River Voices: July 2022

Welcome to the July 2022 edition of River Voices. This month we’re sharing our journey exploring and implementing trust-based philanthropy. Instead of articles, you’ll find a plenary panel recording from River Rally and an audio experience some of the Flow Funding participants and some of our staff, along with additional reading materials and network-wide events. We hope you enjoy! Look for continued storytelling around trust-based and decolonized philanthropy throughout upcoming issues of River Voices.

When we shift the power of philanthropy into all of our hands we shift who gives, how we give, and ultimately what gets funded.

-Tyeshia Wilson, Philanthropy Together

Left to right: panelists Mike Harris, Melanie Allen, Teresa Davis, Arthur Johnson, Tyeshia Wilson, and moderator Ronda Chapman. Photo by Imagine Photography.
Left to right: panelists Mike Harris, Melanie Allen, Teresa Davis, Arthur Johnson, Tyeshia Wilson, and moderator Ronda Chapman. Photo by Imagine Photography.

Last year, River Network began exploring trust-based philanthropy. As River Rally 2022 approached, we knew this topic would be a powerful, important, and timely one for a plenary panel. The moderator and panelists encouraged us to rethink our relationships to wealth and community and shared inspiring stories about novel approaches that both democratize philanthropy from the ground up and use trust as a vehicle for shifting power. If you missed the panel at Rally or weren’t with us in DC, we’re thrilled to share the panel in full, free for all to watch and listen to.

We hope you use will use the recording of this plenary panel as a catalyst for conversations in your own organizations and communities and want to point you to these resources from Trust-Based Philanthropy to serve as an additional resource. Whether you are a community-based or non-profit organization or a funder, we invite you to let this conversation challenge you and change the way you think about philanthropy. This is a deep and heart-felt conversation – we encourage you to take a walk, sit in the sun, go to a nearby park or body of water, tend to your garden or any other activity that brings you peace and allows your mind to truly focus and absorb the content so you can bring your perspectives and reactions fully to any follow-up conversations you may have.

Don’t have time to watch the full panel? Check out the panel’s intro video and this video of panel highlights.

Last year, River Network humbly and with curiosity sought an opportunity to explore trust-based philanthropy. As the first year of flow funding comes to a close, hear from Lisa Runkel and Renée Mazurek, as well as clips from the Flow Funders themselves, reflecting on the experience.

Click the play button below to listen or access the full transcript here.

Leona Tate Foundation for Change, funded by Arthur Johnson
Bernard Singletonfunded by Arthur Johnson
Flint Development Centerfunded by Monica Lewis-Patrick
The Junction Coalition, funded by Monica Lewis-Patrick
Idlewild/Lake County Merry Makers, funded by Monica Lewis-Patrick
ACTSfunded by Teresa Davis
“Orange Patches” by Haile Bennett, funded by Daniel Wiley

How We’re Learning More

Explore additional resources on new approaches to philanthropy that have been informing and inspiring our team.

Member News & Events

Expanding Frontline Communities’ Access to Federal Funding

July 20, 10a ET / 7a PT
WaterNow Alliance, in partnership with River Network, will host a 1-hour virtual seminar for utility and community leaders nationwide facing the first, and worst, water challenges—from flooding, to drought to basement backups to water contamination and more—on how they can access State Revolving Fund grants and loans to help overcome these challenges with 21st Century infrastructure solutions.

Learn more and register.

Building Equitable Resilience: Perspectives from Chief Resilience Officers

July 21, 1p ET / 10a PT
Join the Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN), The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Resilient Cities Network for a discussion on equitable resilience. During this discussion, participants will hear from Chief Resilience Officers as they highlight key challenges and opportunities, at all levels of government, to advance equitable solutions.

Learn more and register.

Request for Proposals: 2023 River Management Symposium

The River Management Society’s 2023 River Management Symposium is set for Feb. 28 – March 2, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas. RMS is looking for presentations, panels, and posters that share innovations, creative approaches, successes and visions for the future of river access from river management professionals (e.g., managers, planners, academics, consultants, and students).

Learn more and submit by 9/30.

Environmental Policy Innovation Center’s New Database

Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) is pleased to launch their leadership database, a one-stop shop to support water sector leaders who want to identify and connect to training opportunities, networks, awards, conferences and more! The user-friendly database contains more than 100 national and state-based programs, including some from River Network!

Explore the database.