The following goals represent the overall purpose of this effort to intentionally invest in leaders of color and the organizations they lead. The goals of ILOC are as follows:

  • Open and increase access to philanthropic networks
  • Foster the learning, development, and professional growth of leaders of color
  • Strengthen the internal and external capacity of organizations led by leaders of color
  • Assist funders in understanding new, culturally relevant approaches they will use to help leaders of color and their organizations gain greater access to resources
  • Shift the relationship paradigm between leaders of color and funders through matched relationships that deepen rapport, build mutual trust and respect, and center leader expertise and experience
  • Deepen investments, connections, and long-term impacts in communities for organizations led by the cohort’s fellows

An additional goal for ILOC includes building new mindsets and ways of co-creating a shared vision of the initiative, along with outcomes, deliverables, and measures of success. Because of this objective, the goals just listed will be added to and expanded upon by leaders joining the cohort.

Values and Intent:

The following list of values and intentions of ILOC represent deeply held values of the working group of leaders and funders and the intention to create an inclusive, values-based initiative where philanthropy meets leaders of color, their organizations, and their communities. For this initiative to be different from other leadership- and capacity-building opportunities that may be available, the design of the cohort experience needs to be oriented around a common set of values that ventures beyond tradition. We hope that this list of goals resonates with both potential leaders interested in the cohort and funders interested in supporting this initiative.

  • Uplift and center the value of the leaders’ voices and expertise across experience levels and backgrounds
  • Disrupt the common experience by leaders of color of distrust, exceptionalism, and favoritism in relationships with funders
  • Model what co-creation and learning between leaders and funders look like
  • Create relationships with the purpose of disrupting traditional power structures and patterns
  • Create a safe space for support of and sharing by leaders

As we pursue these ideas, we will be mindful that, although the initiative is able to shift to address broader concerns, there will be some issues outside of ILOC’s parameters.

In addition, the fellowship recognizes that leaders have experienced harm in relationships with funders. Funders must acknowledge that harm and then work to shift their mindsets, behaviors, and structures away from traditional dynamics and toward realized change.

Philanthropic Organization Involvement in the Carolinas:

The list of organizations supporting this effort represents many foundations and resource organizations doing work in North Carolina, South Carolina, or both. These organizations have embraced the urgent need to invest in communities with new approaches, and acknowledged the systemic lack of investment in leaders of color, their organizations, and their communities. This group of funders and resource organizations shifted over time to form a representative group from the Carolinas with the ability to seed lasting impact.

ILOC has partnered with MDC, an organization known for its knowledge of the South, its commitment to equity, and experience in moving communities and funders from thought to action to manage the initiative. MDC sits squarely in the crossroad of funders, for-purpose (non-profit) organizations, and community, with strong relationships across those sectors. MDC lead the co-design process with funders and leaders, is responsible for the implementation of the initiative (including the application period), and will facilitate the fellowship’s experience for this inaugural cohort.  For more on MDC and its work visit: www.mdcinc.org

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