We’re thrilled to share new updates to our lineup of speakers and sessions for The Funders Network’s 2021 Virtual Conference: Rise Together.

New this week: We are excited to announce our newest plenary speaker, Rukia Lumumba, executive director of the People’s Advocacy Institute and co-director of the Movement for Black Lives’ Electoral Justice Project.

Read on to learn more about Rukia and her work — as well as our new conference feature, Critical Conversations, which offers facilitated peer-to-peer conversations in order to create a space for funders to explore difficult issues.

TFN’s 2021 Virtual Conference: Rise Together takes place March 15-17. Stay tuned for additional updates and other conference news!

Rukia Lumumba

Transformative Justice Strategist & Human Rights Activist

We are excited to share that Rukia Lumumba, executive director of the People’s Advocacy Institute and co-director of the Movement for Black Lives’ Electoral Justice Program will join us as a plenary speaker for #TFN2021!

A transformative justice strategist and human rights activist, Rukia is the daughter of the late community justice icon Chokwe Lumumba, who served as mayor of Jackson, Miss., and Nubia Lumumba. Rukia continues the Lumumba family’s rich history of advancing issues and initiatives that elevate the legal, economic, health and educational rights of individuals, families and communities.

For more than 18 years, she has worked within and outside the system to foster justice for all, especially as it relates to criminal justice disparities for people of color. She has served as director of two of New York state’s largest criminal justice nonprofits, CASES (the Center for Alternatives Sentencing and Employment Services) and the Center for Community Alternatives, providing visionary leadership and building community and system partnerships to help break the prison pipeline.

During her leadership tenure, more than 4,200 youths received supportive community-based services including housing, education, job, and health and well-being services, in lieu of incarceration. She also served as co-chair of the Anti-Violence and Criminal Justice Working Group and steering committee member of the first Young Women’s Initiative in the United States dedicated to developing gender equitable policies in New York City, particularly for young women of color.

Rukia also served as campaign manager for her brother Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s successful 2017 run for mayor of Jackson, Miss., which made him the second Lumumba to hold that title.

Critical Conversations

In this time of social distancing, it’s important for us to connect with compassion, humanity and understanding. TFN’s conference will offer Critical Conversations, an opportunity to have frank, open, peer-facilitated exchanges of ideas and experiences, and perhaps learn a little bit about each other in the process. Each session will be led by a facilitator with a deep personal or professional connection to the topic.

Critical Conversations @ #TFN2021:
COVID-19 & Racism

Facilitator: Jasmine N. Hall Ratliff, Deputy Director for Culture and Strategy, Keecha Harris and Associates

Monday, March 15 | 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. ET

Being Black in Philanthropy
L-R: Shawn Escoffery, Marcus Walton

Facilitators: Shawn Escoffery, Executive Director, Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation; Member, TFN Board of Directors and Marcus Walton, President & CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Monday, March 15| 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. ET

Decolonizing Leadership

Facillitator: Bina Patel, CEO, Saathi Impact Consulting, and TFN PLACES Alum/Fellowship Facilitator

Wednesday, March 17 | 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Healing and Trauma

Facilitator: Dr. Denese Shervington, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Tulane University School of Medicine and President and CEO, Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies

Wednesday, March 17 | 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. ET

Who else will be at #TFN2021?

TFN’s 2021 Virtual Conference: Rise Together will encourage funders to explore the strategies and stories that are creating more equitable, sustainable, and resilient places to live — work that has taken on increased urgency as we face the dual challenges of a global pandemic and structural racism.

We’ve designed sessions that are intersectional, cross-cutting and grounded in racial equity and speak to activism, collaboration and movement building.

Please check out our TFN 2021 Virtual Conference: Rise Together webpage for more updates and conference highlights