Please note: All session and event times are in Eastern Standard Time.

All keynote, plenary and breakout sessions will be streamed live for virtual conference attendees unless otherwise noted.

  • Tuesday, November 9
  • Wednesday, November 10
  • Thursday, November 11
  • Friday, November 12
12:30pm-7:15pm | 2020-2021 Hull Fellows Annual Meeting Retreat
1:00pm-6:15pm | 2021-2022 Hull Fellows Program Kick-off
7:00am–1:30pm | 2020-2021 Hull Fellows Annual Meeting Retreat
7:00am–1:30pm | 2021-2022 Hull Fellows Program Kick-off
Preconference Events

The Conference on Investing returns for a half-day dedicated market trends, the latest investment strategies and different approaches foundations can use to maximize not only returns, but also impact. Includes breakfast and lunch.


Cost: $250 members / $350 non-members


Session 1: Market Outlook & Forecast


More details about this session will be announced soon!


Speaker: David Winslow – Principal, RSM US (Charlotte, NC)


Session 2: Get Off Your Assets. Invest Locally.


What is Local Impact Investing and why are foundations increasingly embracing this tool to accomplish their goals? Experts from Locus Impact Investing will join us to discuss this emerging approach, as well as the challenges that are keeping some from adopting it. You will learn how two foundations have accelerated their use of local investing to address critical community issues and how they incorporated equity into their program design. You will also have the chance to discuss your exploration of local impact investing and get your questions answered.


Tess Martin – Director of Impact Investing & Treasury, Coastal Community Foundation (North Charleston, SC)
Gary Nelson – President, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Lisa O’Mara – Vice President and Solutions Consultant, Locus Impact Investing (Richmond, VA)


Session 3: DEI & Investing: Growing Demand for Diverse Asset Managers


As foundations become more intentional about aligning their missions with their investments through ESG (environmental, social, governance) strategies, there is growing demand for alignment with DEI values. Join experts from FEG to learn how your foundation can determine its intentionality and begin making investments in the space.


Lily Ambrosius – Research Analyst, Responsive Investing Research, FEG Investment Advisors (Cincinnati, OH)
Christina Drake – Vice President, Advisor Analyst, FEG Investment Advisors (Cincinnati, OH)
Devinne Verst – Institutional Client Development, FEG Investment Advisors (Cincinnati, OH)


Session 4: Will the Past Be Prologue?


Over the last 10 years, a globally balanced portfolio consisting of 60/40 (stocks/bonds) has generated returns that easily exceeded most nonprofit's spending requirements. Looking ahead, investors are faced with low interest rates and higher equity valuations. How should investors be thinking about meeting their return requirements over the next ten years?


Tom Mitchell – Managing Director, Cambridge Associates (Washington, DC)
Christopher Philips, CFA – Principal, Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services (Exton, PA)
Moderator: Diron Scott – Manager, Nonprofit Solutions, Vanguard Institutional Investor Group (Scottsdale, AZ)


Located between the charming towns of Hendersonville and Brevard, the 10,000-acre Dupont State Forest is home to over 90 miles of trails leading adventurous hikers to beautiful waterfalls, tranquil mountain lakes, and rushing streams. On this hike, your friendly guides will take you to three splendid waterfalls (High Falls, Triple Falls and Hooker Falls), some of which have been featured in films like Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games. Make sure to bring your camera because this place is truly a photographer’s dream!


Please wear appropriate shoes for light hiking. Your tour includes transportation, bottled water, a boxed picnic lunch and snacks.


Cost: $129/person

Based on SECF’s annual CEO Forum event, the CEO Forum preconference session is an opportunity for senior foundation executives to come together for discussions focused on the opportunities and challenges of philanthropic leadership today. From board relations to staff management and community outreach, the CEO Forum provides a confidential venue for asking questions, sharing insights and learning valuable strategies. Includes lunch.

