Nov-2019 Pre-Convening to Upswell

Pre-Convening to Upswell

On November 12th, 2019 join Equity in the Center (EiC) and Upswell attendees in Chicago for a day-long, deep dive into how to build a Race Equity Culture.


Join Equity in the Center (EiC) and Upswell attendees on November 12th in Chicago for a day-long, deep dive into how to build a Race Equity Culture. Plenary sessions and workshops will focus on how to operationalize race equity, highlighting best practices from EiC’s Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture publication.

Speakers include racial equity thought leaders and practitioners, as well as nonprofit and philanthropy executives leading race equity transformation initiatives. Workshops will explore issues ranging from racial healing and allyship strategies that support people of color to building successful partnerships with equity consultants and cross-functional operationalization of race equity.

This EiC gathering is a pre-convening to Independent Sector’s Upswell

Convening & Registration Information

This EiC gathering is a pre-convening to Independent Sector’s Upswell, and you can include it in your Upswell registration via this link.

Stand-alone registration for the one-day EiC convening is available via EventBrite for $425.

Hotel Room Discount: Click here to book a hotel room at the Upswell rate of $269/night.

If you have any questions, please reach out to EiC Associate Director Andrew Plumley (, or Event Planner Ana Estrada Daniels (

Convening Sponsors

polk bros foundation logo

Learn more about how you can become a sponsor for the Pre-Convening to Upswell here.

Agenda for EiC Pre-Convening to Upswell
November 12, 2019

8:30am to 9:00amRegistration and Breakfast
9:00am to 9:30amInvocation & WelcomeAndrew Plumley, Associate Director, Equity in the Center
Dr. Dorene P. Wiese, CEO, American Indian Association of Illinois
9:30am to 11:00amOpening PlenarySpeaker IntroductionsJosé Rico, Director, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Greater Chicago, Woods Fund Chicago

Rx Racial Healing Dialogue: A Context for Truth, Racial Healing and TransformationModerator: Kerrien Suarez, Executive Director, Equity in the Center
Gail Christopher, President & Founder, Ntianu Garden: Center for Healing and Nature
Marcus Walton, President & CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
11:00am to 11:15amBreak
11:15am to 12:45pmConcurrent Sessions
Racial Healing Circle: Introduction to the Rx Racial Healing Process (Pre-Registration Required)Mee Moua, Principal & Founder, InterDependent Group, LLC
Maricar L Ramos, Board Director; Co-Chair, Racial Equity & Social Justice Committee, Chicago Women In Philanthropy
Building a Race Equity Culture in Nonprofit and Philanthropic OrganizationsModerator: Lucy Mayo, Senior Advisor at Supermajority, Former Senior Vice President of Organizational Development, Demos
Amanda Misiko Andere,CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness
Antoine Andrews, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Year Up
John Bouman, President, Shriver Center on Poverty Law
Caronina Grimble, Program Officer, Woods Fund Chicago
Hilary Meyer, Chief Innovation & Impact Officer, SAGE
Steve Lew, Project Director, CompassPoint
Beyond Commitment: Four Steps to Get You Started Building a Race Equity CultureDesiree Adaway, Principal, The Adaway Group
Ericka Hines, Principal, Every Level Leadership
Heidi Massey, Founder, CommunityConnective
12:45pm to 1:00pmBreak
1:00pm to 2:45pmLunch PlenaryClosing the Racial Leadership Gap & Building a Race Equity Culture in Chicago Organizations and the Regional EcosystemModerator: Angelique Power, President, The Field Foundation of Illinois
Niketa Brar, Chicago United for Equity
Melissa Connelly, CEO, OneGoal
Christopher Goins, Chief Equity Officer, Thrive Chicago
Michelle Morales, President, Woods Fund Chicago
Nina Sanchez, Executive Director, Enrich Chicago
Carmita Semaan, Founder & President, The Surge Institute
2:45pm to 3:00pmBreak
3:00pm to 5:00pmConcurrent Sessions
The Blanket ExerciseVance Blackfox, Director of Communications at National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
Prairie Rose Seminole, American Indian Program Director, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
White Allyship TrainingWhitney Parnell, CEO & Co-Founder, Service Never Sleeps
What Would an Equity Consultant Do: Building Capacity for a Race Equity CultureModerator: Andrew Plumley, Associate Director, Equity in the Center
Eric Polite II, Chief Transformation Officer, Eric Polite & Associates
Frances Kunreuther, Building Movement Project
Jessica Vazquez Torres, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training
Maegan Scott, Principal, Wayfinding Partners
McKensie Mack, Anti-Oppression Consultant, Coach & Facilitator
4:45pm to 5:00pmBreak
5:00pm to 6:30pm"Ignite Talks" & ReceptionHors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served while EiC partners share brief, TED-style “Ignite Talks” on new equity resources.OtherWise- Vance Blackfox, Creator & Director, Other+Wise
Intersectional Allyship- Whitney Parnell, CEO & Co-Founder, Service Never Sleeps

About Equity in the Center

Equity in the Center (EiC) works to shift mindsets, practices and systems in the social sector to increase race equity. We envision a future where nonprofit and philanthropic organizations are characterized by a Race Equity Culture, meaning they implement and advance race equity internally while advocating for and centering it in work externally.

To learn more about Equity in the Center, watch the “Why EiC?” video below on our work and impact. You can view videos of our previous convenings, the 2018 EiC Summit and May 2019 EiC Convening, via our Facebook page.