CFLeads Cohort Session Sets Stage for Equity Insights
“This is exciting work that aligns with and informs our racial equity focus, and our participation is extremely timely,” said GCF Director, Community Strategies Rickell Howard Smith. “The groups all have similar questions and challenges, and it’s a perfect environment to share lessons learned. We left the meeting with a list of ideas and practicaltools that GCF can use to help further our equity work and more effectively implement our racial equity strategy.”
As we announced previously, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is one of six foundations selected for the CFLeads’ second nationwide Community Foundation Equity Network cohort this year. CFLeads is a community foundation network that helps build strong communities by advancing effective practices, sharing knowledge and galvanizing action on critical issues.
GCF’s CFLeads team — President/CEO Ellen M. Katz, Governing Board Co-Chair Delores Hargrove-Young, Vice President, Community Strategies Harold D. Brown, Director, Community Strategies Rickell Howard Smith, J.D. and Executive Director, Women’s Fund Meghan Cummings — participated in the first of three cohort sessions in May in St. Paul, Minnesota.
They joined fellow cohort members — Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Jackson (Michigan) Community Foundation, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation and Waco Foundation — for a two-day, peer-to-peer approach that dives deep into discerning and implementing policies to accelerate equity both internally and in their respective communities.
That first meeting helped build a baseline understanding of the equity contexts in which community foundations work, in such categories as donor engagement, grantmaking, community leadership and impact investing.
“This is exciting work that aligns with and informs our racial equity focus, and our participation is extremely timely,” said Howard Smith. “The groups all have similar questions and challenges, and it’s a perfect environment to share lessons learned. We left the meeting with a list of ideas and practical tools that GCF can use to help further our equity work and more effectively implement our racial equity strategy.”
Key topics covered in the first meeting include:
- Identifying opportunities for community foundations to advance racial equity, detailed in a presentation by PolicyLink Founder in Residence Angela Glover Blackwell.
- Ideas for cultivating donor support and alignment to equity-related issues.
- Useful data and research methods to determine strategic focus areas.Developing performance measures and goals.
- Internal practices that help advance equity, including board engagement.
The cohort will meet twice more through early 2020, and the GCF team is looking forward to sharing — and acting upon — the insights of this collaboration with our community.