October 21, 2020

Over 800 View Virtual Nonprofit Leadership Summit

Over 800 viewers streamed the 18th annual Nonprofit Leadership Summit, which was hosted by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam last week. The weeklong virtual summit celebrated diversity, equity, and inclusion, by having five keynote speakers share why creating a diverse environment that supports equity and inclusion is important for nonprofits and other organizations. The goal was to help encourage nonprofit organizations to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values throughout their operations, programs, and leadership. 

“Even though we had to re-imagine this event as a virtual summit, the theme that we planned is not only still relevant today, but it is essential,” said United Way of Westchester and Putnam President and CEO Tom Gabriel, who opened each day’s program. “Through this summit we are privileged to add our voices to the chorus celebrating and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. It is our fervent hope that this week’s summit in some small way will help us all better value the visible and invisible qualities that make us who we are.” 

This year’s virtual event featured distinguished speakers including Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy for American Express, who closed out the week’s programming. Brown, a Westchester resident who attended Greenburgh Schools, said he has worked in philanthropy for 30 years at six different companies, much of the time focusing on diversity. He said in his current position at American Express he is deeply involved in combatting systemic racism and promoting and advancement. 

“We are in this very critical moment,” said Brown. “This isn’t simply a black moment, or a person of color moment, this is an American moment. America would be better if this DEI movement takes roots because the weight of racial bigotry, the detrimental effects of anti-black racism, and the debilitating impact of systemic racism is a burden America has had to bear for centuries. And freeing America from this bondage will liberate us all. And I’m so happy we have an opportunity for this moment, and for all of us to do something together. And I do believe, really, that we all will benefit as a country for this”. 

Other speakers throughout the week included:Marco Davis, President & CEO, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, former Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational  Excellence for Hispanics who discussed creating a more equitable social sector. See his presentation here. 

Sean Thomas-Breitfield, co-director of the Building Movement Project, and co-author of the Race to Lead Report, discussed the nonprofit racial leadership gap. See his presentation here. 

Kishshana Palmer, CFRE, a nonprofit consultant, coach, fundraiser, and author/blogger for “Secret Lives of Leaders”, spoke about promoting diversity in your marketing and fundraising efforts. See her presentation here. 

Chitra Aiyar, a TED Speaker who is the former Executive Director of Sadie Nash Leadership Project and co-producer of “Claiming Our Voice See her presentation here.

A recap of the five days of programming as well as additional educational materials can be viewed here.

Continuing education credits are available through Fordham University’s School of Social Service for a fee for those who complete the educations materials in each session.

Thank you to the Nonprofit Leadership Summit sponsors: TD Bank, Con Edison, Nonprofit Westchester, Council Services Plus, HRG – Hospitality Resource Group, Marks Paneth, Paycor, Association of Development Officers, Fordham University, MVP Healthcare, Pace University, Westchester Local Development Corp., and Westchester Library System.