BY Dion Cartwright, TFN President & CEO

Today is one of my favorite days on The Funders Network’s calendar.

Each year since I’ve been part of TFN, I’ve greeted the day we announce the new cohort of PLACES Fellows with a sense of celebration – and not just because I’m a PLACES Alum myself.

It’s because today marks the beginning of an intense but empowering learning journey for a new group of exceptional leaders in philanthropy.

They’ll work together to deepen their understanding of structural racism. They’ll travel together to learn from community advocates, activists and those most impacted by injustice.

And they’ll challenge each other to unpack their own professional and personal biases.

These 16 new PLACES Fellows – who represent a wealth of expertise and lived experiences, and hail from diverse geographies and backgrounds – embody a core element of TFN’s guiding principle.

TFN’s vision is to cultivate generations of courageous philanthropic leaders who are engaged, emboldened and equipped to bring about a just society.

Over the past decade, PLACES, which stands for Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Sustainability, has welcomed nearly 200 leaders in philanthropy committed to moving resources in service of environmental, economic and racial justice.

PLACES Alums are among the most passionate ambassadors for equity and justice in the sector, enriching their institutions and the field of philanthropy as a whole.

The PLACES Fellowship is designed to help grantmakers incorporate an equity and justice lens into their grantmaking and community engagement practices. Over the years, PLACES cohorts have addressed issues impacting disenfranchised communities, including gender justice, health equity, environmental sustainability and economic development — asking difficult questions and exploring uncomfortable truths.

I’m excited to see how the 2024 PLACES Cohort turns their eight months of learning into meaningful action and impact.

On behalf of the selection committee, TFN’s Equity Programs Manager Talissa Lahaliyed and the PLACES Advisory Board, join me in congratulating these outstanding 2024 PLACES Fellows!


2024 PLACES Fellows




The PLACES Fellowship is supported by The Funders Network and the generous contributions of various organizations. Key supporters include the JPB FoundationKresge Foundation, Loom Foundation and Surdna Foundation.

Fellows are selected during a highly competitive selection process that includes several key factors, including but not limited to:
•   Applicants have demonstrated personal commitment to advancing racial equity personally or in their work.
•   Their grantmaking institution’s organizational commitments  (i.e., population served, equity commitments, organizational values, and support of communities of color and/or low-income communities).
•   Applicant’s sphere of influence within the organization and beyond; and
•   TFN’s intentional efforts to create cohorts that are geographically, demographically and culturally diverse of cohort.


Going PLACES Blog Series

After each PLACES site visit, we ask the Fellows to reflect on their experiences. Check out recent contributions from PLACES Alums in our Going PLACES blog series.



If you would like to know more about PLACES, including ways your organization can invest in our equity-focused PLACES Fellowship and Alum Network, email Equity Programs Manager Talissa Lahaliyed at


About the Author

Dion Cartwright is President and CEO of The Funders Network and a 2011 PLACES Fellow.