At the end of the day yesterday, I stood with a group of funders of color who were waiting for the shuttle and surveyed the scene around them. One commented on how the composition of the room had changed drastically in 24 hours: “older, whiter, more male.” Over the weekend, a number of diverse grantmakers and younger practitioners participated in the affinity group meetings and NextGen pre-conference activities. I heard many observe that the diverse composition of the “All for One” Reception (hosted by the identity- and issue-specific affinity groups) on Sunday night was markedly different from the composition of the Networking Event on Monday night. The group wistfully wondered what it would take for the entire conference to look like “All for One.”
As we think of inclusion and diversity, as we talk about championing the leadership of the next generation, how do we build our field in an intentional way for significant change? In addition to bringing new people into the sector, how do we also weave a strong network across all parts of the funding community?
Kaberi Banerjee-Murthy is a board member of Resource Generation.