The Insider’s Guide to LGBTQ Content at Unity Summit

By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on October 30, 2019

The Unity Summit is less than three weeks away! For those of you joining us and our CHANGE Philanthropy partners for the conference, we’ve compiled this guide to the LGBTQ content you won’t want to miss! This third iteration of the UNITY Summit will elaborate on the themes of building power and bridging power and promises to be the most significant CHANGE gathering yet. With more than 850 grantmakers and movement leaders already registered , it is undoubtedly the largest gathering of progressive grantmakers in the country and is a truly unique stop on the philanthropy conference circuit. Funders for LGBTQ Issues is a proud core partner in the CHANGE Philanthropy Coalition, and our team has been deeply involved in organizing year’s Summit. We are so excited with the fantastic line up of programming and speakers and encourage you to check out the full conference agenda online here. We wanted to take a moment now to highlight some of the content that will bring a specific LGBTQ focus to the Seattle gathering.

3:30 pm -4:30 pm Fight Back the Surge: Supporting Movements Against Hate, White Nationalism and Authoritarianism

  • An alarming surge in organized bigotry has posed major impediments to those working in progressive racial and social justice movements and has been effective in terrorizing our communities and furthering anti-democratic practices that threaten us all.  Hateful rhetoric has been weaponized and deployed by Far Right groups and their media outlets, as well as those at the highest levels of our government, to delegitimize, disenfranchise, and discriminate against our communities in tragic and deadly ways.Activists working to advance racial justice, LGBTQ justice, Indigenous rights, immigrant and refugee rights, or to counter Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, or anti-Semitism will share what they are seeing as most critical for resistance, coalition-building, cultural/narrative/political shifts, and importantly, longer term structural transformation that supports a truly inclusive and pluralistic democracy. We will lift up ways funders can most effectively support the efforts to combat rising hate, White Nationalism, White Supremacy and authoritarianism as defined by and led-by those most impacted.

10:00 am-11:15 am The Border and Beyond: Supporting the Full Spectrum of LGBTQ Immigration Issues

  • By some estimates, LGBTQ migrants make up 40% of the carvans of refugees headed to the United States. At the same time LGBTQ immigrants are facing a new level of hostility both at the border and in the public discourse. In this practitioner rap session, funders will roll up their sleeves to develop an intersectional strategy to increase resources for LGBTQ migrants. Speakers will offer guidance on entry points for funders with a wide range on funding priorities including racial justice, health, children youth and families, economic justice, gender justice, and more

11:30 am-12:45 pm Queering Southern Movement Money: LGBTQ Southerners Driving Funding for the South

  • The Out in the South Initiative has been working to transform Southern philanthropy to increase support for a healthy movement ecosystem throughout the region. By bringing more funders to the table, investing in locally-driven Southern funds, and helping grant makers increase their understanding of Southern movement work, we work to reverse the historical trend of underinvestment in LGBTQ communities in the U.S. South. Join us to learn from key leaders in Southern philanthropy who are on the cutting edge of engaging Southerners communities in designing grantmaking strategies that support movement work in the South and build toward lasting structural change in Southern LGBTQ communities.

11:30 am-12:45 pm Covering & Authenticity: Fostering Organizational Cultures Where Everyone Can Bring Their Full Selves (For Foundation CEOs only) (Executive track concurrent session we are leading in collaboration with AAPIP)

  • Kenji Yoshino’s book Covering suggests that nearly all people feel pressure to cover aspects of their identity in the workplace. Too often people of color are encouraged to conform to white cultural norms; parents feel pressure to downplay parental obligations; LGBTQ people often feel they have to hide same-sex relationships or conform their gender expression; and people of faith may downplay religious practices ranging from fasting to prayer.Following a brief presentation on covering, three CEOs will share their own experiences of both challenges and potential strategies for fostering a workplace where all staff are able to bring their full selves to work.

3:30 pm-4:45 pm The GUTC Pledge: Building a New Movement in Philanthropy to Support Trans… (Concurrent session “Leadership Studio”)

  • Transgender, gender non-conforming (GNC), and non-binary (NB) communities of color experience some of the highest rates of unemployment, violence and lack of access to healthcare, yet their organizing has been underfunded for decades. In 2017, only 3 cents for every $100 granted by U.S. foundations supported these communities, with even less supporting trans, GNC, and NB people of color. The Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Pledge from Funders for LGBTQ Issues is a new movement to help turn the tide. Featuring presenters from foundations who have signed the pledge, attendees will learn how their foundations can join this historic effort.

