Convergence Leadership Institute

October 2014 marked the inauguration of the first Convergence Leadership Institute (CLI). The CLI  is  a team-based,  action-oriented  training  and  development  program  that aims  to  strengthen  the  capacity,  leadership  and  engagement  of the  national Convergence  Network to promote policies and practices that advances equity and Healthy People, Healthy Places. 

The  overarching  goals  of the  CLI  are  to:

  • Strengthen  the  advocacy  capacity  and  leadership  of participants  to  advance  equitable  policy  change
  • Increase engagement  of the  Network  in  local and  regional  policy  advocacy  efforts,  as  well  as  those  initiated  by the national Partnership.

Held in Minneapolis in October 2014, the CLI differed from previous convenings in that it exclusively focused on leadership development, group collaboration and commitment, and strengthening analytical and strategic skills to support and engage in policy advocacy and grantmaking efforts that promote equity and health. The 2014 CLI program concentrated on (1) how philanthropy can specifically deliver on racial equity; and (2) increasing the engagement and capacity of the network in local and regional equitable policy advocacy and change.

Over 50 foundation leaders, board members, and nonprofit partners and advisors representing regional Convergence partnerships andInnovation Fund sites participated in the CLI. As part of the CLI, the teams were provided time to develop up to three specific actions they would commit to fulfilling upon returning home. Commitments ranged from conducting assessment of grantees’ staff/board racial and ethnic composition to presenting racial equity data to board, conducting equity/racial bias trainings for program staff, and developing grantmaking principles to use in assessing applications from a racial equity lens.