Equitable Community Development Tools for Funders: A Learning Series with Pittsburgh’s PLACES Fellows

GWP Members Only Program
Friday, January 6, 2017
12:00pm to 1:30pm EST
QIT Center
Centre City Tower
Suite 2600
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Effective community development – which can go beyond affordable housing to embrace economic development, improvements in schools and other investments in health and quality of life - in distressed communities often falls short of intended outcomes. Why or why not?  One disconnect is that often the needs and perspectives of low-income communities, often primarily people of color, have been systematically disregarded in decision-making about the community’s growth and development. The PLACES (Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Smart Growth) Fellowship Program (hosted by the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities) is designed to help funders use an explicit equity lens in supporting community development.  With this framework, funders can better engage and leverage residents’ own perspectives in improving their communities,  

In 2016, the PLACES Fellowship cohort included 14 individuals drawn from communities across the United States. Thanks to the generous support of The Heinz Endowments, two of our local colleagues  participated as PLACES Fellows.  Through a year-long series of site visits and learning activities, they had the opportunity to interact with effective local change agents in other cities who are leading the transformation of other marginalized communities, looking beyond established methodologies and seeking out innovative, community-appropriate solutions that deliver results. PLACES Fellows also learned about new tools to leverage philanthropy to create more equitable communities through convening, targeted grantmaking, and applied research in their home cities.

Join us for a two-part learning series with PLACES Fellows Karen Abrams, Diversity & Community Affairs Manager at the Urban Development Authority of Pittsburgh, and Mac Howison, Senior Program Officer for Catalytic Funding at The Sprout Fund.  Kate Dewey, President of The Forbes Funds, will facilitate the two sessions.

During this first session, Mac and Karen will share their experiences as part of the year-long fellowship cohort.  They will describe valuable insights gained and lessons learned from each site visit, and also share national context that is influencing the course of equitable development in each city.

Mark your calendars for our second session at noon on March 8th during which Mac and Karen will share tools and practices for advancing grantmaking in community development using an equity lens.

Lunch will be provided at both sessions.