Exploring Whiteness: White Anti-Racism Cohort

Exploring Whiteness: White Anti-Racism Cohort

Blueberry blue graphic with the words "Exploring Whiteness: White Anti-Racism Cohort" and a close up on gesticulating hands.

Event details

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 to Tuesday, October 8, 2024
10:00am to 12:30pm PDT
In-person + Virtual

About this event

At Philanthropy Northwest we have a deep commitment to racial equity. Part of that commitment is to interrogate the role of whiteness in race equity and anti-racism work.

For many white people, whiteness has been taught as the absence of race. This new six-session cohort is an opportunity for white people in philanthropy to unlearn this, better understand their whiteness and white privilege and explore their anti-racist action both personally and in the sector.

Through this cohort experience, participants will gain:

  • A deepened understanding of whiteness. This includes your own racial identity as a white person, understanding white culture and white privilege and increasing fluency and relation to these concepts.
  • New relationships. This cohort will provide time and space for white people in philanthropy committed to anti-racism to build relationships and meet values-aligned colleagues.
  • Strategies for action. In addition to being a learning space, participants will be identifying and beginning to implement action steps both personally and within their organizations aligned with racial equity values. 

Why only white people?

A white caucus space puts the onus on white people to teach each other about race and race equity, rather than placing the burden on people of color. Confidentiality is crucial to successful caucus spaces. Personal information, stories or concerns will not be shared outside of the cohort. However, to promote transparency of this white affinity space to our BIPOC colleagues, we will share themes and high-level learnings with the broader Philanthropy Northwest network. The intention of this is to promote education and awareness and to encourage dialogue within organizations and the broader community to emphasize the important role that white people play in addressing systemic racism and advancing race equity.

Who Should Attend?

This cohort is for staff of philanthropic organizations who identify racially as white. We encourage staff from across different teams in your organizations to apply (development, communications, finance, operations, grants management, etc.). You do not need to be a Philanthropy Northwest member to participate in the cohort.   

Participants must:

  • Have a basic understanding of racial equity and be working to center those values in their work.
  • Be interested in exploring themes around whiteness and white privilege. 
  • Be open to learning, both the joy and discomfort of stretching your thinking. 
  • Attend at least four of the six sessions to create a cohesive learning environment with fellow cohort peers. 


Interested individuals will need to fill out an application to be part of the cohort. Please click on the "Register Now" button above or on this link to apply.  Applications are due April 12.  


May 7 Virtual Session 1
The second session will be focused on further foundation-building and unpacking terms so we have a shared language for this work.
June 11 Virtual Session 2
The second session will be focused on further foundation-building and unpacking terms so we have a shared language for this work.
July 10-11  In-Person Retreat in Seattle, WA
Session three will be a two-day retreat to come together in person as a cohort. This will be an opportunity to explore our equity maps and equity journey stories, as well as further connect as a group. This is planned to be in Seattle but could change depending on the location of cohort members. 
September 10  Virtual Session 3
This session will be focused on applying our learning by putting concepts into practice and using frameworks and tools to identify anti-racism growth edges. 
October 8  Virtual Session 4
Our final session together will be a chance to reflect and determine an actionable path forward in our own lives.


Each virtual session will run from 10 am - 12:30 pm  PT.


Lisa Fisher, Senior Advisor at The Giving Practice

Lisa is passionate about thoughtful, collaborative and participatory approaches to philanthropy. For 17 years, Lisa has served as a coach, a facilitator and an educational, organizational and development consultant to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. 

Before joining The Giving Practice, Lisa served as a senior program officer at a family foundation. She also served as faculty at Presidio Graduate School and has worked with universities on their social impact strategies and programming. In 2015, she published the best-selling and award-winning book, Admissions by Design.

Lisa is a certified Immunity to Change facilitator, a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer (CGT) and a Level 1 Partnership Broker. In 2014, she was named a Social Impact Fellow by RSF Social Finance. Lisa graduated from Wellesley College and holds three advanced degrees: a master of arts in teaching, a master of arts in leadership and organizational development and a master of arts in psychology.


  • Member Rate: $3,850
  • Non-Member Rate: $5,950

We understand that financial constraints can sometimes pose a barrier to participation. We encourage anyone who may benefit from financial assistance to apply for a scholarship in the application form.


Philanthropy Northwest strives to make our events accessible to everyone. If you require an accommodation or service to complete the application please contact JulieAnne Behar

Please contact JulieAnne Behar with any questions.