In early 2021, the New Commonwealth Fund partnered with the Boston Foundation for a series of four conversations on the Fund's activities and some of the core issues of race, equity and justice facing the philanthropic sector and its work at this critical time in history.
The series kicked off on January 15, 2021.
Click below to watch the individual videos in the series as they become available, or click on the links to learn more information about upcoming conversations or register.
In this first installment, January 15, 2021, entitled "Charitable Impulse or Responsive Investment?: Making Philanthropy Work for Communities", panelists Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, Rodney Pratt and Corey Thomas of the New Commonwealth Fund were joined by a pair of national experts: Dr. John Jackson of the Schott Foundation and Jeanné Lewis of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
The panel discussed the work of the NCF to date, and the larger context of racial justice funding nationally and how donors and funders can be more responsive and supportive of nonprofits at this critical time.
Keith Mahoney, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, the Boston Foundation
Dr. John Jackson, President & CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education
Jeanné Lewis, Vice President & Chief Engagement Officer, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
New Commonwealth Fund Co-Founders/Panelists
Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President & CEO, Dentaquest Partnership for Oral Health
Rodney Pratt, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Converse Inc.
Corey Thomas, President & CEO, Rapid 7
On January 29, the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund and the Boston Foundation presented the second installment of the Lunch and Learn series, focused on criminal justice.
After a welcome and personal story from Vetto Casado, Assistant Director of Programs at the Boston Foundation, NCF co-founder Damian Wilmot of Vertex Pharmaceuticals moderated a panel discussion on the impact of systemic injustices built into the criminal justice system today in Massachusetts and nationally, and efforts around the Commonwealth to create a more equitable system. He was joined by Harvard Law School Professor Ronald "Sully" Sullivan, Jr., Rahsaan Hall of ACLU Massachusetts and Suffolk County Ditsrict Attorney Rachael Rollins.
Vetto Casado, Assistant Director, Programs, the Boston Foundation
Damian Wilmot, Senior Vice President, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and NCF Co-Founder (moderator)
Ronald “Sully” Sullivan, Jr., Jesse Climenko Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Institute, Harvard Law School
Rahsaan D. Hall, Director, Racial Justice Program, ACLU Massachusetts
Rachael Rollins, District Attorney, Suffolk County
On February 12, the New Commonwealth Fund and the Boston Foundation hosted a discussion on issues of health equity in the era of COVID-19. Panelists shared their thoughts on history and vaccine hesitancy in the Black community, the potential impacts of the COVID pandemic on trust and health outcomes, and the opportunity that COVID has given us to create a better new normal in an era of racial equity and social justice.
The panel, featuring Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick, CDC Foundation Chief Health Equity and Strategy officer Dr. Lauren Smith, and Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers President and CEO Michael Curry, was moderated by NCF Co-Founder Fred Lowery.
Elizabeth Pauley, Associate Vice President, Education to Career, The Boston Foundation
Overview & Speaker Introductions
Fred Lowery, Senior Vice President and President, Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Panel Discussion and Q&A
Michael Curry, Esq., President & CEO, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President, Howard University
Fred Lowery, Thermo Fisher Scientific (moderator)
Dr. Lauren Smith, Chief Health Equity and Strategy Officer, CDC Foundation
On February 23, the New Commonwealth Fund welcomed Ken Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director of General Catalyst and former Chairman and CEO of American Express, for a fireside chat facilitated by New Commonwealth Fund co-founder Pamela Everhart, Senior Vice President, Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments.
In an hour-long discussion, Ken shared his approach to social justice and equity at General Catalyst, and explored how closing the gap between the business sector and philanthropy can help communities lead the way in creating and implementing the innovative solutions they need to thrive and succeed.
Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Programs, The Boston Foundation
Discussion and Q and A:
Pamela Everhart, Senior Vice President, Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments
Ken Chenault, Chairman and Managing Director, General Catalyst