Join Cleveland Foundation Thought Leaders and Partners at Philanthropy Forward 2021

Philanthropy Forward '21 graphic

Each year, Philanthropy Ohio hosts its Philanthropy Forward conference, bringing together leaders, professionals, donors and other stakeholders in Ohio’s philanthropic sector to discuss relevant issues, new ideas and opportunities in our field. Oct. 11-15, Philanthropy Forward will be presented in a 100% virtual format, with attendees tuning in from across the state and country. A number of Cleveland Foundation thought leaders and partners will be presenting at the conference. If you plan to attend, we encourage you to check out their sessions:

Oct. 12

Advancing an Equitable Clean Energy Future for Ohio

Learn about the Ohio Climate Justice Fund and its approach to building a diverse coalition of advocates who influence policy change for a more just and inclusive climate and clean energy movement in Ohio.


  • Joe Flarida, Executive Director, Power a Clean Future Ohio
  • Leah Hudnall, Director, Ohio Climate Justice Fund
  • Stephen Love, Program Manager for Environmental Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation

Philanthropy’s Role in Equitable Recovery Beyond COVID-19

Across Ohio, local response funds had a significant role in leading their region’s emergency response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Partners from these efforts will share what philanthropy can do to lay the groundwork for long-term recovery.


  • Tracy Carter, System Director, Government Relations, Summa Health System
  • Daniel Cohn, Vice President, Strategy, The Mt. Sinai Health Foundation

Is Trust the Secret Ingredient to Lasting Change?

Discover the power of relationships in effecting social change and why, sometimes, the best thing philanthropy can do is step back and trust people to do things the way they know best. This session will share stories and lessons learned from grassroots community and civic engagement efforts in 2020, exploring the ways neighborhood groups and leaders reached people in a challenging time.


  • Nelson Beckford, Program Director for Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement, Cleveland Foundation
  • Lawrence Daniel Caswell, Field Coordinator Cleveland Documenters, Neighborhood Connections
  • Juan Galeano, Project Consultant, Cleveland Foundation
  • Lila Mills, Associate Director, Neighborhood Connections

Oct. 13

Investing in Black Futures

In 2020, a global pandemic and ongoing national reckoning with systemic racism prompted many funders to consider how they could more directly and effectively help to dismantle systemic racism in their communities as well as in their operations. This session will explore the approaches funders across Ohio have taken, what they’ve learned, what they’ve changed and what’s next.


  • Courtenay A. Barton, Program Director for Arts & Culture and Racial Equity Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation
  • Michael Coffey, Director of the Racial Justice Fund, Greater Cincinnati Foundation
  • Timothy Tramble, President and CEO, Saint Luke’s Foundation

Measuring Racial Equity Progress in Grantmaking

Partners from the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund will share their model for better understanding how systemic racism showed up in their grantmaking process. The fund intentionally put racial equity front and center but, when analyzing the data, found that their process reinforced disparities in the distribution of dollars. Discover what they learned and what processes they changed for the fund and their organizations.


  • Joe Black, Health Equity Program Officer, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
  • Heather Lenz, CEO & Founder, Sangfroid Strategy
  • Dale Anglin, Vice President for Program, Cleveland Foundation

Oct. 14

What New Science About the Teen Brain and Why It Matters

Discover what the latest science tells us about the adolescent brain, how it differs from previous assumptions and how it can be applied to improve outcomes in education, juvenile justice, child welfare and health systems. Explore how to apply this new science and effectively frame issues that have emerged during the pandemic, such as youth participation and systemic racism, as well as the role of philanthropy at the nexus of science communication, narratives and social change.


  • Dale Anglin, Vice President for Program, Cleveland Foundation
  • Kai Cotton, Reach Up, Reach Out (RURO) Lead Youth Navigator, YWCA of Greater Cleveland
  • Craig Dorn, President & CEO, Youth Opportunities Unlimited
  • Nat Kendall-Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, FrameWorks Institute

Oct. 15

Finding Strength in Partnerships Post-Pandemic

Funders and agencies in Cleveland are collaborating to find new, creative ways to address the rising demand for mental health and housing services post-pandemic. Learn how they are ensuring needs are being met, particularly in the BIPOC community.

  • Maria Estes, Marketing and Communications Director, Community West Foundation
  • Andrew Katusin, Program Officer, Grantmaking Initiatives, Cleveland Foundation
  • Sue Marasco, Ph.D., Director of Programming and Evaluation, May Dugan Center
  • Teresa Sanders, Chief Program Officer, YWCA of Greater Cleveland
  • Peter Schindler, Senior Program Officer, Community West Foundation

These are just a few of the thought-provoking sessions planned for the conference. Explore the full Philanthropy Forward ‘21 agenda and register to attend here.