Nonprofit Sector

Where We Go From Here Video Series

May 12, 2021

We’re at the threshold of something new. A pandemic, ongoing police brutality, and racial injustice have thrown into sharp relief the cracks in our systems. It can feel disorienting, but for many social sector leaders, this is the time to blaze a new trail, one informed by racial equity and new funding models that put power in the hands of those closest to the problems.

This occasional video series seeks to answer the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s enduring question: “Where do we go from here?” We ask leaders of nonprofits and philanthropy what keeps them up at night, what brings them hope, and how they are responding to the biggest crises we face today. We've packed their responses into 15-minute videos to inform, inspire, and point the way forward. It's leadership to help you lead.

Stay tuned for more!


Centering Communities

Where We Go From Here Episode 8: Ellis Carr
To see the results they want, CDFIs need to change their relationship with communities, says Ellis Carr, President and CEO, Capital Impact Partners and CEO, CDC Small Business Finance. This means working closely with communities to determine their needs and partnering with other organizations to develop local solutions. Capital Impact Partners did just that when they teamed up with CDC Small Business Finance to provide holistic community and economic development in Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Los Angeles. “All three of those markets are vastly different, and the ways that we’re going to support communities in those three efforts might look very different,” Carr says. “And we need to be prepared for that, because, again, successes ultimately should be defined by the community and not by us.” Carr explains how Capital Impact Partners is navigating the work of centering communities and the organizational mindset shifts these changes require.
Watch the video.


Unusual Suspects

Where We Go From Here Episode 7: Dalila Wilson-Scott
As Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation and President, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation, Dalila Wilson-Scott bridges the for-profit/nonprofit divide in her daily work. She believes both can come together to find and fund new solutions for the big challenges we face today. Neither corporations nor philanthropy can – or should – be the sole source we look to for addressing social challenges, says Wilson-Scott. “But I do think what private sector can bring to the table is innovation, a little bit of creativity, and a different type of risk capital and pace that will help drive what those larger, government-funded, public sector-funded initiatives can be so that we get to the impact that we’re all trying to see.”
Watch the video.


A Moment Made for Social Innovators

Where We Go From Here Episode 6: Cheryl L. Dorsey
To make change we must value the lived experiences of people closest to pressing issues, investing in leaders that have the trust of their communities, says Cheryl L. Dorsey, President, Echoing Green. Even best-in-class leaders of color that come out of Echoing Green’s rigorous fellow selection process face staggering funding disparities when compared to their white counterparts. To fix this, Dorsey says, we must fund these leaders of color, provide support beyond dollars, create unapologetically Black and BIPOC spaces where folks can be in community with one another, and recognize the role of equitable intermediaries.
Watch the video.


Shoulder to Shoulder

Where We Go From Here Episode 5: Crystal Hayling
Power and privilege should not define the grantee-funder relationship, says Crystal Hayling, Executive Director, The Libra Foundation. For instance, the Democracy Frontlines Fund turned to community organizers to find and fund the Black-led groups at the forefront of social change and defending our democracy. By focusing on relationships, changing the way they reach out, reducing paperwork, and working shoulder to shoulder with people directly affected by the issues they are fighting, The Libra Foundation is modeling a new way for philanthropy to drive social change.
Watch the video.


We Keep Us Safe

Where We Go From Here Episode 4: Zach Norris
Police and prisons don’t make us feel safe, argues Zach Norris, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Rather, what matters are relationships and community. Norris believes in the power of communities to fight the forces of patriarchy and racism that are driving us apart so we can begin to heal. The people closest to the challenges are those best suited to solve them, and we should listen to what they have to say, Norris says.
Watch the video.


This Particular Moment

Where We Go From Here Episode 3: Ryan Haygood
Where are we putting our attention and our money? New Jersey Institute for Social Justice CEO Ryan Haygood believes we must seize this moment in history to fix the cracks in society’s foundation – cracks created by structural racism and worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Haygood offers recommendations for moving away from incarceration and over-policing toward a world with safer communities that works to repair the harms injustice has wrought on people of color.
Watch the video.


The Business of Hope

Where We Go From Here Episode 2: Darren Walker
When the Ford Foundation announced in June 2020 that it would increase its payout by $1 billion, President Darren Walker was praised by many but criticized by some for using bond financing rather than spending down Ford’s endowment. An avowed capitalist and firm believer in institutions, Walker nevertheless fears modern capitalism is benefiting too few and widening a wealth gap that leaves many behind. The solution, he argues, is to support resilient, enduring institutions that can respond to our democracy’s ongoing challenges.
Watch the video.


We're Gonna Keep Making That Soup

Where We Go From Here Episode 1: Taneshia Nash Laird
When the coronavirus hit New Jersey, Newark Symphony Hall had to adapt its programs to serve its community, even as staff were losing family members to COVID-19. CEO Taneshia Nash Laird explains how she’s looking out for her staff and the community, how new initiatives like Embrace Newark and Symphony of Survival are bringing material and emotional support to Newark residents, and how an increased consciousness of race in nonprofit-funder relationships is changing how she and her work are seen and treated.
Watch the video.

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