President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Hill Foundation
Not all types of narrative investment and infrastructure support community power-building, and not all types of narrative power bring forth the structural changes needed to transform people's lives. Narrative infrastructure is also never built in a vacuum — it exists in constant relationship to the infrastructure and power of dominant narratives. Today, with so much at stake in getting narrative work right, it has never been more urgent to understand the connection between building narrative power and achieving lasting change in our society. As a longtime builder of narrative infrastructure, Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, will discuss the critical difference between narrative presence and narrative power and the strategies that funders can support to ensure they are giving communities the advantage they need in the fight for social change.
Imagining new possibilities is fundamental to civic engagement and improving a community's health outcomes. When communities engage in healing efforts, they tap into new narratives around their agency, worth, and collective power. These new stories often translate to more effective organizing, power-building, and better health outcomes. At the forefront of these emerging narratives around communal healing and empowerment are young people who are crafting new visions for equity and justice. Join us to learn more about the connection between healing, youth organizing, and community health and how funders can support narrative change work by investing in community voice and capacity.
How do we create the infrastructure required for narrative shifts and long-term culture change? How do we keep philanthropy from reverting to short-term strategies that limit our narrative and cultural power? As a sector, we must invest in narrative infrastructure — the systems, capacities, and practices that allow us to build and sustain narrative power over time and in ways that create an irresistible yearning for a just and pluralist future. Narrative infrastructure goes beyond communication strategy and rapid response work; it is about fully equipping a network of movement leaders, cultural organizers and strategists, pop culture storytellers, and funders with the resources needed to engage in cross-sectoral collaboration to immerse people in stories and experiences that will drive long-term, sustainable culture change. Join the Pop Culture Collaborative staff and their narrative infrastructure grantee partners for a compelling and generative conversation on how philanthropy can invest in narrative infrastructure to build narrative and cultural power.
Chief of Narrative & Culture Change, Caring Across Generations
Mission-driven investors often are hindered by the Wall Street-rooted conventional narratives around return and risks. If fiduciaries and philanthropic leaders create impact investing programs with strategies stuck in capitalistic practices, wealth inequality will continue to grow. Moreover, the urgency of societal and environmental challenges demands thoughtful and strategic use of all types of capital. Join this session to learn how foundation leaders have interrogated the prioritization of financial performance over deep impact and long-held beliefs around risk. Participants will leave challenged to be storytellers and the advocates who catalyze systems change.
The housing and homelessness crises are some of the most discussed and debated issues in California. But, the framing surrounding these issues is often limited and problematic; most existing housing narratives perpetuate hyper-individualism and personal fault, entirely ignoring the systemic causes of these injustices. To address one of California's most staggering inequities, we must reframe the narratives surrounding housing and homelessness and aspire to identify the root causes of these problems, and mobilize our communities to enact change. Join panelists from foundations, research and communications institutions, and the private sector to gain insight and concrete skills to implement narrative change in your external housing and homelessness work and internally in your organization.
“The question is not whether we will be tied to the somethings of our past, but whether we are courageous enough to be tied to the whole of them." –Ta-Nehisi Coates. While our nation has failed to take responsibility for addressing generational, structural, and systemic harm against Black people, California has taken the first step toward undoing countless generations worth of forces that have stifled and hurt Black possibilities. From returning Bruce's Beach to the original family that owned the land to commissioning a task force to study the harm of its racialized policies entrenching systemic inequity, California has finally begun to reckon with its past. But arriving at the cultural space where reparations is not only possible but embraced will require courageous narrative work. To pave the way for reparations, we must engage in effective organizing, narrative shifting, and deep community engagement. This panel will feature leaders who will discuss the work of the California Reparations Task Force and why it's time for California to chart a new course for the state —one that rallies behind pro-black policies that heal, repair, and make 'thriving while Black' a reality in the Golden State.
Founder & Chief Architect, Social Good Solutions / Black Equity Collective
Use this time to reconnect with your philanthropic peers, or join a lunch table hosted by one of SCG's funder groups to connect with others interested in your same issue area. Tables are being hosted by the following groups: Child and Family Well-Being Funders Collaborative, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, Los Angeles Arts Funders, SCG Environmental Funders Group, Veterans Funders Group, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), SCG Workforce Development Funders Group, and SCG's Public Policy Committee on the topic of Civic Engagement/Inclusive Democracy.
