We have a number of truly unique programs coming up in the next few weeks, grown out of the interest of our members, and central to our mission that speak to the ways in which our grantmaking community is looking to extend its reach, be more responsive, and understand its impact and influence. Click on the links to learn more about any one of the following:
Power Play: Slaying the Elephant on October 12 will use the fun technique of improvisation to unpack the uncomfortable dynamic that all grantmakers are faced with -- the inherent inequity in the relationship between a funder and its grantees. Yet, it is the grantee who is actually doing the work that brings the expertise who actually makes the impact, but who cannot and does not do it alone. Our colleagues at Philanthropy New York found this to be one its more popular programs so we are pleased to offer it here in New Jersey.
Our Race, Racism and the Ramifications for Philanthropy learning journey continues with a number of special gatherings. The series of facilitated dinner conversations begins with a discussion and presentation on Health Disparities on October 19th. This will be followed in November and December with discussions centered on structural racism, implicit bias & white privilege, and lastly, livable moments – from broken taillights to stop & frisk. Each dinner is structured like a book club, with advance reading, listening and/or viewing for those attending, followed by small group queries for discussion at the dinner. As with all Council programs, the dinners are open to all representatives of CNJG member organizations including staff, trustees, special advisors, and fund holders.
We also are pleased to offer members another cultural field trip related to our programming on the ramifications of racism. The Missing is a new exhibit opening at Aljira Arts in Newark. The leadership at Aljira has generously offered CNJG a private exhibition preview reception. I hope you can join us. Through artist Duran Jackson paintings, The Missing explores the loss a community feels when so many of its residents are gone due to mass incarceration. Read more about the exhibit.
The final program I want to mention is our upcoming luncheon on November 8th with Economist Alan Blinder of Princeton University and former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve and former Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors. Dr. Blinder is one of the most highly regarded economists of our time and we are thrilled to provide any representative from a private foundation or an endowed charity – regardless of CNJG membership -- with this opportunity to hear his perspectives on our economy. At a time when various policies, including tax reform are being hotly debated, and with many of these policies holding significant implications for endowments and the communities in which you work, you won’t want to miss this truly special program.
As I close I just want to acknowledge the profound sadness we are all experiencing. Our world seems to be accelerating at a speed that is completely untenable with no chance to catch our breath and exhale. Honestly, I have to remind myself to breathe often. And in those moments of quiet, when I count my blessings, I am reminded that it is in these very times that philanthropy’s work is all the more essential. Stay steady. Keep at it. It clearly matters a great deal.
Nina Stack, President
Council of New Jersey Grantmakers