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Authentic Community Engagement Part 1: How Should Philanthropy Create More Inclusive Spaces?
The COVID-19 crisis underscores how important it is for funders to be deeply connected to the communities we seek to support. For the next three months, our Monthly Master Class webinars will take up the question of how funders can authentically engage the communities we support and partner with.

For the first class in this series, on April 3, we will ask members for feedback on how philanthropy and Grantmakers for Education can and should best engage those outside the funder world. Funders increasingly recognize that solving big social problems requires the participation and voice of a diverse set of actors, especially those most proximate to the challenge. The current COVID-19 crisis is an excellent backdrop to surface this conversation. As we've been working through the rapid changes that have impacted millions of students, it has been especially important to hear from those interacting directly with learners and teachers to understand their immediate needs. This is a good example of how funders are learning to listen better and share space at the table. At the same time, funder-only spaces remain a vital component of grantmaking because they allow funders to develop and learn from each other in a pitch-free environment.

What have we learned so far from the current crisis about how and when to involve other stakeholders? What insights have you gained and how are you applying those to your strategies? Moving forward, how can we balance these opposing needs and create both inclusive spaces for all community members and safe spaces for grantmakers?

At this webinar, we will take up the question of how to strike the right balance between inclusive and funder-only spaces. Share lessons on community engagement that you are learning in your own work, especially in light of COVID-19, and how you plan to apply these lessons in addressing the next steps in this crisis.

This event is intended for members and education grantmakers. The event is free.

Apr 3, 2020 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Nicole Rodriguez Leach
Director @Aprendes Foundation
Nicole Rodriguez Leach is the director of Aprendes Foundation, a philanthropic organization that amplifies the power, potential and partnerships of Latinx peoples and communities, as well as broader communities of color. Previously she served as head of education and special advisor at Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, where she oversaw grant programs focused on education equity in New York City and across the US and Latin America. She facilitated internal strategic planning and also advised Deutsche Bank employees and employee groups on their philanthropic activity in the areas of education and youth development, community development and racial justice. Nicole holds a master’s degree in urban policy analysis and management from The New School, where she received top honors for academic excellence and contributions to the field of urban policy. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in socio‐cultural anthropology from Wesleyan University.
Celine Coggins
Executive Director @Grantmakers for Education
Celine Coggins has been an educator for more than two decades, with a track record as an innovator, leader and connector. Her work has always been deeply connected to teachers and disadvantaged schools. In 2007, she founded Teach Plus where she spent the next decade as CEO and grew the organization to over 30,000 teachers. Celine was recognized at the White House for her organization’s impact on public education. A nationally-recognized expert on teacher leadership, education policy standards and accountability, and union politics, Celine has addressed audiences nationwide. She appears regularly in the media and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, among others. She is the author of three books, most recently How to Be Heard: Ten Lessons Teachers Need to Advocate for Their Students and Profession. Celine earned her Ph.D. in education policy analysis at Stanford University and is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.