Speaker: Paul Shoemaker – Founding President, Social Venture Partners International, and Author, Taking Charge of Change (Seattle, WA)


Cost: $75

2020 was a watershed year for our country and our region. It amplified our communities' strengths, vulnerabilities, and brokenness. As our communities begin to rebuild, heal and reconnect, now is the time for innovative, systemic and courageous change. Now is the time for community foundations! During this session, developed by and for community foundation board members and staff, we will discuss how community foundations in the South are bringing awareness, advocacy and action to big ideas and making lasting community change. Includes lunch.


Denyve Boyle – Director of Philanthropy, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL)
Frank Fernandez – President & CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Charmel Gaulden – Chief Operating Office at Foundation for Louisiana (City, LA)
Robert Morris – President, Community Foundation of Greenville (Greenville, SC)
Katharine Pearson – East Tennessee Foundation (Knoxville, TN)

Moderator: Lisa Adkins – President & CEO, Blue Grass Community Foundation (Lexington, KY)


Cost: $75

Communities need philanthropic leaders who are prepared to lead during extremely complex and challenging times. Throughout the past 18 months, we have experienced community devastation on historic levels. More than any other time in recent history, philanthropy has had to navigate innumerable community-based emergences while addressing persistent needs that surfaced from a historic pandemic, environmental disasters, social injustices and the impact of economic disruption. The devasting impact of these crises are magnified within black and brown communities because of systemic disparities and inequities that previously existed.

Now more than ever, we need board members in philanthropy to be prepared, activated and ready to engage in courageous work. Persistent systemic inequities require that Southern philanthropy’s leaders have the capacity to advance and accelerate work that impacts and achieves outcomes that address root causes of long-running disparities.

This session will provide strategies and a template for trustees to commit to equity leadership as a fundamental tenet for ensuring that the promises of philanthropy benefit all in the American South.

In this session participants will discuss strategies for the framework for courageous leadership with an equity mindset:

1. Embrace equity through understanding the tenets of an equity mindset.
2. Develop awareness of systemic inequities by understanding the root causes of disparities and outcomes within your communities and the issues you fund.
3. Align equity decision-making to support and advance equity-driven strategies.
4. Share power and purpose by seeking engagement from community members and leaders to collaborate and understand community conditions, needs and equity priorities.

This session includes lunch.


Speaker: Dr. Robin Stacia – Founder and Principal Consultant, Sage Consulting Network (Atlanta, GA)


Cost: $75

This luncheon for leaders corporate foundations and giving programs will allow an opportunity for networking and connection while also bringing in speakers to discuss unique aspects of corporate philanthropy. More details on this session will be announced soon!

Speakers for this session will be announced soon! Includes lunch.


Cost: $75

For those new to SECF or the Annual Meeting, this is your chance to learn more about us, our team, our leadership and how you can get the most out of your Annual Meeting experience – and your SECF membership!


Robert Dortch – SECF Board Chair-Elect and VP, Program and Community Innovation, Robins Foundation (Richmond, VA)
Janine Lee – President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Regan Gruber Moffitt – SECF Board Chair and Chief Strategy Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)

    1:30pm-1:45pm | Networking Break
Opening Session

Best-selling author and social entrepreneur returns to SECF’s Annual Meeting for the first time since his riveting and inspiring 2014 appearance.


Dr. Laura Gerald – 52nd Annual Meeting Chair and President & CEO, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Wes Moore – Author and Social Entrepreneur (Baltimore, MD)

    1:30pm-1:45pm | Networking Break
    3:30pm-4:45pm | Breakout Sessions

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act created powerful incentives for states to expand the population of low-income individuals eligible for health care coverage through Medicaid. While 37 states so far have expanded the program, the Southeast is home to the majority of those that have yet to act. Within this context, how does Medicaid expansion, or the failure of expansion, affect the overarching goal of creating health equity within our communities?

This session is designed to explore the economic and social impacts of Medicaid expansion and the implications for those working within the sphere of philanthropy to explore ways to help minimize gaps in health equity. Speakers representing various perspectives – regional and national, practitioners and policy makers – will address the issues and implications of Medicaid expansion. Perspectives will include those from Southeastern states that have expanded their Medicaid program and those that have not.


