Operationalizing Equity within Philanthropy: Where and How Do I Start?

Host Organization: Philanthropy New York's Committee for Equitable and Inclusive Philanthropy


Does the thought of refocusing your grantmaking efforts to address racial equity seem insurmountable? Does it appear to be yet another strategy to implement? Are you unclear as to who should lead the charge within your foundation to address racial equity? These are some of the real and common concerns expressed by grantmakers as they embark on the journey of shifting their current programming and aligning their grantmaking policies and practices to be more diverse, more inclusive and more racially equitable.

In this workshop, we will take you on the journey of two foundations where presenters highlight aspects of their programming that show how staff at all levels across the foundation, including the board, can work within their sphere of influence to operationalize racial equity.


  • Processes for developing internal racial equity goals
  • Assessing organizational culture and developing policies and practices
  • Developing structures for working with the board on racial equity
  • Realigning and refining practices and behavioral shifts
  • Facilitating dialogue around social justice and racial equity led by staff


  • Jay Beckner, President, Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Helen Chin, Program Director for Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation
  • Trellis Stepter, Program Officer, Mertz Gilmore Foundation
  • Kellie Terry, Program Officer for Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation
  • Keecha Harris (Moderator), President and CEO, KHA & Associates

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