The goal of the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) is to increase the amount and effectiveness of resources aimed at combating institutional and structural racism in communities through capacity building, education, and convening of grantmakers and grantseekers.

Follow @lvpre

PRE Publications

Take a moment to view publications published by PRE. Click on one of the icons to the left to be taken to our publications page.


A Grantmakers in the Arts Racial Equity Forum:Supporting African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) Organizations

Tuesday June 2, 2015 Atlanta, GA

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) hosts a national dialogue for arts funders on June 2, 2015 on increasing funding and access to funding for African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) organizations.

An Introduction to Understanding the Structural Racism Framework

Lori Villarosa, executive director of Philanthropic Initiative on Racial Equity, will present An Introduction to Understanding the Structural Racism Framework, which will outline components of institutional racism that influence our daily lives and affect our grantmaking choices.

Sustaining Racial Justice Action in Philanthropy: Ferguson & Beyond

Many of us have watched or perhaps even marched, as community members mobilize to keep the nation's attention on the racial injustice so evident in the recent tragic police killings of unarmed Black men and boys, with outrage then exacerbated by the failures to indict the police responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

As change agents within philanthropy, as we witness local, national and global action in response to the repeated travesty of justice and societal failure, how do we work to support the current movement and continue to build toward deeper transformational change? How do we sustain attention and build within philanthropy as well? And importantly, how do we fight the tendency of the urgent need to respond that leads to overly simplistic responses?

At PRE, we have been long been focusing on the question of what it takes to strengthen the support needed to combat structural racism, and in the past year have particularly sought to cull lessons from past racialized flashpoints as we work with funders and the field to advance deep transformation. To see some of our recommendations based on a meeting we convened with activists and funders, and others across the country in these past months, as well as other resources from PRE and partners please go here.


April 30, 2015 New Haven, Connecticut
Philanthropy's Role in Empowering Change: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's Annual Meeting and Philanthropy Awards

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The Essential Place of Equity in Philanthropy

Many in philanthropy are recognizing the need to include an equity lens in their efforts to help grantees create positive change in communities. But what does this mean and what does it look like? This interactive session will provide ideas and tools for funders who are navigating the complex and interrelated challenges of racial and economic equity in their grantmaking.

Session Presenters:
Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
Carolyne Abdullah, Director of Community Assistance, Everyday Democracy
Valeriano Ramos, Director of Strategic Alliances, Everyday Democracy

April 23 - 25, 2015 Napa Valley, California
Empower Philanthropy! ABFE 2015 National Conference

Friday, April 24, 2015, 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Black Organizing for Racial Justice: Change for All Our Communities

There has been a greater awareness of the importance of Black organizing for transformational racial justice change for all of our communities, but what supports are needed to strengthen and maintain this work? What infrastructure does it take to truly build and sustain Black political power and how can funders meet these challenges at local and national levels?

Professional Development Institute Resource Team:
Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
Erin Dale Byrd, Blueprint North Carolina
William Copeland, East Michigan Environmental Action Council
Ditra Edwards, The Praxis Project
NTanya Lee, Movement Building Consultant
Denise Perry, Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD)

January 15, 2015 Boston, Massachusetts (closed meeting)
Social Justice Funders Network (SJFN) Retreat

Lori Villarosa will present at SJFN retreat, focusing on:

-Racial justice funding nationally, including challenges and opportunities for funders to deepen their partnerships and impacts with communities of color toward more just outcomes for all;

-Grantmaking that addresses structural racism/racialization: What key components must be in place? (including clear racial analysis, power-building, multi-institutional/multi-sector, etc); and

-Potential foundation/community barriers that may exist toward effectively supporting these, using various examples from other cities or states, including Seattle, Detroit, CA, OR, NC & some funding networks/initiatives.

SJFN is a shared learning, shared practice safe space for individuals who work in philanthropy to support each other regardless of family, community, individual donors who identify as "social justice" funders.

November 13-15, 2014 Dallas, Texas
Facing Race 2014 a National Conference

Friday, November 14, 2014, 11:00am - 12:30pm
Moving Foundations Toward Racial Justice Grantmaking

Join us to discuss case studies conducted by PRE on The California Endowment, Woods Fund of Chicago and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation - each of which has been on a trajectory to move toward greater grantmaking aimed at combatting structural racism to achieve racial justice. The foundations operate at different levels (local, statewide and national) and are at different stages of their evolution. This session will share stories from various vantage points of trustees, staff and grantees - and importantly, will lift up lessons and opportunities where activists were able to engage and influence the institutional change processes to move funding toward racial justice.

Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity; David L. Neal, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; Caronina Grimble, Woods Fund of Chicago; Sandra Witt, The California Endowment

October 29-30, 2014 Minneapolis, Minnesota (closed meeting)

2014 Convergence Leadership Institute

Get on Board: Engaging Philanthropic Leadership & Trustees to Support Equity & Advocacy
Establishing a funding portfolio to support equity-focused policy advocacy and build advocacy skills of community residents may be unfamiliar territory for trustees and senior foundation leadership. These investment strategies yield outcomes over a longer timeframe and may not seem as tangible to leaders more familiar with funding service delivery programs. This session will give participants an opportunity to consider how to approach trustees and senior leadership to build stronger organizational commitments to investing in advocacy and equity.

