By Tere Figueras Negrete, Director of Communications

TFN’s 2018 Annual Conference is fast approaching.  Join us in Houston March 19-21 as we welcome national, regional and local funders looking to increase the impact of their grantmaking and create more equitable, sustainable and prosperous communities.

From insightful speakers and in-depth panels to our popular mobile workshops and networking receptions, there are plenty of of opportunities to connect, share and explore.

Register today for TFN’s 2018 Annual Conference, March 19-21 at the Hotel ZaZa in Houston’s thriving Museum District. Download our Schedule At-a-Glance to help you plan your visit. Here are just a just a few of our TFN 2018 Annual Conference highlights:


Resilient People, Resilient Places: Spotlight on Solutions

Pre-Conference Institute | Monday, March 19 | 9 to 11:30 a.m.
From coast to coast, natural disasters have dominated the news this year. What have we learned – and how can philanthropy work to create communities that are stronger, safer and more resilient in the face of climate change? Join our annual Pre-Conference Institute for a forward-looking deep dive that goes beyond the headlines and focuses on solutions.

After Harvey: A Slam Operetta

Opening Plenary | Monday, March 19
HGOco, Houston Grand Opera’s community initiative, and Writers in the Schools present a collaborative performance of After Harvey, an award-winning poem by Houston’s 2017 Youth Poet Laureate Rukmini Kalamangalam.

Since 1983, Writers in the Schools (WITS) has worked hand-in-hand with educators and professional writers to teach students the craft of writing.  In the days after Hurricane Harvey,  Writers in the Schools’ teachers worked with children at a local shelter to help them express their anxiety through writing.

Rukmini, who immigrated to the United States from India when she was 6, was chosen from dozens of applicants competing for the honor of being named the city’s Youth Poet Laureate.


Mobile Workshops

Tuesday, March 20
One of our conference’s most popular draws, TFN’s mobile workshops allow funders to truly learn from place. Join us in Houston for one of five concurrent mobile workshops that will let you experience the sights, sounds and stories of the city firsthand.

You’ll have a chance to gain insight about flood resilience on a Bayou Greenways bike tour; learn about fence-line communities along the Houston Ship Channel; explore art and equitable development on a Third Ward walking tour; take a trip up Houston’s METRORail Red Line; or visit the community of Gulfton, a first stop for many immigrants and refugees, often referred to as Houston’s version of Ellis Island.


Mustafa Santiago Ali, Hip Hop Caucus

Closing Keynote | Wednesday, March 21
A nationally renowned speaker and policy maker focusing on social and environmental justice issues, Mustafa Santiago Ali spent more than two decades with the EPA before resigning in March 2017. He is now senior vice president of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization at the Hip Hop Caucus, which leverages the impact of cultural influence to empower communities and strengthen social, economic and environmental movements.

He joined the EPA as a student and became a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). He served multiple roles in his 24 years at the agency,  including as senior advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization. Ali also led the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJIWG), which was comprised of 17 federal agencies and White House offices focused on implementing holistic strategies to address the issues facing vulnerable communities.