Experience firsthand the role of arts-based strategies for healing, wellbeing, youth justice, and narrative change. Creative Wellbeing — developed collaboratively by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, Office of Child Protection (OCP), Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Arts for Healing and Justice Network (AHJN) — uses arts-based strategies that build upon existing community strengths to enhance the capacity of adults to support young people in restoration and healing. Central to this model is a parallel process that supports the adults working with youth—increasing adults' understanding of healing-informed approaches, self-attunement, and the preventative significance of their self-care.
Participants in this workshop will engage in a participatory poetry activity to explore how arts can serve as a strategy to support both youth and the adults that help them, particularly systems and justice-impacted youth and the funders, clinicians, educators, and others seeking to bring about wellbeing and positive change.
Director of Arts Education, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture
Meditation is a universal tool for personal and collective wellbeing. Join Sacha for a rejuvenating session to release stress, energize your intuition and connect to ancestral knowledge. You will learn breathing and gentle movement techniques to balance your nervous system to experience peace and mental clarity.
Join us for a relaxing experience incorporating ancient sound bowls for an easeful and empowering sonic meditation. Ancient cultures have understood the power of sound and vibration for thousands of years. Sound healing is a form of alchemy or transformation that calms brain waves in safe and gentle ways. This session will support peace, relaxation and connection to your inner wisdom. Take a moment to pause and enjoy nature and sound!
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Woman of La luna Studio
Emergent Strategy is a humble philosophy, a way to acknowledge the real power of change, and be in the right relationship to it. Its intent is to deepen relationships, build trust, and political alignment. Emergent strategy practices strengthen imagination and the capacity to think beyond the limitations of socialization – beyond competition, beyond binaries, and beyond linear, short-term outcomes. This interactive workshop will introduce participants to the concepts of Emergent Strategy, to build community, and share collective resources around narrative power.
Asset-based storytelling helps elevate solutions rooted in the experiences, aspirations, and power of families and communities to confront injustice. By investing in asset-based narrative infrastructure, philanthropy can create pathways for children, youth, and families impacted by inequitable systems to tell their courageous stories and dismantle toxic dominant narratives about their experiences. More than ever, our sector must support organizations and individuals on the frontlines to identify where we have gone wrong and how we can imagine and design better solutions. In this session, we will hear from community, research, and systems change leaders about how funders can forward asset-based narratives rooted in community experience to enact transformative systems change.
Founder and Executive Director, Center for Scholars & Storytellers
Trust-based philanthropy is an approach to grantmaking that invites funders to reimagine traditional philanthropy's underlying assumptions and practices with a vision of advancing a more equitable and democratic society. In this way, trust-based philanthropy seeks to bring about a culture shift wherein we center humility, relationship-building, and racial equity in every aspect of our work. In this session, led by practitioners working at the intersection of cultural strategy and philanthropy, we'll explore the basic tenets of trust-based philanthropy and practical ways to embody trust-based values in grantmaking and organizational culture. We will also explore how this approach challenges dominant narratives in the sector by positioning nonprofit and community leaders as the experts -- and funders as learners, supporters, and resource mobilizers.
After centuries of erasure, the California Truth and Healing Council, created by Governor Newsom in 2019, is designed to bear witness to, record, and examine California Native American narratives regarding their relationship with the State of California. With support from several foundations to aid community engagement, the council seeks to clarify the historical record and work toward reparation and restoration in the spirit of truth and healing. Join us for this session to deepen your own understanding of our state's history, and the role funders and governmental partners can play to correct the narrative and advance healing and justice for Native communities.
Tribal Affairs Secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom
How do the rich get rich and the poor stay poor? Part of what props up the status quo are the stories we’re told about poverty — and the stories we aren't told about wealth — stories that place blame on poor individuals, allowing unjust systems to go unquestioned. What role does the social change sector play in telling stories for economic justice? Based on our research examining stories shared by the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, and our experience as scholars and practitioners, we will share actionable strategies for shifting the narrative on how the rich got rich, and the poor stayed poor as an intervention toward a world of economic justice for all people. Presenters will share how to identify harmful narratives and tell better stories to build narrative power, with examples pulled from economic justice organizations. Participants will learn how to apply research-based strategies to achieve their goals and walk away with tools they can use for their work.
Director of Research, Center for Public Interest Communications
Achieving lasting change in any sector — education, healthcare, community safety, economic mobility, and more — requires us to challenge dominant narratives and imagine new possibilities. Arts and culture provide some of the most fertile ground for this work and can be woven across issues and sectors to advance meaningful change. Join us as we unpack the role of artists in this work, weave together themes from the day, and outline ways that philanthropy can take action.