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.

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PRE Publications

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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


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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 Jackson, Mississippi

Implicit Racial Bias: A Practical Guide to Unlocking Racial Anxiety & Advancing Justice

Neighborhood Funders Group Convening 2013

National attention on racial justice setbacks on Voting Rights, on the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, and more have brought increasing discourse on the issues of implicit racial bias and its impacts on people's actions and decisions. Much of the discussion has been in relationship to research, communications and increasingly now moving to legal implications and policy, but what does this mean for community organizing? How do organizers develop campaigns that both factor in implications of implicit bias and ideally chisel away at the structures that perpetuate the negative, criminalizing, and dehumanizing views about people of color, and in particular African-American and Latino young men and boys? What are some concrete examples of community organizing lessons that can tackle structural racism at both explicit and implicit level? Starting with the South, but clearly moving beyond, join us for a highly interactive and iterative session among researcher/advocates and organizers at the early stages of exploring how to work more effectively in this non-post-racial time.

Speakers: Rachel Godsil, American Values Institute;Derrick Johnson, One Voice Mississippi;Gihan Perera,Florida New Majority; Lori Villarosa, Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (moderator).

November 18-20, 2013 Jackson, Mississippi

Mississippi Delta Learning Tour

Neighborhood Funders Group Convening 2013

The Mississippi Delta Learning Tour is open to all funders, regardless of participation in the NFG convening. We encourage attendance by funders who fund worker rights, workforce development, and economic justice/economic development at local, regional or national levels; fund in the South; or are interested in learning more about how the legacy of the Southern civil rights movement influences present-day efforts for social, economic and racial justice on a national level. .

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.

Save the Date for Race Forward's 2014 Facing Race National Conference November 13 - 15, 2014 in Dallas, TX.

Funders are encouraged to both attend and to consider supporting travel scholarships for their grantees to attend the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, and activists on racial justice.

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.