Create Connections

Lived Experience:
impacting our work and the field

CHANGE Philanthropy is focused on creating a national movement among funders to improve the health and well-being of all communities—equally. We recognize that being able to connect with peers who are in the same place in the journey is an important step to creating increased impact. By connecting with others across the philanthropic sector, including other infrastructure allies, we can all create a shared practice and strategy across this sector. And this, in turn, will elevate our collective dialog exponentially.

Every other year, we hold a UNITY Summit for our communities to come together and create a rich in-person dialog in a collaborative space where new ideas and strategies can be born. The UNITY Summit is an important opportunity for members of our network and beyond to come together to discuss and create cross-community impact strategies.

As a leader and advocate in the community I serve, I view my work holistically – understanding that the entire community benefits when there are positive outcomes for all. Too often, we focus on our issue areas striving to make the greatest impact. The Unity Summit challenged me to think more deeply.  Our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ , Hispanic, Asian Americans/Pacific Islander, and Native American communities, among others, all have the same goal. Equity. We are all working for positive outcomes for our collective groups, but in the end it is about equity. Understanding the issues of all and working together will bring about a greater community.

– Jerry Roberts, Program Officer, Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

2017 UNITY Summit


CHANGE Philanthropy Newsletter - UNITY Summit Announcement 2 - March 2017 (3)


2017 Unity Summit:  Investing in Movements for Equity will highlight how philanthropy can align its investments along the themes of Resistance, Protection, and Empowerment.

The UNITY Summit will bring together over 500 partner members and sector allies which represent diverse idealities and lived experiences to explore and examine philanthropic equity strategies.


  • To highlight integration of diversity, inclusion, and social justice into philanthropic practice.

  • To amplify equitable philanthropic practices that address structural and institutional change.

  • To magnify community priorities of our partners with an intersectional approach.


2017 Unity Summit:  Investing in Movements for Equity will highlight how philanthropy can align its investments along the themes of Resistance, Protection, and Empowerment.

  • Resist. United to resist forces of injustice, intolerance, and prejudice; the promotion of inequitable practices and policies. Supporting real structural and institutional CHANGE by shifting philanthropy energy and efforts towards a more inclusive and just society.

  • Protect. Secure, invest, preserve and protect the power, advocacy and lived experiences of diverse communities against infringement. Honoring gifts and cultivating qualities of individuals to expand human capital for social impact to lead movements that advance CHANGE through equity.

  • Empower. Inclusive collective engagement and facilitative process for problem-solving and decision-making which honors the wisdom of diverse communities in organizing to build collective power, a bold vision, and movement towards a shared goal to empower real CHANGE.

Our last UNITY Summit in 2014 hosted the theme: Advancing Equity Together

By Advancing Equity Together, CHANGE Philanthropy (formerly known as JAG) united its members and others in the field to build a new vision for collaboration to advance equity in society (addressing race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability). The Unity Summit brought together all JAG partners for a three-day convening in Washington, DC. Approximately 430 professionals representing 33 states gathered for discussion, debate, networking, and skill-building to advance equity and social justice. Download the Conference Program to learn more.

Lived Experience:
impacting our work and the field

Lived Experience

impacting our work and the field


Noelle Ito
Vice President, Programs

How do you identify yourself?

As an Asian American woman

Tell us about a past experience that inspires the work you do today.

As a 4th generation Japanese American, I have been lucky that my grandparents have shared their story of incarceration during WWII in an internment camp in Arizona. For many, these stories have not been passed down due to shame, anger etc. It is this historical moment in time that has shaped so much of our family history and has inspired me to ensure that something like this never happens again in the US and that we fight for equity for all.

What change do you hope to see in philanthropy?

Giving & leadership that is more reflective of our country and not just an activity for old white wealthy men!