MENU menu

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Proximate Philanthropy: Exploring Power and Privilege in the Funding Landscape

Back to schedule

Session Description

Many foundations and philanthropists problem-solve from a distance. They fund without becoming embedded in the unique needs of the individuals and communities they support. Systemic imbalances of power and privilege between funders, grantees, and communities reinforce this rift. What influence does this dynamic have on grantmaking effectiveness? How can philanthropic organizations better understand these imbalances, recognize privilege and bias within the sector, and embrace the value of proximity—even from afar?

When | Where

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM Wednesday, April 11 Lecture Theatre 4


Panel Discussion

Session leaders

  • Executive Director, Peery Foundation
    High school drop out turned MBA. Currently co-creating and stewarding the Peery Foundation's approach of Grantee-Centric Philanthropy. Advocate for inter-disciplinary approaches, thoughtful risk taking, and bold ideas developed through patient, deliberate apprenticeship. Author and illustrator of 'Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits & Foundations Can Build Epic Partnerships'.
  • Pia Infante Moderator
    Co-Executive Director, The Whitman Institute
    Pia Infante is Trustee and Co-Executive Director of The Whitman Institute (TWI), an independent foundation that leverages trust based philanthropy for social, political and economic equity. Ms. Infante draws on decades of multi-sector experience as an educator, facilitator, organizational consultant, executive coach, non-profit manager, business owner, writer and speaker to steward TWI's mission and spend out, slated for 2022. Ms. Infante has spoken on trust based philanthropy and values based leadership at Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership, Ashoka Future Forum, International Human Rights Funders Group, The Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA’s Luskin School, Skoll World Forum, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Fast Forward, Net Impact, Foundation Center, Latino Community Foundation, Council on Foundations, Opportunity Collaboration, Northern California Grantmakers, the University of Vermont, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Ms. Infante serves as the Board Chair for the Center for Media Justice. She is an I.C.F. certified executive leadership coach, holds a M.A. in Education from the New School for Social Research, and a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Vu Le Speaker
    Executive Director, Rainier Valley Corps
    Vu Le writes the blog (formerly and is the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a Seattle nonprofit that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. He has a BA in Psychology and a Master in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Parminder Vir Speaker
    CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation
    Parminder is a story teller who has devoted her working life to a passionate pursuit of presenting the truth from places that are not recognised or seen. She takes a vision and makes it a reality through sound strategy development. She intuitively sees the threads of opportunity and brings them together into a coherent whole. Currently, as CEO at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Africa’s leading philanthropic organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria, she oversees the strategic development and implementation of its key programmes. She joined the Foundation in April 2014 to help design, develop and implement one of the most ambitious entrepreneurship programmes on the continent - the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 entrepreneurs from across the continent. Under her leadership, the Foundation has cemented its role as principal advocate for African entrepreneurs both on the continent and globally and empowered thousands on their path to economic and social transformation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Parminder has enjoyed a distinguished career as an awarding winning film and television producer; private equity investor in film and media, and founder of three successful media and consultancy companies. She has served as a Board Director on UK India Business Council, Department for Culture Media and Sports, the UK Film Council, and The Indus Entrepreneurs UK. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the Broadcasting and Film industry in 2002.