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.

Since its inception in January 2003, PRE has directly engaged hundreds of foundation representatives (including program staff, management, board members and individual donors) in discussions of racial equity and, in particular, how they can advance the mission of achieving racial equity through their own philanthropic institutions. PRE has conducted local and/or regional events in the Northwest, West, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast, as well as a number of national events.

PRE is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 organization that provides administrative and infrastructure support to new emerging charitable organizations who share its mission of striving for positive social change.PRE gratefully acknowledges major multiyear support from the C.S. Mott Foundation, as well as generous project support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, and Akonadi Foundation.

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Lori Villarosa
Executive Director
villarosa (at)

PRE is directed by Lori Villarosa, who has worked within the field of philanthropy for more than 20 years. Prior to launching PRE, Lori was a program officer with the C. S. Mott Foundation, where she worked closely with numerous organizations operating at local, regional, national and international levels from a diverse range of approaches. She began working at Mott in 1991 and was instrumental in developing the Foundation's U.S. Race Relations grantmaking portfolio, focusing on addressing institutional racism and building appreciation of racial and ethnic diversity. Until her departure in 2002, she was responsible for ongoing strategic planning, program development and evaluation of more than $24 million in new grants. Her portfolio covered a broad spectrum of community-based, academic, advocacy and research efforts at a time when a number of new approaches were emerging due to the changing demographics and post-Civil Rights Movement redefining of racial equity work.

Ms. Villarosa frequently serves as an advisor or presenter on a range of issues related to racial justice, intergroup relations, and philanthropy. She has worked closely with a broad range of grantmaking institutions including national, international, community, corporate, family, and progressive membership foundations. She currently sits on a number of boards, including the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, an operating foundation whose primary program is Everyday Democracy (formerly Study Circles Resource Center); the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, which focuses on youth organizing and public education; and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), a national health justice organization, which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. She served on the Program Committee of the Association of Black Foundation Executives from 2002 through 2008; has been a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy; and served on the national board of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy from 1997 to 2003, as chair from 2000 to 2002.

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Advisory Board

PRE is guided by a diverse advisory board of nationally renowned and respected leaders from the various fields being bridged by this initiative, including community-based racial justice, civil rights, and philanthropy.

Ron Chisom, Executive Director
The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond

Marisa Franco, Director and Co-Creator
Not1More Deportation Campaign; Mijente

Glenn Harris, President
Center for Social Inclusion

Richard Healey, Executive Director
Grassroots Policy Project

Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Policy Director
Forward Together

Keith Lawrence, Consultant
JustPartners, Inc.

Kien Lee, Principal Associate
Community Science

Martha McCoy, President / Executive Director
The Paul J. Aicher Foundation / Everyday Democracy

Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only

Gihan Perera, Executive Director
The New Florida Majority

Denise Perry, Director
Black Organizing for Leadership & Dignity (BOLD)

Maria Poblet, Executive Director
Causa Justa :: Just Cause

john a. powell, Director
Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California

Julie Quiroz, Senior Fellow
Movement Strategy Center

Rinku Sen, Executive Director and President
Race Forward: Center for Racial Justice Innovation
ColorLines Magazine

Makani Themba, Executive Director
The Praxis Project

Former Advisory Board Members

We would like to acknowledge our appreciation for the wisdom and guidance we have received from prior Advisory Board members who have generously committed time and leadership since our launch in 2003:

Barbara Arnwine, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Lucy Bernholz, Blueprint Research and Design, Inc.
Jacqueline Berrien, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Imani Constance Burnett, Southeast Council on Foundations
Rick Cohen, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Terri Lee Freeman, The Community Foundation for the National Capitol Region
Kumi Naidoo, CIVICUS (through 2009), Greenpeace International
Eva J. Paterson, Equal Justice Society
Tarso Ramos, Western States Center
Laurie Regelbrugge, Unocal Corporation
Robert Sherman, Surdna Foundation
Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected Officals Education Fund
Maya Wiley, Center for Social Inclusion

Affiliations listed at the time of PRE Advisory Board membership


To ensure its work has broader and lasting impact, PRE is committed to partnering with affinity groups, funders, and nongovernmental organizations in a variety of ways, including co-sponsoring convenings that explicitly address issues of racial equity, conducting joint research, providing skills building workshops for grantmakers, or developing joint tools. Current and recent partners include: Grantcraft; Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues; Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change; Applied Research Center; Center for Social Inclusion; Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity

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Related Affinity Groups

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy

Association of Black Foundation Executives

Hispanics in Philanthropy

Native Americans in Philanthropy

Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees


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