Join us at Independent Sector’s 2021 Upswell Summit

The countdown is on for this year’s Upswell Summit hosted by Independent Sector and taking place Oct. 20-22. Over the course of three days, Upswell will virtually bring together thousands of changemakers, hundreds of speakers, brilliant thought leaders, inspired innovators, and powerful creators to unleash civil society’s fullest potential. This year’s Upswell Summit will focus on two overarching themes: racial justice and health. Here’s how Upswell defines those themes:

  • Racial Justice: We are the difference between a moment and momentum. Remember how you felt during last year’s racial reckoning? Our imperative is to accelerate that feeling into perpetual action – and hold ourselves measurably accountable in our collective pursuit of equity and justice.
  • Health: We mean every dimension of it. The physical and mental health of our community members. The operational health of our organizations and sector. The existential health of our nation’s democracy. If we’re going to thrive, we need to get healthy first.

This year’s Summit has been co-created by more than 70 future-focused partners and will feature dozens of impact-oriented workshops, hundreds of brilliant speakers, inspiring talks, buzzworthy Main Stage events, candid conversations, creative networking opportunities, energizing wellness practices, and so much more. The Cleveland Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Upswell Summit, and thought leaders from the foundation will feature in several programs during the week:

Oct. 20

12 – 1:30 p.m.

Networking in the Public Square

Stop by the Cleveland Foundation’s networking table and join Keisha González, program manager, economic & workforce development, and Tony Gattuso, director, investments & treasury, to learn about the Cleveland Foundation’s evolving approach to community investment and impact. Discussion topics will include social impact investing as well as efforts to promote diversity and equity through investment strategies and policies.

5:15-6:15 p.m.

Deep Dive: A Community Foundation’s Evolving Environmental Strategy 

Table #23

Join Stephen Love, program manager, environmental initiatives to discuss the foundation’s evolving approach to environmental grantmaking and engagement as well as the role of place-based funders in the environmental movement. 

Oct. 22

10 -10:20 a.m.

Centering Community in Cleveland’s New 21st Century Innovation District: Bricks, Sticks & Social Fabric

After more than 100 years, the Cleveland Foundation is moving out of an office building and into the heart of the community it serves, with a new headquarters now under construction. More than a new home for the world’s first community foundation, the project aligns with the launch of a new strategic direction for the organization and stands to catalyze economic development along a key corridor in the core city. Join Lillian Kuri, executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Joi Carter, program officer, arts & culture, to hear how the foundation is leveraging its headquarters project to support the vision of a new civic district in Cleveland by working with anchor institutions, neighborhood residents and civic leaders in this once-in-a-generation opportunity for transformative and equitable development. Click here to read Independent Sector’s article about the project and visit for more on this place-based strategy.

Learn more about Upswell and explore the full summit schedule here