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Equitable Community Engagement & Decision-Making

Bekah Kendrick May 14, 2021

Virginia Community Voice offers a simple yet profound framework for engaging people who are directly impacted by your decision-making. In this session, institutional leaders from across sectors including small nonprofits, large philanthropies, academic institutions and faith communities, can learn how to identify and pivot away from harmful decision-making norms rooted in white supremacy and colonialism, toward community engagement practices rooted in equity and justice for historically marginalized people.



Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion


community engagement, equity, racial equity, decision-making practices, organizational culture change, philanthropy, nonprofit fundraising, community-centrism

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Purpose: To introduce participants to the four stages of the Community Voice model of engagement: Listen, Connect, Craft, and Reflect. This model has been used to engage more than 1000 Black and Latinx neighbors in collective action and leadership development in divested communities on the Southside of Richmond, VA once known as the Capital of the Confederacy. Desired Outcomes: Participants will feel more confident discussing the decision-making norms within their institution that impede effective community engagement. Participants will learn about a new, community-centered approach to nonprofit fundraising and philanthropy, what we call our Courageous Fundraising Principles. Participants will share personal and professional experiences making decisions about and engaging people in historically marginalized communities, and reflect on how they could use our model to promote greater equity -- in their impact investing, volunteerism, research, and work.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Service Providers

  • Government

  • Academia

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Artists & Culture-makers


  • NameLea Whitehurst-Gibson
  • TitleExecutive Director
  • OrganizationVirginia Community Voice
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameFlorencia Fuensalida
  • TitleCommunity Engagement Specialist
  • OrganizationVirginia Community Voice
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameBekah Kendrick
  • TitleStrategic Partnerships Director
  • OrganizationVirginia Community Voice
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameElaine Williams
  • TitleRVA Thrives Director
  • OrganizationVirginia Community Voice
  • StatusConfirmed
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