Equity in the Center: Building a Race Equity Culture

Tuesday, November 12

9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Equity in the Center: Building a Race Equity Culture

Location: Salon A Foyer (Lower Level)


Take a deep dive into how to operationalize race equity by exploring 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.

Hosted by Equity in the Center

Add Equity in the Center to you Upswell registration during checkout. To modify an existing registration, please email info@upswell.org.



Read all speaker bios here.

8:30am to 9:00am – Registration and Breakfast

9:00am to 9:30am – Invocation & Welcome

  • Kerrien Suarez, Executive Director, Equity in the Center
  • Andrew Plumley, Associate Director, Equity in the Center

9:30am to 11:00am – Opening Plenary
Rx Racial Healing: A Context for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

  • Introductions: José Rico, Director, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Greater Chicago, Woods Fund Chicago
  • Moderator: 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 11:15am – Break

11:15am to 12:45pm – Concurrent 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 Organizations

  • Moderator: Lucy Mayo, Independent Consultant/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 Culture

  • Desiree Adaway, Principal, The Adaway Group
  • Ericka Hines, Principal, Every Level Leadership
  • Heidi Massey, Founder, CommunityConnective

12:45pm to 1:00pm – Break

1:00pm to 2:45pm – Lunch Plenary

Closing the Racial Leadership Gap & Building a Race Equity Culture in Chicago Organizations and the Regional Ecosystem

  • Moderator: 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 3:00pm – Break

3:00pm to 4:45pm – Concurrent Sessions

The Blanket Exercise

  • Vance Blackfox, Consultant, Other+Wise
  • Prairie Rose Seminole, American Indian Program Director, ELCA

White Allyship Training

  • Whitney Parnell, CEO & Co-Founder, Service Never Sleeps

What Would an Equity Consultant Do: Building Capacity for a Race Equity Culture

  • Eric Polite II, Chief Transformation Officer, Eric Polite & Associates
  • Frances Kunreuther, Building Movement Project
  • Jessica Vasquez Torres, CrossRoads Institute
  • Maegan Scott, Principal, Wayfinding Partners
  • McKensie Mack, Anti-Oppression Consultant, Coach & Facilitator

4:45pm to 5:00pm – Break

5:00pm to 6:30pm – “Ignite Talks” & Reception
Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served while EiC partners share brief, TED-style “Ignite Talks” on new equity resources.

150 150 Christian Clansky
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