Leading With Race Equity: Building Stronger Culture and Practice

Intensive cohort training for organizations interested in building equitable practice

Has your organization been assessing or re-assessing its approaches to better achieve racial equity? Are you interested in deepening your critical analysis of inequity and building more equitable models of practice?

As philanthropic organizations have begun the journey towards equity, we often need support to navigate the work between our current state of being and our vision for the future.  This cohort is an invitation to develop the tools, committed relationships, and patience needed to move from commitment to action.

In partnership with True North EDI, Philanthropy New York created Leading With Race Equity: Building Stronger Culture and Practice, a six-month peer cohort learning experience designed to help foundation leaders gain the tools and resources to work towards equity internally and externally. Leading with Race Equity is a high challenge/high support space that will help participants recognize and activate the spheres of power and influence their roles provide in changing organizational practice.

Leading With Race Equity: Building Stronger Culture and Practice will run from September 2024 through January 2025.

Leading With Race Equity is designed to cumulatively build skills and knowledge. Over six months, participants must commit to attending:

  • One (1) half-day Zoom workshop with True North EDI, followed by
  • One (1) full day in-person workshop
  • Two (2) half-day Zoom workshops
  • One (1) final half-day afternoon in-person closing workshop

The goal of this training is to help you address racial inequity both internally and externally:

  • Internally – To refocus the economic impact of your organizations, in hiring, talent management, vendor selection, and investment management, among other considerations
  • Externally – To examine and refine your grantmaking, strategy creation, and evaluation practices to ensure equitable outcomes for people and communities of color

Designed For

Leading With Race Equity is open to Philanthropy New York members only. We encourage staff from both the operational and grantmaking sides of the foundation to apply as cross-departmental teams. Greater consideration will be given to pairs or teams who influence and oversee some level of change within an organization’s culture or grantmaking portfolio. We will allow three members of an organization to attend if the third member is a trustee.  Applicants should demonstrate that they are:

  • Committed – Applicants are making a commitment to racial equity and can articulate why this is important for them personally, their roles and their institutions
  • Informed – Applicants possess a fundamental understanding of key operational definitions (race, racism, equity vs equality, implicit bias) and can identify intersectional structures of marginalization and oppression
  • Empowered – Applicants can articulate the sphere of influence and leadership their role provides in influencing and changing organizational practices.

Intended Outcomes

Upon completing the training and workshops, you will be better able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of key concepts such as implicit bias, racial equity, and structural racism;
  • Identify racialized narratives that currently inform decision-making and affect grant-making strategy;
  • Discuss race, inclusion, and culture constructively within your organizations and with your constituents; 
  • Develop and apply tools and practices for counteracting racial bias in your work and practices;
  • Identify opportunities and next steps for applying concepts and strategies to advance racial equity inside your organization and within your grantmaking practice; and
  • Collaborate and practice with peers to implement those strategies within your organizations.

Upcoming Cohorts

2024-2025 Schedule

All participants must commit to the full day-long training and four subsequent peer-learning cohort workshop sessions, as the program is designed to cumulatively build skills and support participants in working on specific practice changes over time. The workshops are designed to support participants in both deepening their critical analysis of racial equity and help them incorporate this learning into changes in their internal and external practices.


  • Friday, September 27, 2024  |  10:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET (Zoom)

Cohort Workshop Sessions:

  • Wednesday, October 16, 2024  |  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET (In-person)
  • Friday, November 22, 2024  |  9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET (Zoom)
  • Friday, January 10, 2025  |  9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET (Zoom)
  • Thursday, January 30, 2025  |  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET (In-person)

All in-person activities take place at Philanthropy New York – 320 East 43rd Street

We are excited to partner with True North EDI, a very skilled race equity consulting firm to create and implement this uniquely specialized cohort experience. Engaging outside partners at a substantial cost requires that we charge PNY members a registration fee to cover the direct costs of working with our partner. We are grateful for grant support from Deutsche Bank, which has enabled us to reduce the member participation cost. 

  • $600 per individual
  • $1,100 for two individuals in one organization
  • $1,650 for two staff and one 1 trustee from a single organization

Application Process

Apply online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PNYLeadingRaceEquity2024

Application Deadline: Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Philanthropy New York Team will be reviewing all applications in June. We will reach out for a follow-up conversation if needed at the end of July and early August.

We intend to communicate final decisions by the second week of August.

If you have plan to apply, please proactively hold the session dates in your calendar in anticipation of the decision.

Frequently Asked Questions


I want to participate, but I already know I have a conflict with several of the dates, can I still apply?

The series is designed to build community and each session contributes to the next.  We will give preference to applicants who are able to commit to all of the sessions. 

Who can apply?

The cohort will consist of both individuals and pairs with a preference for pairs within larger institutions. We will give preference to individuals who are able to articulate the sphere of influence they hold within their institutions and can demonstrate the ways their roles can impact organizational culture and practice.  In larger institutions, applying as a pair enables shared learning and shared strategy in this work.  

What are the prerequisites for participation?

We understand that everyone is on different points in their racial equity journey.  This cohort is designed to support those who have already made a commitment to operationalizing racial equity within their organization and have engaged in foundational work to understand how racialized dynamics play out for themselves as an individual and within their institutions.  We will give preference to individuals who are able to share their commitment to racial equity. 

Is there financial support for the program?

The program is currently subsidized by a grant from the Deutsche Bank Foundation to make access to this resource-intensive program as affordable as possible.  

My institution is not a member of Philanthropy New York, may I participate?

This program is designed for Philanthropy New York members, for more information on membership, please contact Donita Volkwijn at dvolkwijn@philanthropynewyork.org

If you have additional questions, please contact Kathryn O'Neal-Dunham (kdunham@philanthropynewyork.org) or Marlon Williams (mwilliams@philanthropynewyork.org)