2021 Annual Meeting | Reimagine Philanthropy for Social + Climate Justice
Maryland Philanthropy Network is once again using this year's annual meeting as an opportunity to spark transformative change. We started this conversation at our 2020 Annual Meeting | Reimagine Philanthropy and continued the discussion with Reimagine Philanthropy: A Race Equity Peer Conversation and Reimagine Philanthropy: Economic Justice and the Social Determinants of Health, Work, and Wellbeing. As our network seeks to further understand the critical shifts philanthropy is being asked to make, we are exploring key topics to shift perspectives, cede power, and collaborate with communities to heal and achieve greater equity.
The theme for our 2021 Annual Meeting is Reimagine Philanthropy for Social + Climate Justice, to signal the importance of addressing the dual existential crises of climate and racism together.
We have invited Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, a renowned thought-leader, strategist, policymaker, and community liaison, as our keynote speaker to help us understand climate justice as central to the pursuit of racial justice and freedom. His unique background and holistic approach to revitalizing vulnerable communities are sure to yield a robust conversation and much for our network to consider.
Kondwani Fidel, Baltimore native and globally recognized poet, will once again share his thought-provoking poetry with us, recognizing that arts and creativity have an indelible role in moving people to action for lasting social change.
We’ve also engaged the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, to bring the award-winning Traveling Stanzas project to this year's Annual Meeting. Director David Hassler will guide participants to reflect & network through community poetry to close out our program.
Our annual meeting is open to members of Maryland Philanthropy Network and invited guests.
Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali wears many hats both in real life and with his professional roles. He is the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate & Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and also the Founder & CEO of Revitalization Strategies. Before joining the NWF Mustafa was the Senior Vice President for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national, non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, Mustafa worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where he began working on Social Justice issues at the age of 16, becoming a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). Throughout his career, Dr. Ali has worked to elevate environmental justice issues to strengthen environmental justice policies, programs and initiatives.
Dr. Ali is currently serving as a board member for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientist, TREE, Rodenberry Foundation, and Climate Hawks Vote. He is also often heard co-hosting the live radio show and podcast, Think 100% “The Coolest Show On Climate Change” with Grammy Nominated Singer and Actress Antonique Smith & Civil Rights Icon, Rev Lennox Yearwood.
Kondwani Fidel and his poetry have become one in the same. The passion Fidel brings to his work has taken the Baltimore native around the globe to confront education reform, civil rights, and growing up in an underserved community. Fidel has captivated audiences at conferences, literary events, and has lectured and taught classes at the University of East London while touring in the United Kingdom. Fidel’s lyrical poetry has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, The Root, The Independent, Mic, and Baltimore Sun along with his inspiring narratives for brands such as Under Armour. His viral essay, “How a Young Boy has Been Decaying in Baltimore Since Age 10: A Death Note”, cemented Fidel as an authority in his city. In 2018, The Baltimore Sun honored Fidel in its heralded ‘Best of Baltimore’ issue for his courage, innovative thinking, and leadership in local schools and communities.
David Hassler, MFA directs the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. In 2009, he co-founded Traveling Stanzas, a community arts project which creates illustrations in response to poems generated from community workshops in schools, healthcare facilities, libraries, senior centers, and veterans’ organizations. Hassler is the author or editor of nine books of poetry and nonfiction, including Red Kimono, Yellow Barn; Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community; and Speak a Powerful Magic: Ten Years of the Traveling Stanzas Poetry Project. His play, May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970, based on the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, was published by The Kent State University Press along with a Teacher’s Resource Book and was produced in 2020 as a national radio play by the WKSU NPR station. Hassler’s awards include Ohio Poet of the Year, the Ohioana Book Award, and the Carter G. Woodson Honor Book Award. His TEDx talk, “The Conversation of Poetry,” conveys the power of poetry to strengthen communities. In addition to his creative writing publications, he has co-authored articles on poetry, technology, and healing in the Journal of Palliative Medicine and the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.
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