News and Insights

Dreaming of New Worlds, Then Making Them Real

05/19/2016

Elizabeth Posey, Momentum Fellow | When I was seven years old, I spent hours hanging upside down from the large cottonwood tree in my front yard during those short summer months, imagining different worlds to go with the shapes of the clouds. During our endless Anchorage winters, I still spent hours outdoors, building whole new worlds out of snow. That little black girl grew up enraptured by the blue majesty of the snow-capped mountains and the sheer vastness of the state that fueled her sense of imagination, nurturing the idea that more was possible. Now my interest in alternate realities is expressed through my work, at the intersection of philanthropy, public policy and public health. At Marguerite Casey Foundation, which I joined as one of Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellows last fall, we build movements by funding organizations that ensure low-income communities have an equal political and economic voice through issue advocacy, organizing and leadership development. Only by ensuring that change is centered on the people most impacted by the inequities will we have a collective opportunity to transform our shared reality. more »

Catching Up With the Momentum Fellows

04/29/2016

Seven months after we first met our inaugural cohort of Momentum Fellows, a group of emerging leaders working to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy, we continue to be blown away by their insights on our blog and in the field. Leaders at their host foundations — Marguerite Casey Foundation, Northwest Health Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, Pride Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation — have also expressed great excitement with this work, which developed out of our first CEO cohort on diversity, equity and inclusion. Before their April meeting at Marguerite Casey Foundation, we asked each of the nine Momentum Fellows to share their thoughts on this prompt: What have you learned about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in philanthropy since becoming a Momentum Fellow — and what do you hope to learn/achieve in the rest of our time together? more »

Home Sweet Home: Working on Equity in Affordable Housing

03/17/2016

Sharon Wade Ellis, Momentum Fellow | When I was a kid, I spent summers with my grandparents in their old and drafty home on Chicago's South Side. Old as it was, that home offered refuge, and that garden provided more than nourishment: together, house and garden tied the family closely to their community. They cherished its security and affordability. In the minds of my grandparents, the home and everything associated with it was theirs — but they didn't own it, and therefore knew they could lose it one day. They were lucky. That place — their place — left me with a certainty: everyone has a right to a stable and affordable home. I carry my passion forward to the work I do at Meyer Memorial Trust, finding relief for my nagging ache of wanting to help people access housing that meets their needs. more »

Why Philanthropy Should Care About Black Male Achievement

02/29/2016

Dalian Yates, Momentum Fellow | Foundation funding explicitly designated to benefit black men and boys has increased in recent years, rising from $28.6 million in 2010 to nearly $64.6 million in 2012. We must continue this trend. We know what works. However, the majority of philanthropy's work falls outside the framework of a black male initiative or portfolio. As such, work that claims to serve black males but does not make a targeted effort to reach them often works well for every population except black males. I joined Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellowship to do more for a growing movement actively seeking solutions. Here are my five recommendations for the philanthropic sector: more »

Equity in Grantmaking: Walking the Walk

01/19/2016

Marcelo Bonta, Momentum Fellow | Pursuit of equity in grantmaking is the reason I joined the Momentum Fellowship. It’s a priority of the fellows, it’s a priority of Philanthropy Northwest and it’s a priority for Meyer Memorial Trust — the Oregon foundation hosting me and two other Momentum Fellows for the next 20 months. Overall, my experience has exceeded my expectations, and I feel that I have been set up for success, which leads me to the following question: Why is Meyer succeeding at diversity, equity and inclusion? And what can other organizations learn from this example? more »

A Shared Responsibility for Helping Diverse Communities Thrive

12/17/2015

Eduardo Moreno, Momentum Fellow | Every time I was sick as a child, my mom would make her way over to the medicine cabinet and I knew it was going to be a couple of days in bed with the VapoRub and Broncolin treatment. This was a common home remedy among Mexican families, and one I sometimes catch myself using today. There was no escaping la familia and the Latino community that helped shape all stages of my early education, spirituality, and even my health practices. It was this community that pushed me and kept me on track to become the first one in my family to attend a four-year university. As my learning around philanthropy and funding at the intersections of health and education continues, I know that if we work collaboratively, and support families and communities to lead this work, they will in turn ensure that each student is emotionally and physically healthy, engaged, supported and challenged. more »

A Continuum of Learning: Investing in Philanthropy and Myself

11/18/2015

Katherine Porras, Momentum Fellow | When I moved to Oregon in 2013, I found myself captivated by the beauty of its green valleys and blue rivers. A few months ago, I was thrilled to be accepted to the Momentum Fellowship's investment position at Meyer Memorial Trust. This is a unique opportunity to help serve marginalized communities, while growing professionally with an amazing cohort dedicated to the field of philanthropy. We are fortunate to have this opportunity and we all recognized its potential, not only forging our own career paths, but also for the magnitude of possible contribution when a group of nine diverse professionals striving for excellence work together towards a common goal: making the future of philanthropy more diverse, equitable and inclusive. more »

Taking Pride in My New Role in Northwest Philanthropy

11/06/2015

Kim Sogge, Momentum Fellow | I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest — and have no plans to leave anytime soon, either! And now I'm excited to be part of Pride Foundation, a community foundation I have supported for many years, through Philanthropy Northwest's Momentum Fellowship. I am immersed daily in the impactful, strategic investments that Pride Foundation makes in the LGBT community in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. I have been able to participate in our annual grantmaking review and discussions, attend plays as a part of our partnership with Intiman Theatre, and read stories that gave me goosebumps from our courageous community members across the region who simply want to live openly and safely in their home communities. I also attended Local Matters: Washington, Philanthropy Northwest's statewide convening, with my colleagues earlier this week in Bellingham. more »

Learning by Doing: How Grant Requests Are Teaching Me About Alaska

10/19/2015

Kelsey Potdevin, Momentum Fellow | I wasn't born here, but I've lived in Alaska for most of my life and my mom’s family is from Alaska’s interior. My family’s been in the Northwest for probably over 10,000 years. But I’ve learned more in the past year about how my home state works than I ever did growing up in Alaska, while sharing in the happiness of successful grant requests. Philanthropy is a complicated business, chock-a-block full of seemingly esoteric knowledge you can't learn any other way than doing it. more »

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