Learning Series

View session recordings and workshop content from MCF's 2021 Learning Series. This content is provided solely for the use of individuals registered for MCF’s 2021 Learning Series.

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Environmental Justice: Exploring the Intersection of Environment and Equity

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March 2021
Whether or not you’re an environmental funder, striving toward equity requires an understanding of environmental racism and environmental justice. Join your colleagues for an exploration of the intersection between environmental, cultural and economic justice. Sam Grant, Executive Director of MN350, will set the stage for thoughtful discussions about the intertwining nature of environmental issues and equity. Breakout rooms hosted by foundations actively exploring this intersection will give participants an opportunity to connect and identify action steps to support movement towards a more...
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Systems Change: A Crucial Part of the Ecosystem

Published: 
March 2021
Minnesota is in the top philanthropic states, yet we continue to have some of the largest gaps in health, education, housing and jobs for BIPOC communities. This panel discussion will highlight organizations that will speak to how philanthropy can make a greater difference in communities at the local, state and global level when investments are made in systems change efforts. By attending this session, attendees will learn how systems change efforts have helped protect the environment, address inequity and strengthen developing communities. You’ll also learn about the importance of supporting...
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A Nation of Sheep Will Beget a Government of Wolves: How the Media Can Save Civil Society...and Itself

Published: 
March 2021
As traditional gatekeepers flail in the face of new technologies and a splintering of new voices, traditional journalistic values of accuracy, objectivity and credibility have too often become negotiable. In a world where media can be more an echo chamber than a proving ground for the truth, how can journalism help the country and its citizens move back toward civil public dialogue? And how can philanthropy help make this happen? Speakers: Matt Carlson, Faculty Member, Hubbard School of Journalism And Mass Communication, University of Minnesota Jonathan Kealing, Chief Network Officer,...
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Learning Series Keynote: Sustaining a Robust Civil Society

Take a step back from politics to take a deeper look at democracy and civic engagement. How does philanthropy support healthy civil discourse and promote civic engagement in our communities and public institutions? How can philanthropy work toward a Minnesota where everyone is counted, heard, represented and valued in public life and public decisions? Speakers: Duchesne Drew, President, Minnesota Public Radio Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Recorded March 12, 2021
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A New Era for Philanthropy

This year’s global crises unearthed a new chapter in the long-running national history of social disparities, inequities in health and racial injustice. These issues galvanized a movement to confront our divides and reshape our future. This movement accelerated commitments to address inequalities to deliver lasting change. But what will this really mean? How can we act so this chapter of change doesn’t fall to rhetoric? This moment compels us to be bold and do more than communicate a call to action. It requires us to act with intention and attention. It requires courage, momentum and...
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Disruption, Recovery, and Resilience: Data Collection and Usage Through a Watershed Year

2020 presented each funder with their own set of overlapping challenges. This interactive session will explore how funders were forced to change practices around the data they collected and what they will expect from grantees in the future. Together, we’ll consider the following questions: How are foundations reacting to disruptions created for them and their stakeholders? What data has changed from pre-2020 that is no longer relevant? What relevant data has changed that will have a downstream impact? (i.e., changes now create funding shifts later) How will funders change their practices...
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Funding for Volunteer Engagement

Communities across the country are continuing to respond to the pandemic crisis, a faltering economy and racial injustices. In this time of rising needs and shrinking funds, there is an increasing focus on how to ensure organizations remain viable for the long term. Nonprofits are on the frontlines of the community response—and without the volunteers they need, they will be unable to meet those challenges. Unfortunately, volunteers are frequently viewed as simply “nice helpers” and organizations and funders alike need to shift this narrow perception to recognize the pivotal role the community...
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Making Justice Possible: Funding the Grassroots, Community-Led Organizing

2020 was a year of reckoning. In the midst of the devastation of COVID-19, people around the world took to the streets to defend Black life and, in doing so, helped accelerate conversations about safety, race and injustice. In 2020, everyday people made it impossible to ignore that community-led and grassroots initiatives are critical vehicles for change. The Transforming Movements Fund (TMF) and Fund for Trans Generations (FTG) at Borealis Philanthropy support visionary young LGBTQ, people of color leaders and organizations, trans-led organizing, respectively. Both of the funds focus on...
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Learning Series Keynote: Revitalizing Systems in Distress

Prosperity is distant for many Minnesotans. The current economic realities mean uncertainty in housing, employment and health. Meanwhile, current crises shine a light on long-standing inequities in education, criminal justice, the environment and other public systems. The philanthropic sector must transform itself on the path toward building equitable prosperity for all Minnesotans. Keynote speakers: Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson , President and CEO, Children’s Defense Fund Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan , State of Minnesota Recorded March 3, 2021
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First Steps to Becoming an Anti-Racist Funder

Are you or your organization working to become an anti-racist funder? Join this session to consider first steps on the path. In this session, we’ll have a conversation about where we’ve seen success in moving our organizations towards tangible anti-racist outcomes and where we’re seeing barriers. Greater Twin Cities United Way kicked off the conversation with where they started, steps in making our grantmaking and organizational practices more equitable, and where they’re hoping to continue the work. Speakers: James Collins, Director of 211, Greater Twin Cities United Way Stephannie Lewis,...
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