10:00 am-11:15 am The Revolution will not be 501(c)(3)-led: How intermediaries can disrupt scarcity and shift power to the grassroots Concurrent Session led by CSE and SVA

  • The Revolution will not be 501(c)(3)-led: How Intermediaries can Disrupt Scarcity and Shift Power to the Grassroots in the South – The current structure of philanthropy privileges institutionalized organizations and underfunds grassroots organizing work that directly challenges systems and structures of oppression. In most cases, groups must become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in order to receive necessary resources to sustain their work; but this step can significantly limit the flexibility and adaptability necessary to maintaining grassroots integrity. Our session will engage participants in dialogue about how funders can better ‘meet the grassroots where they are’ in partnership with values-aligned fiscal sponsors and intermediaries; and explore innovative models and best practices that support traditionally marginalized communities in maintaining and strengthening their power–especially for frontlines communities in the South.

10:00 am-11:15 am Data Justice: Shaping Social Justice Research Beyond the Usual Suspects

  • All too often, data and research have been viewed as the domain of elite universities and large think tanks. But sometimes those organizations fail to produce accurate and actionable data on communities of color and LGBTQ communities. Sometimes, the best data comes from research efforts led by and for marginalized communities. This session will assess the current shortcomings on data related to our communities and highlight successful research efforts that are led by and for our communities. It will explore how those efforts came to be and how they are impacting the field. It will also discuss how CHANGE Philanthropy is working to change the data game.

1:00 pm-2:00 pm   Making CHANGE Happen: Why Organizational Culture Matters and How You Can Shift It

  • Whether in philanthropy or in the corporate sector, multiple studies have found that strategic plans, benchmarks, and logic models all fail to yield results if organizational culture is not addressed. Yet recent research from CHANGE partners shows that philanthropic institutions are still struggling to build organizational cultures that advance equity and social justice.Our closing plenary will equip you with concrete data, tools, and real-life case studies for catalyzing change at your institution to advance diversity, equity, and social justice. CHANGE partners will share recent research on trends in diversity and analysis of organizational culture challenges in the sector. A panel of philanthropic leaders–from program officers to chief executives–will share stories of the obstacles, opportunities, and successes they encountered in catalyzing change at their institutions. From fellowships and trainings to establishing equity-focused funding initiatives, we will explore with nuance which strategies work in which unique contexts for making institutional change a reality.

Partner Content:

11:30 am-12:45 pm Grantmaking at the Intersections: Intersectionality and Philanthropy

  • Intersectionality is a buzz word, but what does it look like in practice in grantmaking? Hear from three different funders about their journey around intersectionality, culture and practice in their institutions, and tools and approaches they use to assure grantmaking approaches and strategies are intersectional and address the structural barriers facing communities.

11:30 am-12:45 pm Cutting Edge Funding Data and Resources for Native & Latinx Communities

  • Cutting Edge Funding Data and Resources for Native & Latinx Communities – NAP and HIP both worked with Candid to create new online tools with data for funding in Indian Country and Latinx communities in the U.S., respectively, to increase investment in community causes. We know that philanthropy’s interest is moving towards equality and justice issues, yet support to Native and Latinx communities has remained historically low. This session aims to provide updated information on the funding landscape for these communities, discuss strategies and lessons learned from foundations, and provide steps for funders to better engage with Native and Latinx communities.

10:00 am-11:15 am  Queer Dollars and Change: The Power – and Potential of Grassroots Fundraising

  • In an effort to adapt and democratize the fundraising field and build the power and capacity of community-led social movements, philanthropic innovators are experimenting with retooling approaches to boost grassroots giving. This session will draw lessons from the success of three innovative efforts: HYPE (Horizons Young Professionals for Equality), which provides a platform for millennial young professionals to pool resources in support of local LGBTQ groups; Give OUT Day, the only national day of online giving for the LGBTQ community that builds fundraising capacity of hundreds of nonprofits nationwide; and the Latinx LGBTQ Giving Circle whose members support LGBTQ-Latinx organizations.

This is just a sample of the many events that will be held at this year’s action-packed summit. To view the full agenda, please click here. In addition to visiting us at the events, we’d like to also invite you to join us for a fun reception for LGBTQ and allied grantmakers, immediately following the Seattle Welcome Reception on Tuesday, November 19th from 7:30 pm -9:30 pm at queer/bar. All are welcome and we hope to see you there!

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