Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending | Hybrid Event

March 16, 2022 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm America/New York Timezone

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.

Join Communities First, in partnership with The Funders Network, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and Neighborhood Funders Group, for a funder and federal partnership briefing: Communities First: Ensuring Racial Equity in Infrastructure Spending, March 16 at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET.

The deadline to register is March 9.

About this Event

This two-hour event will be presented in a hybrid format immediately following TFN’s 2022 Annual Conference: Seize the Moment.

In person: Attendees of TFN’s 2022 Annual Conference are welcome to join us in person at the US Grant for this post-conference event.  (In-person attendees will be able to indicate their interest in attending via the TFN2022 conference app.) Please note that registration has closed for TFN2022.

Virtual: For those who are unable to join us in San Diego, we are offering a virtual option at no cost.

This 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.

Update: Keynote Speaker

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg will deliver virtual Keynote remarks.










Featured Speakers: 


Top row:

Helen ChinPresident, Communities First Fund (Moderator) 

Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (Movement Panel)

Christopher Coes, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy (Federal Panel)

Michelle DePassCEO, Meyer Memorial Trust (Philanthropy Keynote)

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

Salin Geevarghese, President & CEO of SGG Insight, LLC (Emcee)



Bottom row: 

Sekita GrantVice President Programs, The Solutions Project (Moderator)

Judith LeBlanc, Executive Director, Native Organizers Alliance (Movement/Government Relations Panel)

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

Justin Maxson, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, USDA (Federal Panel)

Michael McAfeePresident & CEO, PolicyLink

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


This event is open to grantmaking organizations, philanthropy serving organizations and local governments. Please register before March 7 in order to confirm attendance and receive login credentials for this event.

The deadline to register for this event is March 9. 

If you have any questions, kindly reach out to Pat Smith at