Melissa Burroughs – Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, Families USA (Washington, DC)
Ben Chandler – President & CEO, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (Louisville, KY)
Adam Linker – Director of Programs, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)

Through the story of the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Racial Justice Cohort, we will explore why challenging funder assumptions and norms is so important. The cohort was established to provide renewable grant funding over three years to Black-led social change organizations as an initial step toward dismantling systems preventing racial and economic equity while constructing new systems promoting justice. During this development process, foundation leaders learned a great deal through their commitment to listening to those the grant program aimed to serve and leveraging that learning to create the final product.


Ramona Dallum Lindsey – Vice President, Equity and Impact, Community Foundation of Louisville (Louisville, KY)
Kelsie Smithson – Program Officer, James Graham Brown Foundation (Louisville, KY)

For community-led philanthropy to work, we need to redistribute the power in philanthropy. This requires:

• An intentional focus on race in addition to our diversity, equity, and inclusion focus.
• Boards, staff, policies, and culture that represent race equity.
• Lived experience that drives our work.
• Leadership pipelines for all levels of philanthropy that include youth and BIPOC.

This session will provide examples and discussion questions for you and your organization to use in exploring how philanthropy can fuel a change in race equity outcomes through intentional focus on our way of being and our focus on community-led philanthropy moving forward.


Speaker: Gloria Johnson Cusack – Senior Advisor to the President, Florida International University (Miami, FL)


Kristin Walker Collins – Associate Executive Director, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky (Hazard, KY)
Randall Russell – President & CEO, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, FL)

The Omni Grove Park Inn spa will provide a yoga instructor, so that our SECF attendees have an exercise opportunity during the meeting. Limit is 25 people per session.

Newcomers to the Annual Meeting are invited to connect with our staff and Board at this informal gathering.

Celebrate the start of the 52nd Annual Meeting and connect with colleagues from across the region! Our opening event honors Marianne Gordon, SECF’s longtime director of meeting planning who organized dozens of Annual Meetings before her retirement in 2020.

The first day of the Annual Meeting wraps up with dinner, conversation and entertainment! We will also recognize the winner of this year's Truist Promise Award, recognizing innovative philanthropy in the Southeast!

    7:30am-8:30am | Breakfast Buffet

This year’s Business Meeting will include the election of new Trustees to the SECF Board, a review of the past year and reflections from outgoing Board Chair Regan Gruber Moffitt. President & CEO Janine Lee will also discuss SECF’s work over the past year and what’s ahead as we continue to implement our Courageous Leadership strategy.


Jen Algire – SECF Secretary-Treasurer and President & CEO, The Greater Clark Foundation (Winchester, KY)
Stephanie Cooper-Lewter – SECF Governance Chair and Executive Vice President, Programs and Administration, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Robert Dortch – SECF Board Chair-Elect and VP, Program and Community Innovation, Robins Foundation (Richmond, VA)
Janine Lee – President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Regan Gruber Moffitt – SECF Board Chair and Chief Strategy Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)

In the wake of an unprecedented period for philanthropy, the Southeast, our country and the world, four leaders with a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences will come together to discuss their perspective, what they learned and how all of us can apply these lessons to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


Jason Baisden – Program Officer, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Christopher Cuevas – Program Officer, LGBTQ Equality, Laughing Gull Foundation (Durham, NC)
Mari Kuraishi – President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund (Jacksonville, FL)

Moderator: William Buster – Senior Vice President of Impact, Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville, NC)

    10:00am-10:30am | Networking Break
    10:30am-11:45am | Breakout Sessions

In 2020, the strength of small place-based community foundations and funds in the rural South was tested month after month as they pivoted to address the emergent and interconnected crises their communities were facing. While the COVID pandemic was experienced across the globe, it played out in unique ways in the rural South, especially for marginalized populations with distinct barriers and needs. Small place-based community funders in rural places rose to the challenge and responded with innovate strategies to hold their communities together and make sure low­ income people didn't fall through the cracks of "one-size-fits-all" federal aid. We will hear from leaders of three foundations as they offer compelling stories that speak to rural innovation, the power of proximate leadership and the importance of partnership. Each will share how they are organizing rural Appalachian and BIPOC communities to not only respond to crisis, but also build the necessary power to ensure long-term sustainability.


