Creating Space for the ‘Elephants in the Room’ at #PNW17

Creating Space for the ‘Elephants in the Room’ at #PNW17


You asked, we listened. Now is the time to lead through change, and change appears to be the new normal for our sector. We’re committed to creating the space where you can dive into what’s most pressing in your foundation and learn from your peers who, like you, are working to make sense of the latest news in real time.

  • Are you concerned about the rise of hate groups and racism in Northwest communities?
  • Worried about how federal policy changes may affect your work and the communities you serve?

We are creating space at the conference to address these questions and more through conversations that are part of a new feature we’re calling Philanthropy Interrupted Talks. They are in addition to breakout sessions, learning tours and plenaries. You get to curate your own experience. Conference attendees are invited to lead and participate in discussions on a variety of emergent issues, including the “elephant in the room,” the federal budget.

Since PNW17 begins just three days after the budget is supposed to be in place, we won’t know until conference time what, if anything, a new budget will mean. What we do know is that many of the programs that are critical to our communities may be in limbo.

Some Philanthropy Interrupted Talks will be led by leaders watching particular federal and state policies. Others will be led by leaders about timely and relevant topics. We hope you’ll consider sharing your knowledge with your peers. We’ll all benefit from getting up-to-speed and discussing shared strategy and possible future collaborations. 

Additional topics so far include: (updated as of 9/21/17)

  • The Rise of Hate Groups in Our Communities
  • DACA: Robust Responses in Midst of Repeal - Camellia Rodriguez-SackByrne, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR)
  • How can we align STEM education/career connected learning funding to support students of color and students in rural communities? Caroline King, Washington STEM
  • Long-term rural work: partnerships between local, regional and national funders, Allen Smart, Rural Philanthropic Analysis, Campbell University
  • Building Trust Among Neighbors: Project Neighborly. Mauri Ingram, Whatcom Community Foundation
  • Tax Reform Policy - Wendy Campos, Moss Adams LLP
  • Supporting communities addressing organized hate activity. Eric K. Ward, Western States Center
  • Racial Healing Dialogue - Liz Medicine Crow & Emily Tyrell, First Alaskans Institute
  • Federal Housing and Homelessness Spending Policy - Sheila Babb Anderson, Campion Advocacy Foundation
  • Implications of the 2018 Federal Budget on Scientific and Engineering R & D: How Will it Impact Philanthropy? - Moses Lee, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • Economics Made Easy: Producing Detailed Economic and Demographic Reports for Any Town or County - Ray Rasker, Headwaters Economics
  • Advocacy and Public Policy in Montana - Dan Kemmis, The Giving Practice
  • Add your topic here

This list is not complete, and we’d love to include your topic ideas here. EVERY proposed topic will get a space and time. Check out the FAQs or email me at for more information.

Your colleagues—and all of us at Philanthropy Northwest—look forward to learning from you in Vancouver!