Racial Justice and Health Equity in Philanthropy
Authentically delivering on racial justice and health equity requires philanthropy to acknowledge its own internal biases and the ways the sector holds on to power. From its inception, the Convergence Partnership has sought to set and model new standards for transformational philanthropic practices and engagement. The Partnership is committed to building the capacity of funders to demonstrate transformative practices and relationships that dismantle systemic racism and power imbalances.
Today, the Partnership is leveraging its investments and relationships with local, state, regional, and national funders to share and shift power to communities through capacity-building efforts that:
- Organize and align funder ideas and investments at local, regional, and national levels with a focus on racial equity;
- Shift internal philanthropic practices to dismantle structures that perpetuate structural racism and create new ones that advance racial justice and health equity;
- Increase direct investments in BIPOC-led grassroots infrastructure and leadership; and
- Build transformative relationships with grassroots leaders and groups to be more responsive.
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Convergence is also committed to modelling funder accountability, sharing openly and transparently both about successes and missteps. What does it mean to authentically share power and amplify community voices? What does it look like to operate in trusting partnerships with grassroots movements? What role must the Partnership play in advocating for the policy priorities of the people? The Partnership will share learnings and promising practices in multiple venues, influencing the practices of public and private funders.
Convergence Leadership Institute
The Convergence Leadership Institute (CLI) is a team-based, action-oriented training and development program for philanthropy launched by Convergence Partnership in 2014 to strengthen capacity, leadership, and peer-to-peer engagement amongst funders to integrate racial justice and health equity into internal and external practices.
CLIs to date:
- 2014: Minneapolis, MN—The inaugural CLI—Advancing Healthy People, Healthy Places through Advocacy, Community Engagement, and Grantmaking—was centered around increasing philanthropic capacity to advance equity through policy change, advocacy, grantmaking, and community engagement.
- 2015: Los Angeles, CA—The Convergence Equity Forum (in conjunction with the PolicyLink Equity Summit) focused on identifying effective grantmaking strategies to advance equity, and moving beyond grantmaking to strengthen advocacy for racial equity across a range of policy issues.
- 2018: Chicago, IL—The Convergence Equity Forum (in conjunction with the PolicyLink Equity Summit) focused on strengthening philanthropic practices to amplify grassroots and support movements, and the role of philanthropy in transforming narratives to promote health equity.
- 2019: Oakland, CA—The most recent CLI in October 2019 focused on supporting racial justice and health equity through grassroots organizing and narrative transformation.