Felecia Lucky – President, Black Belt Community Foundation (Selma, AL)
Gigi Pedraza – Executive Director, Latino Community Fund Georgia (Atlanta, GA)
Gerry Roll – Executive Director, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky (Hazard, KY)

Come be inspired to rethink the power dynamic between funders and nonprofit grantee partners. Discover the tools of power-sharing, equity, humility, transparency and collaboration as you learn exactly what Trust-Based Philanthropy is: the principles, processes and relational components that can transform your grant-making process, all within a DEI framework.


Erin Baird – Director of Grants, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (Tampa, FL)

Brittney Gaspari – Vice President, Community Investment, The Winston-Salem Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)


Moderator: Philip Li – President & CEO, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation (New York, NY)

What did we learn about adaptive philanthropy during the COVID pandemic, rising calls for racial justice, and recent attacks on our democracy? How did these events change our thinking and perspective? Were the shifts we saw in our areas of investment and attention permanent? What became of other worthy projects that were put on hold? As the pandemic moves into the rearview, now is the time to take what we’ve learned and change our systems so we can be responsive to current needs, prepare for the future and keep our mission and impact goals on track. Join us to learn how to plan ahead in a world that can shift 180 degrees at a moment’s notice, and how to make the nimble and flexible behavior that defined the past year a permanent part of your organization’s approach to planning.


Edie Blakeslee – Vice President of Grantmaking & Community Leadership, Coastal Community Foundation (North Charleston, SC)
Andrea Dobson – Chief Operations and Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)
Takema Robinson – Founder & Principal, Converge for Change (New Orleans, LA)

What if philanthropy could better tap into its community to supercharge its impact? To realize the deep systemic changes our communities are demanding, we will connect with and learn from peers who have greatly shifted their agency, capital and power to impact their community-based philanthropy. With experienced case studies and facilitated discussions, we will discover together how to incorporate voices from the community in philanthropy.


Clark Casteel – President & CEO, Danville Regional Foundation (Danville, VA)
Marsha Davis – Executive Director/Director of Organizational Strategy and Practice, Tzedek Social Justice Fund (Asheville, NC)
Mary Thomas – Chief Operating Officer, The Spartanburg County Foundation (Spartanburg, SC)


Moderator: Tracey Greene-Washington – President, Indigo Innovation Group and Founder, CoThinkk (Asheville NC)

Whether you’re new to the world of private philanthropy or a seasoned veteran, it’s critical to know the rules governing your giving, your board and your staff. In this update for private foundations – including independent, health legacy and family foundations – two skilled and practiced attorneys will review current law, with a focus on recent changes, as well as what’s on the horizon. This session will also provide plenty of time to address your questions and concerns.


Jim Hasson – Partner, Hasson Law Group (Atlanta, GA)
Kristi Stathopoulos – Attorney, Hasson Law Group (Atlanta, GA)

The Omni Grove Park Inn spa will provide a yoga instructor, so that our SECF attendees have an exercise opportunity during the meeting. Limit is 25 people per session.

    11:45am-12:00pm | Networking Break
    12:00pm-1:00pm | Networking Lunch

The COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice uprisings brought more attention than ever before to systemic barriers standing in the way of social mobility and economic opportunity in America. But long before these crises, Dr. Raj Chetty had spent years gathering data to illustrate the impact of racism and access to education on the ability of people to move up the socioeconomic ladder. Research from Dr. Chetty and his colleagues at Opportunity Insights – including a 2020 report focused specifically on Charlotte – has shown that obstacles to progress are particularly high in the Southeast. Dr. Chetty will join us to review his findings and discuss philanthropy’s role in advancing solutions, including policy initiatives.


Speaker: Dr. Raj Chetty – William A. Ackman Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and Director, Opportunity Insights (Cambridge, MA)

Asheville and the surrounding region has one of the largest concentrations of fine artists and crafters in the country. This tour will allow you to meet artists and witness demonstrations as part of a rounded and enlightening experience. Artisans featured on this tour may include glass blowers, potters, metal workers, textile artists and painters who will demonstrate their craft and discuss their techniques and works. Depending on availability, the tour may also include a stop at one of the city’s many art galleries.

