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Racial Equity Action Institute

Photo of two people in conversation. Titled: Racial equity Action Institute

NCG’s Racial Equity Action (REA) Institute — a new offering connecting racial equity specialists and leaders in philanthropy, government, business, and nonprofits to learn, network and develop a mix of actionable strategies with field experts and each other. Each year, a 20-person cohort will be chosen to participate in the Institute with opportunities to reflect, share, and act.

The REA Institute is a multi-sector space to test and deepen racial equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. We are centering racial equity with an intersectional framework that recognizes the ways race is shaped and informed by class, gender, sexuality, and ability. Fifteen to twenty participants will attend five, in-person, five-hour sessions from June through December 2019. Whether your institution uses “racial equity” or “DEI” the REA Institute will focus on moving your institution towards equitable practices and supporting you in creating the conditions for action.  

One sector on its own cannot solve the challenges of racial inequities. NCG recognizes we can achieve more together by organizing a multi-sector space for discussion, learning, and innovation. Through the REA Institute, participants will better understand the Bay Area racial equity landscape and create solutions for our shared challenges.

Institute Goals and Outcomes > 

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Note: This website will be updated regularly with additional speakers and information. 

1. The Power of Evidence

Objective: Understand the Bay Area landscape of racial equity and disparities and how data/evidence can be used as levers for change. Learn to use the Bay Area Equity Atlas, a new database with equity indicators.

When: Friday, June 14, 2019 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | Where: Northern California Grantmakers' offices


Sarah Treuhaft, Senior Managing Director; PolicyLink

Sarah Treuhaft is a managing director at PolicyLink, overseeing the organization's equitable economy work to advance policy solutions for racial and economic equity, provide local leaders with relevant and actionable data, and build a new narrative about the economic imperative of equity. She also leads the National Equity Atlas research partnership with the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). Sarah has authored numerous reports on issues of racial economic inclusion and equitable development and has written for publications including The New York TimesShelterforce, and Yes! Magazine. She holds master's degrees in city planning and international and area studies from the University of California, Berkeley and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa. She currently serves on the board of the Community Indicators Consortium and the Technical Expert Group for San Francisco’s Housing Affordability Strategy. When not immersed in charts or the fine art of crafting good sentences, you may find her at a park with her kindergartner or making recipes from the 101 Cookbooks blog.

2. The Power of Listening

Objective: Learn approaches to community engagement with a focus on the practice of listening and building trusted relationships with peers, colleagues, and community members.

When: Friday, August 9, 2019 | from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | Where: Location: Northern California Grantmakers' offices


Pia Infante, Co-Executive Director, The Whitman Institute

As Trustee and Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute, Pia draws on decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational development consultant, executive coach, non-profit manager, business owner, writer and speaker to advocate for trust based practice. Pia speaks and teaches on radically embodied leadership and trust based practice in many settings including Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, Opportunity Collaboration, Net Impact, Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, International Human Rights Funders Group, and Skoll World Forum 2017. Pia proudly serves as the Board Chair for the Center for Media Justice. She is on Faculty for the M.A. in Leadership Sustainability at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources as well as Thousand Currents Academy. She is an I.C.F. certified executive leadership coach, holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. Follow her @PiaVision.

3. The Power of Culture

Objective: Learn how to create a workplace culture that values and prioritizes REDI (racial equity, diversity, and inclusion)

When: Friday, September 20, 2019 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | Where: Northern California Grantmakers' offices


Andrew Plumley, Associate Director, Equity in the Center

Andrew Plumley comes to ProInspire with experience in sustainability, strategy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting in both the social and private sectors.  He has also worked in education, where he’s advised on diversity and inclusion strategy at higher ed. institutions, as well as provided access and success programming for Pell eligible, students of color.  Andrew is a “We All Belong” program board member for the Community Economic Development Office, as well as served as a city council appointed Police Commissioner in the state of Vermont.
Andrew has a BA from Middlebury College, and received an MBA with a focus in social and environmental sustainability from the University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business.  In his role as Senior Program Manager, Andrew manages the launch of Equity in the Center, which is a field wide initiative to influence leaders to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to create a more diverse and equitable social sector.

Ibram X. Kendi, Professor and Director, Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University

Ibram X. Kendi is an award-winning scholar and a New York Times best-selling author. He is Professor of History and International Relations and the Founding Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. His second book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. At 34 years old, he was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction. Stamped was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and it was nominated for a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and a NAACP Image Award. Stamped was named to several Best Books of 2016 lists, including by the Boston Globe, The Root, The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed. He is currently working on his next book, HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, which will be published in 2019 by One World, a division of Penguin Random House.

4. The Power to Leverage Change

Objective: Learn how to engage colleagues in racial equity and DEI work and leverage people in positions of power to advance racial equity.

When: Friday, November 1, 2019 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | Where: Northern California Grantmakers' offices


Darlene Flynn, Director, Department of Race and Equity, City of Oakland

After beginning her career in public service as a Seattle City Council Legislative Assistant, followed by five years in the Department of Neighborhoods as a Neighborhood Planning Implementation Manager, Darlene Flynn joined the Office for Civil Rights, as the Policy and Capacity Building Lead, during the inception of the City of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice Initiative (RSJI).  As one of the original architects of this first of its kind program, she provided strategic planning leadership, as well as implementation and training support for the initiative.  The RSJI focused on addressing institutional racism in City government to close racial disparities impacting Black/Indigenous/People of Color communities and has become a national model for other cities and government agencies.  Following over a decade of equity work there, Darlene became the first Director of the Department of Race and Equity for the City of Oakland, California in late 2016. The mission of the Department is to intentionally integrate on a citywide basis, the principle of fair and just in all the City does, to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities.

5. The Power of Working Together

Objective: Focus on what participants will bring back to their institutions and discuss opportunities to work collectively in the future.

When: Friday, December 6, 2019 | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm | Where: Northern California Grantmakers' offices

Meet the Racial Equity Action Institute Cohort, Class of 2019!

Northern California Grantmakers is pleased to announce the inaugural 2019 cohort for the Racial Equity Action (REA) Institute. From the 59 applications received, we’ve chosen 20 participants representing a diverse range of organizations from the business, government, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors. The REA Institute was intentionally designed to bring together racial equity specialists and leaders from the public and private sectors to learn, network, and develop actionable strategies with each other. NCG is excited to create this space for the REA Institute cohort and to build a community of racial equity practitioners.


Director | Informing Change


Assistant Vice President and Community Relations Consultant | Wells Fargo


Manager | County of Santa Clara Division of Equity & Social Justice; Interim Director, County of Santa Clara Office of Immigrant Relations


Librarian | San Francisco Public Library


Project Manager: Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging | Levi Strauss & Co.


Senior Community Development Specialist | San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development


Director of Career Pathways | Hack the Hood


Director, Human Resources and Administration | The San Francisco Foundation


Western Region Program Officer | Asset Funders Network


Equity Officer | County of Marin, County Administrators Office and Health & Human Services


Senior Director of Social Justice | YWCA Silicon Valley


Associate Director – Engage San Francisco | University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center


Program Director for Education | Marin Community Foundation


Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Energy Foundation


Director of Inclusive Food Systems | Capital Impact Partners


Deputy City Manager | City of San Jose


Organizational Development and Human Resources Specialist | Heising-Simons Foundation


Director, Employment Law and SurveyMonkey for Good | SurveyMonkey


Director of Training and Leadership | Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits


Vice President of Engagement, Diversity, and Belonging | Yelp


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Goals, agenda, & resources for Session 3. 

Goals, agenda, & resources for Session 4.