What role can foundations and donors play in advancing racial equity and substantive social change in our nation and our communities? How are they effecting change within the philanthropic sector?
Susan Taylor Batten, president and CEO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) will discuss these issues in public remarks in Indianapolis on Tues., Jan. 15 at the Indianapolis Central Library’s Clowes Auditorium, 40 East St. Clair Street. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the conversation begins at 6:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public; registration is requested.
The events are offered by the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy, a part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. The institute’s Diverse Speaker Series is presented in part by the IUPUI 50th Anniversary Event Fund.
Batten’s remarks, “Struggle and Progress: Philanthropic Leadership on Issues of Race and Equity,” build on Frederick Douglass’s statement, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress… Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” She observes, “The words of the great abolitionist, orator and statesman Frederick Douglass are applicable today when one considers the scope and scale of social movements in America. Activism in this country, focused on important issues such as racial equity, gender equity and immigration reform, is at an all-time high.
“Yet, the nation is more divided—both politically and economically—than ever before. In response, several foundations and donors are shifting gears to support efforts that focus on equity. Yet many are challenged with shifting their power in ways that promote opportunities for all people, particularly historically marginalized groups.”
The conversation will explore “the continued struggle and progress to reform philanthropy and facilitate substantive change and racial equity in this country.”
Batten became president and CEO of ABFE in January 2009. The association’s mission is to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black Communities, and it counts among its members some of the most influential staff, trustees and donors of grant making institutions in the U.S. Under her leadership, ABFE has expanded its base of programming and membership across the country.
Prior to joining ABFE, Batten was a senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, serving as staff in the Community Change Initiatives Unit, which provided investments to help transform neighborhoods into family supportive environments. She also coordinated a portfolio on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, working across the foundation to strengthen its focus on addressing racial disparities. She assisted Casey in its efforts to build and employ equitable and inclusive management and administrative practices (workforce diversity, grantee diversity and vendor practices, among others). Before working in philanthropy, Batten held leadership positions in both federal and city government.
A co-founder of the Race and Equity in Philanthropy Group, Batten serves on the board of the United Philanthropy Forum. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from Fisk University, and her Master of Social Work degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
The Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy
The Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy fosters a greater understanding of the ways in which underrepresented people are both inspired and informed donors by providing knowledge, education and training. The institute seeks to understand the perceptions, practices, experiences and needs of the individuals and institutions that operationalize philanthropy in underrepresented communities and develop programming and services to engage philanthropic practitioners, scholars and the public at large in conversations and activities to advance this field. Follow us on Twitter or "Like" us on Facebook.
About the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, the Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. Follow us on Twitter @IUPhilanthropy or “Like” us on Facebook.