Giving Compass' Take:

• Dan Cardinali, writing for the Independent Sector, interviews Keecha Harris about The Presidents' Forum on Racial Equity in Philanthropy, and her long-term plans with this initiative. It brings together 30 CEOs of the largest foundations in the country to discuss racial equity in charitable giving. 

• Why is it important for donors to pay close attention to racial equity within their philanthropy? 

• Read more about the significance of equity in philanthropy. 

Last year, Keecha Harris and Associates, Inc. (KHA) did something somewhat remarkable. The team invited 30 CEOs of the biggest foundations in the country to have an open and personal conversation about race. The Presidents’ Forum on Racial Equity in Philanthropy was not a strategy session or a time to learn about the latest framework.

So when Larry Kramer – president and CEO of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, IS board member, and key planner for the Forum – suggested I connect with Keecha Harris about an idea to bring this concept to Upswell Chicago in November, I was thrilled to bring a collective approach to this work.

In that spirit, I sat down with Keecha recently to learn more about the President’s Forum and the long-term vision of this initiative.

DC: Let’s start at the beginning. Where did the idea of the President’s Forum come from?

KH: The Presidents’ Forum was envisioned as a series of in-person leadership development sessions for CEOs of U.S. foundations. Informed by interviews of nearly three dozen foundation executives, the Forum is a constructive space to address issues like talent development, board engagement, and sector impact.

DC: What did you hear from the leaders after the meeting? What were the takeaways?

KH: There was gratitude from the attendees for the discussion and hope that we could continue the reflections and engagement moving forward. We summarized what happened during the Forum with the following core themes:

  • Personal Commitment
  • Commonalities Around Trust and Power
  • Relationship Building and Culture
  • Mapping the Power of Relationships and Identity
  • Calibrating How Leaders See and Address Race 

Read the full article about racial equity by Dan Cardinali at Independent Sector