Equity Network

Equity Network
The Equity Network is composed of community foundation teams. Isaiah Oliver, pictured here, is part of the team for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
The Equity Network is comprised of community foundation teams who are working to advance equity in their communities while also helping to shape the practice and thinking of the broader community foundation field.

The United States faces enormous disparities in all aspects of well-being. Health, education, economic security, neighborhood safety, transportation access, and many other outcomes vary tremendously by race, ethnicity, education and income.

We recognize that these disparities are interconnected and that pursuing equity will take a multi-sector approach with many partners bringing different tools to the table to advance the work. Community foundations — with their local knowledge and relationships, independence, philanthropic assets, and public charity status — are uniquely positioned to help.

About the Equity Network

The Equity Network is a community foundation issue network managed by CFLeads, with PolicyLink as a content partner. Using a proven model of peer learning and community leadership that we have been refining over the past decade, we responded to community and national foundation interest in advancing equity by creating the Community Foundation Equity Network in 2017. This peer network allows for community foundations interested in equity to come together to better understand and make progress on the issue.

Each cohort of the Equity Network is made up of teams from six to ten community foundations across the country, with four- to six-person teams including the CEO, board members, senior staff members, and community partners. These community foundations are already committed to and working on issues related to equity. The Network is designed to help them better understand the issue, advance particular outcomes and build peer connections.

With its unique combination of content expertise, peer learning and community leadership guidance, the Equity Network is helping to create a growing network of community foundations that are insisting on racial equity. To date, we have hosted two Equity Network cohorts with a total of 16 community foundations participating and are currently recruiting for Cohort 3! You can find more details about the application process and previous cohorts further down the page.

A fabulous, one-of-a-kind, team-based approach to deepening your leadership work internally and externally. Powerful learning for community foundations of all sizes.
Fred BlackwellCEO, San Francisco Foundation and Cohort 1 Participant

Network Structure

Each Network team takes an iterative, problem-solving approach to a self-identified challenge related to equity. The teams meet in person three times over a year.

These meetings include:

  • Team presentations on their progress addressing their equity challenge;
  • Presentations and technical assistance from outside content experts on relevant topics;
  • Structured peer advising;
  • Team action planning;
  • Informal networking time.

Desired Outcomes

The Network is designed for members to:

  • Increase their knowledge of the historical and contemporary equity context nationally, regionally, and locally;
  • Increase community foundation and community stakeholder awareness and understanding of strategies that increase equity;
  • Build internal capacity to advance equity strategies;
  • Build external competencies to advance equity strategies;
  • Make progress on their equity challenge;
  • Strengthen connections with like-minded peers with whom they can call upon for advice and support.

If you are ready to get serious about growing your equity muscles, take the dive into emerging yourself and your team with the loving support of CFLeads. It is transformational!
Equity Network Cohort 2 Participant

Applications are open for the third Equity Network cohort!

Join this unique, year-long learning opportunity to deepen your understanding of racial equity and build the competencies you need to advance racially equitable outcomes in your community.

New this year, Network members will begin to build a shared understanding and diagnosis of racism as “structural” with your team through Groundwater Institute’s three-hour Groundwater module, which will be offered as the Equity Network orientation.

Network members will also benefit from the core elements of the program, including customized program content from PolicyLink and other racial equity trainers throughout the cohort, structured peer advising, and team action planning to move from learning to implementation.

Community foundations can apply to be a part of the third Equity Network cohort by September 9, 2021. Please complete the application below and submit it to Alaina Ennamorati at aennamorati@cfleads.org.

Learn more about previous Equity Network cohorts by visiting our Alumni page below.



If you have any questions about the Equity Network, please contact Angela Brown at abrown@cfleads.org or 617-854-3544.

Equity Network Alumni

Previous cohorts of the Equity Network.

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