger statewide funder network and national funders who are funding in California.


Tuesday Night Reception 

Tuesday, March 15 | 5:30 PM PT 

Come grab a drink and meet up with colleagues after our Mobile Workshops!


San Diego Funders' Collaborative Dinner

Tuesday, March 15 | 7:00 PM PT 

The San Diego Foundation, International Community Foundation, The California Endowment, Catalyst of San Diego and Imperial Counties and Smart Growth California (an initiative of TFN) invite you to attend a dinner to informally launch the San Diego Funders’ Collaborative, a space that facilitates learning, relationship building, alignment and collaboration across a broad set of issues related to cultivating healthy, equitable and sustainable communities. If you are a funder that is based in and/or funds in the San Diego Region (or are considering funding in the region), and you’re interested in joining this emerging funder collaborative table, then we invite you to join us in person for some good food, drinks and conversation.


Post-Conference Events

Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending

Wednesday, March 16 | 12:30 PM PT 

As the nation prepares for the largest federal spending on infrastructure and economic development in generations, now is the time for philanthropy, community, and the public sector to come together to ensure that funds flow equitably, smoothly, and directly into BIPOC communities.

It is no secret that previous federal infrastructure and economic development dollars were weaponized against communities of color, from redlining to “urban renewal” to highway construction to the race-based inequities of the GI Bill and Social Security.

If we are organized, strategic, and unapologetic about the past, present, and future, we will make sure that public money is never again used to hurt communities of color and is from here onwards used to repair harm and to build generational wealth for BIPOC communities.

Communities First, in partnership with TFNEnvironmental Grantmakers Association, and Neighborhood Funders Group, invites you to attend a critically urgent funder and federal partnership briefing:

This two-hour session will feature:

  • Philanthropic leaders with experience in racial equity funding;
  • Public sector employees committed to racial equity and applying equity to infrastructure investments; and
  • Movement leaders with big and bold ideas on how reparative and healing infrastructure dollars can truly be.

Join this conversation and join us in putting communities first — now and always.

(Please note: We are offering a virtual option for this funder & federal partnership meeting for those unable to join us in San Diego.)

LEARN MORE 

 


Check out Pre- and Post-conference Events at #TFN2022! 

REGISTER HERE!

As our conference quickly approaches, we wanted to highlight the pre-and-post conference events happening at TFN’s 2022 Annual Conference: Seize the Moment.

Arriving early to San Diego?

Join us for Sunday Night at the Movies for a powerful look at youth activism and civic engagement. We're also creating space for a breakfast convening focused on disaster response, recovery and resilience planning in vulnerable communities, hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

Are you able to stay late?

Don't miss out on our funder and federal partnership briefing, co-hosted by TFN, Environmental Grantmakers Association and Neighborhood Funders Group immediately following our closing plenary.

Our pre- and post-conference events are meant to bring funders together to expand our learning, foster collaboration and catalyze action that addresses systemic inequities and move us toward racial, economic and environmental justice.

As we plan for our in-person gathering, we remain committed to the wellbeing of our attendees, vendors and TFN team. Please take a look at our updated Health & Safety section to learn more about our policies on coronavirus vaccines, testing and mask requirements.

Don't forget to register for #TFN2022, by Friday, Feb. 18 to take advantage of our Early Bird Rates. Our room block at the US Grant has been extended to Feb. 18 as well.

Read on for more information on pre- and post-conference events — and take a look at our preliminary TFN2022 Conference Agenda to see what else we'll be learning in San Diego!


PRE-CONFERENCE EVENTS

Sunday Night at the Movies | City Rising: Youth & Democracy 

Sunday, March 13 | 6:30 PM PT

We’re continuing a popular TFN Annual Conference tradition for TFN2022! Join us March 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Sunday Night at the Movies, which will feature movie-friendly snacks and a timely, thought-provoking film followed by a Q&A.

This year’s film is CITY RISING: Youth & Democracy, a one-hour documentary that follows the stories of youth leaders, allies and organizations as they challenge institutional and systemic issues through civic engagement.

The film dives into the role and work of youth organizations in California, demonstrating how young people are organizing their communities to participate in public policy and make lasting change in pursuit of a more just and equitable future for themselves and the world they live in. More engaged, better trained, better allied, and on the shoulders of a rich legacy, young people are fostering hope for a better future for themselves and the nation.

The effects of these movements are far-reaching, and their voices will ultimately impact the social health of communities across the country and beyond.

About the series: City Rising is a documentary series that examines social justice issues affecting California communities, illuminating the journey of California’s neighborhoods advocating for policy change to improve upward mobility for their communities. CITY RISING is produced and presented by KCET, one of Southern California’s two flagship PBS stations, with support from The California Endowment.


When Waters Rise: Pre-Conference Breakfast Convening

Monday, March 14 | 9:00 AM PT

The Greater New Orleans Foundation launched the When Waters Rise Initiative in June 2018 by bringing together community foundations and place-based funders to discuss foundations’ roles and responsibilities in contributing to equitable disaster recovery, rebuilding and long-term resilience in coastal communities and geographies most vulnerable to sea level rise and major storms. The informal network of more than 80 funders and partners continued to convene to discuss challenges, share best practices and codify lessons learned well into the pandemic.

Participants have expressed interest in exploring formalizing a network that supports ongoing peer learning and collaboration in disaster response. The Greater New Orleans Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation, will assess the feasibility of a formal disaster philanthropy and response network by getting a better understanding of the landscape and value-add that a network like this could have for its members.

This is the second TFN Annual Conference to hold space for a When Waters Rise gathering: The Greater New Orleans Foundation hosted a When Waters Rise event at our 2019 Anniversary Conference in Miami, a coastal city facing the threats of sea-level rise and other climate impacts.

We’re thrilled to give our TFN2022 attendees the opportunity to attend this pre-conference breakfast convening to continue the conversation on the West Coast in San Diego.


POST-CONFERENCE EVENTS

Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending

Wednesday, March 16 | 12:30 PM PT

As the nation prepares for the largest federal spending on infrastructure and economic development in generations, now is the time for philanthropy, community, and the public sector to come together to ensure that funds flow equitably, smoothly, and directly into BIPOC communities.

It is no secret that previous federal infrastructure and economic development dollars were weaponized against communities of color, from redlining to “urban renewal” to highway construction to the race-based inequities of the GI Bill and Social Security.

If we are organized, strategic, and unapologetic about the past, present, and future, we will make sure that public money is never again used to hurt communities of color and is from here onwards used to repair harm and to build generational wealth for BIPOC communities.

Communities First, in partnership with TFNEnvironmental Grantmakers Association, and Neighborhood Funders Group, invites you to attend a critically urgent funder and federal partnership briefing:

This two-hour session will feature:

  • Philanthropic leaders with experience in racial equity funding;
  • Public sector employees committed to racial equity and applying equity to infrastructure investments; and
  • Movement leaders with big and bold ideas on how reparative and healing infrastructure dollars can truly be.

Join this conversation and join us in putting communities first — now and always.

(Please note: We are offering a virtual option for this funder & federal partnership meeting for those unable to join us in San Diego.)


We can't wait to see you in San Diego! Register HERE!