Foundation Presidents Gather in Washington, DC To Discuss Racial Equity

Earlier this year, Independent Sector President and CEO Dan Cardinali spoke with Keecha Harris, president and CEO of Keecha Harris and Associates, Inc. (KHA) about our fledging relationship around racial equity and creating a peer-to-peer learning community for foundation presidents. Since then, KHA held their second Presidents’ Forum for Racial Equity in March in the nation’s capital.

Just like with the first Presidents’ Forum in December 2018, KHA released a summary of that meeting where foundation presidents had important and sometimes difficult conversations about their own journeys toward racial equity.

Four core themes emerged from the convening:

  1. Push forward versus pull back: The balance between satisfying staff desire to move ahead on racial equity with the board’s hesitation about pursuing the issue.
  1. Self versus the organization: The occasional struggle between one’s own personal development and commitment to racial equity and the specific strategy of the organization.
  1. Racial equity versus DEI: The debate among and within foundations about whether to use a specific racial equity frame or a broader (and, at times, more accepted) diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) frame.
  1. Creating new circles of trust: Getting comfortable with the discomfort of broadening one’s trusted circle to bring in new voices, particularly of those who are more proximal to the problem.

Dan Cardinali will be attending the Presidents’ Forum this June in Montgomery, Alabama, when participants visit the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. This cohort will meet again at Upswell Chicago this November.

Read the full meeting report.

Learn more about the Presidents’ Forum.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: IS Staff, Race, Equity, and Inclusion