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To access the notes and materials from our calls and convenings, please click on the event you want. We'll provide brief synopses of each event to help you find the materials you are looking for. If you can't find them, please feel free to reach out to Stephanie.
October 2019 | Convening in Chicago
We will reconvene in Chicago over two and a half days, spending time looking at operationalizing racial equity in all parts of our work, examining whiteness in our foundations and the homelessness system, and setting goals for ourselves for the remainder of Foundations for Racial Equity. Part of our time will be spent jointly with another community of practice, Foundations for Employment and Housing.
We heard from Joanna Bomba Grebb and Alex Ebrahimi from the King County Department of Community and Human Services Coordinated Entry for All about the work they're leading in King County to transform the coordinated entry assessment system and make it more equitable. We had an opportunity to ask questions and reflect with each other what implications there are for the work happening in our own communities.
In August, we checked in briefly about our upcoming convening in October and previewed what we'll talk about in September. We'll reflected on what we heard during the 2019 Funders Institute around operationalizing racial equity and advancing racial equity from the ground up and dream up ways for us to bring back tools from the field to our own work and to the housing and homelessness field. We ended the call by sharing new reading materials for us to continue our own learning around racial equity.
During our July call, we got a sense of what other FRE members are doing when it comes ot asking grantees about racial equity. We talked about why funders should (or should not) be asking grantees about racial equity, as well as what is working in getting honest, specific answers and information. We named some recommendations for other funders working in housing and homelessness before we heard updates from Funders Together about how they're continuing to embed and operationalize racial equity in their work.
During our June call, we heard from Lisa Coffman at HUD and Joe Savage at USICH about the racial equity work their agencies are undertaking. Lisa shared some information about the upcoming NOFA and her thoughts on how funders can be good partners in this work. Joe shared a bit about USICH's upcoming racial equity guide and what kind of support he thinks CoCs can use related to addressing racial disparities in the homelessness system.
Continuing the conversation from our April call, in May we dove deeper about what it means to center customer voice in systems change work. We were joined by Marc Dones, Azia Ruff, Mary Flower, and Danielle Winslow to learn about how people experiencing homelessness, especially from overrepresented populations, provided feedback for this work; how we can support systems change to be more equitable; and what we need to do to make sure that we are truly centering people experiencing homelessness in a new, more equitable system.
At the March convening in Portland, participants named centering people with lived experience as a critical first step to advancing racial equity. During our April call, we talked about ways funders can support the centering of people with lived experience.
During our first in-person convening, we gathered to build relationships and deepen trust, share resources and learn from each other, and identify ways to collaborate. We learned from other foundation leaders and case studies about operationalizing racial equity and shared experiences through a organizational self-assessment. Through case consultations, we supported our peers who brought challenges to the table for peer support and input. As a group, we brought forth our most pressing questions and valuable resources and talked about the work for this community of practice as a whole. And, of course, we found moments of joy and appreciation for each other.
During this call, we heard an update from Jeff Olivet and Regina Cannon about SPARC's current and upcoming work. Participants asked questions about centering the voices of people with lived experience, the role of CEOs, and engaging cross-system partners. Kelly, from Cisco in Santa Clara, shared a bit about the SPARC work that just launched the week before. Stephanie then shared some themes from her intake calls with participants before transitioning into talking about the foundational knowledge participants should have before the March convening. Participants heard from Tina Gridiron, who introduced The Giving Practice and shared information about the March convening.
During this call, we kicked off our cohort program with quick introductions and a review of the goals for this group. Stephanie provided some brief updates about what other partners are up to, including the National Working Group on Racial Equity that met January 22-23 in DC, and previewed what the March convening might look like. Participants on the call provided input about what they wanted to discuss and learn together.