Nonprofit Sector

Where We Go From Here Video Series

August 13, 2021

This occasional video series seeks to answer the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s enduring question: “Where do we go from here?” NFFers sit down with leaders of nonprofits and philanthropy to discover 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 videos that inform, inspire, and point the way forward. It's leadership to help you lead.

Good Folks, Amazing Things

Where We Go From Here Episode 15: Dr. Rahsaan Harris
Dr. Rahsaan Harris walks us through his first year of leadership at Citizens Committee for New York City as its first Black CEO, and explains how CitizensNYC is supporting communities and democratizing access to philanthropy through microgrants. Harris shares the forces that shaped him into the leader he is today: embracing vulnerability, expressing authenticity, and a sense of duty to his ancestors.
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Jackets and Jobs

Where We Go From Here Episode 14: Veronika Scott and Erika George
Empowerment Plan started as a small design project: coats that become sleeping bags for people who don’t have a place to sleep. But its mission quickly shifted from keeping people warm to breaking the generational cycle of poverty through employment. Now those coats provide jobs and so much more. Veronika Scott, CEO and Erika George, Chief Development Officer, describe their unique business model, bust myths about homelessness, and share lessons learned over Empowerment Plan’s first 10 years.
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Acting With Intention

Where We Go From Here Episode 13: Meena Natarajan and Dipankar Mukherjee
Standing at the intersection of art and social justice, Pangea World Theater is built on collaborative and democratic practices that center the stories of immigrants, Indigenous people, and people of color. Spiritually driven by a sense of interconnectedness, Meena Natarajan, Executive and Artistic Director, and Dipankar Mukherjee, Artistic Director, bring people from diverse life experiences into community to connect, share, and heal through art.
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Credible Messengers

Where We Go From Here Episode 12: Marion Kendall
Learning, listening, and trusting people who share their stories about human trafficking is one of the first steps in fostering change and healing, Kendall says. Kendall believes in the power of empathy and reminds us that one of the greatest indicators of success for organizations like LifeWay Network is seeing the people they serve thrive in their own lives.
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Generational Impact

Where We Go From Here 11: Generational Impact
Marcus Walton, President and CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), brings us into a space of trust and healing to show how philanthropy can contribute to ending white supremacy and achieving racial equity. Building relationships, creating brave spaces, and centering communities will lead us – Walton hopes – on a path toward truth and reconciliation.
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Act Boldly

Where We Go From Here 10: Act Boldly
To create real change, philanthropic donors and investors have to trust and believe in the organizations that are serving communities across the United States, Iglesias says. “They need not to be afraid to act boldly ... because that's kind of what a lot of these organizations need.” Iglesias leaves us with this final call to action: It is time to address the economic disparities that are rampant in our social sector; now is the time to act.
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Lovingly Critiquing Philanthropy

Where We Go From Here Episode 9: Rodney Foxworth
Philanthropy has the ability to make huge lasting changes in communities, but too often the focus is on accumulating wealth and power through their endowments rather than investing in communities’ potential to change themselves, argues Rodney Foxworth, CEO, Common Future and NFF board member. “Many communities do in fact have the capacity to own their own development power,” Foxworth says. “Philanthropy has an opportunity to invest in that capacity or maintain its own power.” He hopes for a future where philanthropy shifts wealth and power to communities and the institutions within them, and where American society places more trust in people of color to lead and develop their communities.
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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.
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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