In the past year, members of the PEAK community have rallied in many ways to support one another. Last summer, as the pandemic wore on and uprisings for racial justice were raging across the country, our members asked us to explore developing race and race equity affinity groups. After almost a year of development, we are pleased to say that these new forums for peer learning and support, co-designed with a cadre of volunteers, are now open to all members. The first meetings took place during PEAK2021 Online.
In July 2020, PEAK issued a call for volunteers to help us craft a strategy for these efforts, and 44 volunteers joined us to co-create an initial plan. Our members asked us to create spaces that could meet their varied needs: spaces to convene around shared identities and placement in the field of philanthropy, and spaces to convene around co-developing practical steps forward on the journey to more equitable grantmaking practices. We then began working with our members to further develop and create eight new peer groups. Fast forward to March 2021, and we had 20 leaders from within our community who agreed to co-chair and continue to develop these groups in an effort to support our community.
As we lean into deeper learning and emergent strategy with our community, moving beyond one-off webinars and linear learning models, we’re ready and eager to follow where our community leads. This requires being OK with being in a messy space of creation, not knowing what potential outcomes to identify yet, while giving ourselves and our community the time, grace, and space to figure it out together without pressure to adhere to specific benchmarks, agendas, or timelines.
Isn’t that what we all need this year?
The way forward continues to be so uncertain. The pandemic continues to rage on around the world. We are confronting some very big decisions about our values and aspirations as a nation. We strive to be incredibly productive and creative at work while caring for ourselves, our families, and our communities. What we all need is some unstructured time that allows our minds to relax and wander so that we can connect and co-create in better ways.
Your voice can make a difference. It’s not always comfortable to be in this liminal space, between what was and what will be, but if we can support each other and commit to learning together, what emerges may be better than any strategy or plan we could have imagined on our own.
Interested in learning more about these groups or getting involved?
Members, please complete this form to indicate your interest. Contact our team with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Six affinity groups, open to all PEAK members, are focused on networking and peer learning.
An affinity group for those identifying as Black, African American, or African
- Edberte Beauzile, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
- Blanch Vance, Grove Foundation
- Shantelice White, Bainum Family Foundation
- Shakila Woltz-Lous, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
An affinity group for those identifying as Hispanic, Latino, Latina, or Latinx
- Rachel Gonzales, Animal Assistance Foundation
- Gabriela Ledesma, United Way of Rhode Island
Asian American Pacific Islanders Affinity Group
A space where PEAK members who identify as AAPI can connect, network, and support one another.
- Sheryl Saturnino, The Miami Foundation
Learning and Support Space for Allies
An affinity group for those who want to learn to be better allies to marginalized populations
- Kelsey Andersen, Citi Foundation
- Deb Vaughn, Oregon Community Foundation
Corporate Grantmakers Affinity Group
An affinity group for corporate foundation and corporate social responsibility staff
- Margaret Buckley, McKesson Foundation
- Jill Ames, Alcon Foundation
Small Foundations Affinity Group
An affinity group for small-staff foundations
- Traci Johnson, Poise Foundation
- Diane Grossman, Sheltering Arms Foundation
Communities of Practice
Three communities of practice, open to PEAK Organization and Consultant Members, are focused on organization-based peer learning, and resource sharing and development.
DEI Learning 101 Community
A community dedicated to advancing knowledge about racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice frameworks, with a goal of applying these concepts to grantmaking and culture change
- Valerie Black, Kansas Health Foundation
- Tanisha Davis, Archstone Foundation
- Theresa Jackson, The Seybert Foundation
Equitable Grantmaking Practices Community
A community for those with a good working knowledge of equity issues who are dedicated to leading the way forward as the philanthropic sector operationalizes equity
- Katie Kaluza, The Chicago Community Trust
- Kelly Hayashi, Heising-Simons Foundation
Tech and Data Futurists Community
A community for IT professionals and accidental technologists alike to come together to learn from each other, share best practices, and make connections to advance data practices across the field
- Jeff Jimenez, Surdna Foundation
- Kristopher LeCorgne, MacArthur Foundation
- Amy Nossaman, Ottumwa Legacy Foundation