Jennifer Martin, The Seattle Foundation; Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity; Leslie Mikkelsen, Prevention Institute

All-Group Coaching Session & Panel Discussion: Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens
Deepening racial and economic inequities coupled with our nation's rapidly changing demographics require greater intentionality to the types and approaches by which philanthropy does its grantmaking. Racial equity can provide a powerful "lens" by problems are understood and strategies are shaped, from what is funded and who is funded to when and how grants are made.

Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity; Chris Kabel, Kresge Foundation; Jasmine Hall-Ratliff, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

August 5-6, 2014 Minneapolis, Minnesota

Convening on Racial Equity

Funders Learning/Strategy Meeting
In advance of the Convening on Racial Equity the funder meeting is open to grantmakers who recognize the leveraging role that government can play in achieving racial equity in cities and regions and are interested in connecting with other place-based funders and learning more about the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.

There will be discussion of the immediate practical ways funders can engage with the Alliance, including innovative funding strategies targeted at eliminating structural racism and opportunities to work in partnerships with government and the community at the regional level. It will also be explored whether there would be value in a debriefing space and additional exchange for funders after the full conference, either in person or via conference call.

A variety of resource people plan to participate in the meeting, including elected officials, peer funders and the following national experts: john a. powell, director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, U-C Berkeley; Glenn Harris, new president of the Center for Social Inclusion (and former Race and Social Justice Initiative Manager; and Julie Nelson, director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, and former Director of the City of Seattle Office of Civil Rights.

Hosted by:
PRE, Neighborhood Funders Group and Government Alliance on Race and Equity.

June 6 - 8, 2014, Washington, DC

Joint Affinity Group Unity Summit

A conference for JAG partners, their members and stakeholders to create shared strategies for advancing equity, assess equity work, and develop a new vision & plan for collaboration.

Saturday, June 7, 2014 Washington, DC: 7:30- 9:00AM
Location: Grand Ballroom South/Central

Breakfast at the Main Stage: Telling Our Story: A 20-Year Retrospective on the Movement for Equity in Philanthropy
For decades, bold philanthropic leaders have worked through networks such as the JAG affinity groups to advance equity and social change in and through philanthropy. From the birth of ABFE in a moment of protest in 1971, to the response to the HIV crisis in 1980s and the founding of JAG in 1994, a panel of leaders will share stories and lessons learned from the rich history of the movement to democratize philanthropy. What have been some of the most successful strategies for advancing equity in philanthropy? What have been the greatest challenges and what have we learned? As we move forward, how can we work collectively to advance social change through philanthropy?

A conversation with Peggy Saika, President and Executive Director, AAPIP; Lori Villarosa, Executive Director and Founder, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE); Alandra Washington, Ph.D., Director of Organizational Quality and Effectiveness, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Cindy Rizzo, Vice President, Impact & Learning, Arcus Foundation

9:30- 10:30AM

Academy 1: Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

Our Change, Our Voices
"History teaches us that change is often made when an organized segment of those most affected, leading in solidarity with allies, disrupt business as usual." Building on this quote from Makani Themba, this session will present a mix of national and local examples of communications and culture shift strategies to work effectively across identity lines, build movement and advance racial justice from the perspectives of leaders in the field at different levels, as activists and as funders. And critically, it will share concrete tools for funders seeking to increase their impact and affect policies that will truly improve the lives of all.

Presenters: Rinku Sen, Race Forward and Makani Themba, The Praxis Project ; Moderator: Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

May 20 - 22, 2014, Nashville, TN

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

2014 National Convening: Immigrants, Philanthropy, and America's Future: Learning from the U.S. South

From rural towns to sprawling metropolises, the face of America is changing. Recent demographic shifts have been especially pronounced in the U.S. South, where foreign-born migration is at a historic high. As with the country as a whole, immigrants in the South have invigorated declining communities, spurred economic growth, and reversed negative population trends. But with change also come challenges, some anticipated and some unforeseen. GCIR's 2014 National Convening will consider how philanthropy can address these challenges and the opportunities they present. It will highlight the latest issues and trends in the field, effective funding strategies, and innovative program and policy models from this dynamic region, as well as other sites across the country.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 3:30-5:00PM

Navigating Race & Immigration: A Roadmap for Funders

This interactive session will explore strategies for navigating sometimes challenging, but critically important conversations on immigration, race, and the nation's shifting cultural identity. As funders, what are strategies and tools we can use to effectively navigate these issues to advance immigrant integration and positively impact all members of our communities?

