During this current election cycle, the climate of political vitriol towards people of color, immigrants, and individuals of different faiths has been stoked by economic insecurity, trickle down intimidation tactics, and ‘blame others’ hate speech. No doubt, the impact of this current tone of political rhetoric will extend beyond the immediate election. What can Foundations do to move working class constituents from the side lines to the front lines of policy change that will improve their economic well-being and not work against them? Our distinguished explored ways that funders can and are using advocacy communications to provide leadership on shaping a narrative of possibility and supporting their grantees in embracing new approaches to engaging in advocacy across issues, populations and communities.
Meg Bostrom, Co-Founder, Topos Partnership
Meg Bostrom is a veteran communications strategist with a unique perspective resulting from her rich and varied experiences as communicator, public opinion analyst, advertising agency executive, and political consultant. As co-founder of the Topos Partnership, she has researched public opinion and analyzed communications strategies on a wide range of social issues.
Jesse Beason, Director of Public Affairs, Northwest Health Foundation
As Director of Public Affairs, Jesse leads the Foundation’s work in communications, policy, government relations and partnership development. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Jesse served as Executive Director of Proud Ground, a nonprofit organization helping low-income families purchase their first home. Previously, he served as Senior Policy Director of Housing, Culture and Planning for then-Commissioner, and former Portland mayor, Sam Adams.
Eric K. Ward, Program Officer, Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice, Ford Foundation
Eric works on the Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice team at the Ford. His grant making has supported the consolidation of progress achieved in combating inequality and promoted the dismantling of institutional discrimination and other barriers to full participation that racial and ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples continue to experience in society. . Before joining the foundation in 2014, he was a program executive for Reconciliation and Human Rights, United States, at the Atlantic Philanthropies, where he helped guide US grant making in the areas of immigration, national security and rights, and civic participation and engagement.
Remy Trupin, Advocacy Catalyst Fellow, Philanthropy Northwest
As Philanthropy Northwest's inaugural Advocacy Catalyst Fellow, Remy is curating a knowledge base that explores how the foundation sector can leverage its place-based voice to affect policy. In his role as Senior Fellow with the Topos Partnership, Remy uses his revenue and budget expertise to inform communications challenges facing organizations at national, state and local levels. Remy is also a senior consultant with Luma Consulting. Remy was the founding executive director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, a think-tank that works to bring about shared prosperity for all Washingtonians, an organization which he led and grew into a national model. Remy’s previous experience includes a variety of lobbying, policy analysis and research leadership positions with large non-profits at the local, state and national level.