GWP 2021 Annual Meeting: Trust, Power, and Transformation

GWP Members Only Program
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
12:00pm to 2:00pm EST
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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated deep and systemic inequities in American society. To achieve the level of systemic change that our region and nation require, philanthropy must reorganize to build and demonstrate a trust-based culture, open up decision-making, and share power.  

Join us as Michelle McMurray, Vice President of Program and Community Engagement at the Pittsburgh Foundation and GWP board member, engages two national thought leaders: nonprofit leader, writer, and speaker Vu Le and co-director of the Whitman Institute, Pia Infante. In a virtual fireside chat, they will discuss philanthropy’s responsibility to reimagine its role in light of today’s challenges. We’ll explore how making a shift to more trusting, power-aware relationships between foundations and nonprofits is necessary for civil society to be a true force for equitable, democratic, and effective social transformation. 

Meeting Agenda:

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM     GWP Annual Business Meeting

12:30 PM - 12:40 PM     Brief Break/Transition

12:40 PM -1:00 PM        GWP Annual Meeting Program Welcome & Special Artistic Performance 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM         Panel Discussion: Trust, Power, and Transformation


Vu Le (“voo lay”) writes the blog He is the former executive director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu is a founding board member of Community-Centric Fundraising, a movement that aims to ground fundraising practices in racial equity and social justice. Vu was born in Vietnam. He and his family came to the US when Vu was eight. He spent several years in Seattle, attending elementary and middle school, before moving to Memphis, Tennessee for high school and St. Louis for college and graduate school. He has a BA in Psychology and a Master in Social work. He is a vegan, a father of two kids (ages eight and five), and a staunch defender of the Oxford Comma.

Pia Infante is co-executive director of The Whitman Institute. She draws on decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational consultant, executive coach, business owner, writer and speaker to co-steward TWI's mission and spend out, which concludes in 2022. Ms. Infante serves on the boards of Vera List Center for Art & Politics and She holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.  Follow her @PiaVision


MIchelle McMurray is vice president of Program and Community Engagement at The Pittsburgh Foundation and is responsible for the strategic direction, development and management of the Foundation’s core grant-making programs. She is the first Black woman to oversee grant-making programs at the Foundation and is the second Black woman vice president in the Foundation’s history. Michelle joined the Foundation in 2014 and has served in multiple roles of increasing responsibility, including senior program officer and director of grantmaking. Over her tenure, she has led the creation of innovative initiatives, which include Small and Mighty, the Social Justice Fund and the Grantmaking for Racial Justice Fund, all of which increase access to funding for small, community-based nonprofits and Black and Brown-led organizations. 


Danielle Obisie-Orlu, Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County, is 20-year-old Nigerian-American student, poet, and actress who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a trained public speaker, receiving accolades in speech, drama, and debate. She attends the University of Pittsburgh and is double majoring in International & Area Studies and Political Science, with minors in Sociology and French. She is devoted to fostering environments of intersectional community, belonging, and empowerment. She is passionate about migration, belonging, and international human rights law; partners with ARSYE to empower migrant youth and refugee voices; and is a student leader on her campus.

Please note: This will be offered as a virtual meeting. Connection details will be shared upon registration. Live captioning will be available during the Annual Meeting via Diana Brandin Realtime Captioning & Sign Language Services LLC.

We are committed to making GWP programs accessible to all members. If you have questions, or if an accommodation would be helpful to fully participate in this program, please reach out to Paula or call 412-471-6488 and we will make every effort to accommodate your request.