Presenter: Rinku Sen, Race Forward; Facilitator: Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Berkley, CA 11:30- 1:00PM

From Transaction to Transformation: Why a Structural Racialization Analysis is Essential for Challenging Global Corporate Power

While most progressives recognize linkages between race, income equality and corporate power, too often strategies fail to explicitly incorporate a structural racialization analysis or adequately develop campaigns that frame issues in ways that effectively engage communities of color, buffer against wedges or achieve wins that actually impact those most affected by much of the misalignment of resources and our stated values. This session will provide a mix of compelling and clear analysis of structural racialization and the historic and contemporary ties between race/corporations, along with example of organizing efforts utilizing this frame in the US and in connection with global partners to achieve deeper transformation and not simply limited transactional changes.

Presenters: john powell, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society Taj James, Movement Strategy Center; Saru Jayaraman, ROC-United and Food Labor Research Center. Moderator: Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

April 7 - 8, 2014, Detroit, MI

Detroit Bankruptcy and Beyond: Organizing for Change in Distressed Cities

The Damon Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, and Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength (MOSES) invite you to Detroit Bankruptcy and Beyond: Organizing for Change in Distressed Cities.

Registration info

Including a funder strategy session hosted by PRE on April 7. Please contact us for additional information.

For full details on all events, visit our news page.


PRE's Advisory Board and Staff are excited to announce the publication of Critical Issues Forum, Volume 5: Moving Forward on Racial Justice Philanthropy

"Have you seen any progress?" If you work in any social change arena long enough you are bound to be asked this question many times. We ask it of ourselves, and it is asked by our funders or boards or others.

As the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity celebrated our 10th anniversary last year and engaged allies within the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors to mark the occasion with us, we heard this question repeatedly and knew it was important to take stock of what many of us have been collectively aiming to move for decades.

As with most social justice work, the reality of moving a racial justice approach within philanthropy has been a mix of progress and setbacks. It is important to examine where has there been more or less progress, what has contributed to it and what may have diverted us. And even more critically, we must clarify where we need to go next, ideally building on lessons of the past.

Grantmaking with a structural racialization lens is complex and evolving. Within this volume, we address the concept, the dynamics of structural interventions, the challenges of measurement and the lessons that some funders and activists have gleaned.

The past year, through focus groups, webinars and direct interviews, our team has sought to get a strong sense of both funders' and activists' perspectives on progress particularly over the past two decades. We have heard real frustration, especially as the needs are so critical and the level of urgency among activists and communities is so high. However, in spite of these very real concerns, we have also seen clear commitment and depth of understanding in other quarters. We are pleased that through funder case studies and activist essays about structural racism analysis, intersectionality and media justice, we're able to share real progress, even as each piece recognizes there is still much more to be done.

As with each volume of PRE's Critical Issues Forum, we offer these articles with the hope of sparking deeper discourse and greater learning in the field. Even more so than in the past, we hope that publishing the volume online creates a shared space for others to weigh in. We invite you to join in the dialogue as we reflect and continue building on the work of so many before us, and create new bridges for the many who are taking up this work now and after us.

Please contact us at if you would like to order a hard copy, or download individual articles for free here. We encourage you to share all or the most relevant parts with your colleagues and other networks.

The Applied Reseach Center is now Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

Published by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, in January, 2014, Moving the Race Conversation Forward aims to reshape and reform the way we talk about race and racism in our country. PRE Advisory Board member Rinku Sen is Race Forward's Executive Director.

PRE Advisory Board member john powell shared his thoughts on King's Evolving Dream, in a Martin Luther King Day blog post for the University of California, Berkeley: Center of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion's blog.

Julie Quiroz, PRE Advisory Board member and Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center reflected on 2013's Inspiring Movement Moments.

In her August, 2013 blog post, PRE Advisory Board member and President/Executive Director of the Paul J. Aicher Foundation/Everyday Democracy Martha McCoy discussed The Kind of "Race Talk" That Can Transform our Country.

In 2013 PRE Advisory Board member Julie Quiroz contributed to the development and launch of Our Healthy Alliance, a Roadmap and Movement Strategy Center collaboration. This assessment tool is designed to foster strategic alliances for social justice and is tailored to alliances that want to make social change and build social change movements.

Published in May, 2013 by the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change where PRE Advisory Board member Keith Lawrence is the Co-Director, Ten Lessons for Taking Leadership on Racial Equity distills ten lessons for how to take leadership on the difficult topic of race in America. Based on their ten years of work in this arena, the document is intended to suggest strategies to people willing to take up the challenge of promoting racial equity and inclusion.

Marking Progress: Evaluating Movement Toward Racial Justice Video and Audio; Webinar Slides.

This webinar addresses challenges, offers examples of current evaluative efforts, and shares suggestions to help us ask the right questions from various roles of community activist, advocate, researcher, or funder.

Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor,The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Rinku Sen, Executive Director, Applied Research Center and Colorlines Magazine
Maya Wiley, Executive Director,Center for Social Inclusion
Coordinated and moderated by PRE's Lori Villarosa


PRE commends Funders for LGBTQ Issues for its publication Common Vision Guide to Structural Change Grantmaking . It is intended to help foster conversations and contribute to the building of resources and tools about grantmaking that advance fundamental change in society. PRE was pleased to be among the co-sponsoring partners and advisory committee members for the Common Vision Project, and we encourage grantmakers to share reactions as this interactive web-based tool seeks to grow and evolve.