ECFC Racial Equity Learning Series for Members

ECFC is partnering with School Readiness Consulting (SRC) and Liberated Development to present a series of five (5) virtual learning opportunities for ECFC members this Fall. Topics will build on the learning approaches identified in our 2019/2020 framework for addressing racial equity, and based on feedback from our September 2019 2-day ECFC Members Meeting and our more recent town hall gatherings as to what content is most useful and timely.


Session 1: 
Wednesday, October 7th
Why Race? Why Now?: Making the case for a racial equity focus in philanthropy at this moment in history (Contact ECFC for information on this series event.)


Session 2: Wednesday, October 21st, 3:00-4:30 EST
Doing the Most Good: Leaning into our power and responsibility to drive a racial equity agenda in the early childhood space

During this session, we will discuss how power is at play in the positioning and structure of philanthropy writ large, in the early childhood space, and in the communities in which we work. We will analyze our individual and collective power from a racial and positional perspective, and identify our individual channels of responsibility toward advancing a racial equity agenda in early childhood.


Session 3: Wednesday, November 4th, 3:00-4:30 EST
Partnership Reimagined: Building asset-based, racial equity-informed community and grantee relationships

During this session, we will challenge “top-down” and deficit-based perspectives on community engagement and examine promising individual and organizational practices around authentic community engagement and relationship-building. Through storytelling and case studies, we will unpack opportunities for philanthropy to share power, support community-led innovation, and establish asset-based partnerships within communities. We will support one another in assessing current community engagement practices with a racial equity lens.

Partner Event & ECFC Discussion, Wednesday November 18th:
After the Election: Antiracist Policy and Advocating for America’s Children

In place of our previously scheduled ECFC Member Racial Equity Session (Session #4: Evaluation Reimagined), we encourage members and other funder colleagues to participate in the Alliance for Early Success’ series event: After the Election: Antiracist Policy and Advocating for America’s Children, featuring Dr. Ibram Kendi, Author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist.  For those participating in the Alliance discussion, we invite you to join us immediately afterwards for a brief discussion about Dr. Kendi’s presentation. 


Registration is required for both:

Session 4: Rescheduled Date To Be Announced
Evaluation Reimagined: Examining collaborative approaches to evaluation alongside communities

During this session, we will share experiences and aspirations for evaluation as a lever to advance racial equity in early childhood and enhance partnerships with grantees and communities. Through storytelling and case studies, we will surface and apply the philanthropic community’s most forward thinking about collaborative and equity-informed approaches to evaluation. We will support one another in assessing current evaluation practices from an equity perspective.

Session 5: Wednesday, December 9th,  3:00-4:30 EST
The Elephant in the (Board) Room: Naming and addressing the barriers to advancing racial equity at the intersection of early childhood and philanthropy

Throughout each of the prior sessions, we will make space to identify the complex systemic barriers that often arise when we talk about advancing an equity agenda in early childhood and in the field of philanthropy writ large. This final session will be an opportunity to engage in proactive conversations that: inspire individual, organizational and collective responsibility; surface real opportunities to challenge unjust and unhelpful norms; and break through the barriers of guilt, helplessness, and blame.


All staff of ECFC member foundations are invited to join us.  Each session is 90 minutes in length, will be held on Zoom, and may include up to 30 minutes of pre-reading or reflection that will be provided by SRC at least one full week in advance of the session.

These sessions are designed to be a series, so participants are encouraged to attend as many of the sessions as possible.   We also understand that many of us are facing compound personal, family, and professional challenges at the moment, and some participants may need to be selective about which sessions they will attend. However, we would like to acknowledge that this is important work for all of us, and that there are no “spectators” when it comes to challenging conversations about racial equity in our work. Therefore, what we do ask is that as you commit to attending a session, you also commit to completing any pre-reading and reflection and being fully engaged and present during the session (i.e., refraining from multitasking, turning on your video, speaking up as an active participant, etc.)

We are looking forward to connecting with you through these five virtual sessions, and to continuing our collective learning and action to advance racial equity in early childhood!

ECFC Members can visit our Member-Home page for links to our Racial Equity work to date (requires member log-in). For assistance with member log-ins, contact Rena Large.