Guiding principles

  1. The Presidents’ Forum intentionally centers leadership development as a foundational strategy for understanding and making progress around racial equity.

  2. There is a deep commitment among many philanthropic executives to better understand how racial equity connects to their work, to engage with and support each other, and to improve their capacity as leaders in addressing questions of racial equity.

  3. Leadership development takes time and requires focus. In the Presidents’ Forum, this will include opportunities for participants to contemplate how they develop trust, whom they trust, how they leverage power, and where they may exhibit biases. 

  4. Virtually every issue philanthropy addresses—but especially issues like economic disparity, gender equality, and intergenerational equity—intersects with and is to some extent confounded by race. This fact matters because it inescapably influences how the sector invests resources into housing, education, the environment, health, civic engagement, the arts, and other areas.

  5. Philanthropy can deepen its impact if it acknowledges and is responsive to the racialized realities of the United States, including how the American context drives the sector’s work abroad.

  6. Creating space for philanthropy executives to explore their own development, expose their vulnerabilities, and share progress on understanding racial equity can afford opportunities to foster greater impact in all our work and priorities.