Tour lasts 4-5 hours and includes transportation, bottled water and snacks.


Cost: $129/person

    2:00pm-2:30pm | Networking Break
    2:30pm-3:45pm | Breakout Sessions

Nonprofit centers have increasingly become backbone initiatives of foundations, nonprofits and communities that seek to enhance nonprofit capacity and infrastructure. As part of this panel discussion, The Nonprofit Centers Network will bring nearly 20 years of leadership and learnings related to shared spaces to the table while two SECF members share their successes and challenges in developing and managing nonprofit centers in their respective communities.


Lexi Paza, Co-Director, The Nonprofit Centers Network and Deputy Director of Real Estate and Operations, Tides (Denver, CO)
David Schrayer – Co-Director, The Nonprofit Centers Network and Director of Real Estate and Operations, Tides (Denver, CO)
Marty Sonenshine – Executive Director, Anverse (Cartersville, GA)
Elizabeth Henrickson – Chief Operating Officer, PATH Foundation (Warrenton, VA)


Moderator: Andy Johnston, Senior Program Officer, PATH Foundation (Warrenton, VA)

When COVID-19 hit our country, we all expected to make some changes – an expectation that mounted as communities across the country responded to the racial justice movement, natural disasters and more. “Pivot” became the new buzzword.

But did we expect to make as many changes as we did? Is it possible that crises like these actually made us stronger? How did we completely change our grant making policies and strategies? How did these situations make us listen better and become more responsive through lessons learned in real time and actual life experiences? What were some common themes in our responses? Join us as we discover together a new set of best practices to prepare us for the future, with a focus on health, social equity and disaster response.


Amy Fair – Vice President of Donor Services, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (Nashville, TN)
B. Sutton Mora – Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Walter D. Woods – CEO, Humana Foundation (Louisville, KY)

How can your foundation best adapt to urgent and heightened community needs? There are many answers to this question, but one we can't overlook is ensuring your investment portfolio aligns with and supports your race equity work in a way that advances your mission. How can you assess whether your investments – both traditional and impact – are economically inclusive? If not, how do you work toward achieving this goal? In this session, we'll hear from a variety of foundations on these questions and explore why it's critical that our wealth further our work instead of undermining it and the communities we serve.


James “Duff” Bruce – Board Chair, The Jolley Foundation (Greenville, SC)
Tammie Hoy Hawkins – CEO, CommunityWorks (Greenville, SC)
Tess Martin – Director of Impact Investing & Treasury, Coastal Community Foundation (North Charleston, SC)
Tish McCutchen – Program Officer, The Jolley Foundation (Greenville, SC)

In a world that looks and feels more polarized every day, can we find the commonalities needed to work toward a single goal? What role can and should philanthropy fill in creating dialogue across divides of race, political ideology, religion and funding priorities? Session participants will connect with and learn from peers who are in various stages of leading local change efforts in their communities by building bridges across differences. Through lively discussion and case studies, we will discover together how to create conversations that spark change and leverage influence.


Angela Duran – Executive Director, Excel by Eight (Little Rock, AR)
Sarah Grymes – Vice President of Impact for Housing, Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville, NC)
Upendo Shabazz – Regional Vice President, Palm Beach, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (Palm Beach, FL)

Moderator: Chrissy Chatham, Executive Director, Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation (Sherwood, AR)

This interactive session will explore the latest legal issues for community foundations. Key topics will address donor-advised funds, scholarships, planned gifts, board governance, mission-related investments, fiscal sponsorships, international grantmaking and more. Time will be permitted for the audience to share questions and raise additional issues to discuss.


Speaker: Phil Purcell, CFRE, MPA/JD – Consultant for Philanthropy, LLC, and Adjunct Faculty, Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Lilly School of Philanthropy (Bloomington, IN)

The Omni Grove Park Inn spa will provide a yoga instructor, so that our SECF attendees have an exercise opportunity during the meeting. Limit is 25 people per session.

    3:45pm-4:00pm | Networking Break
    4:00pm-5:15pm | Breakout Sessions

In the face of pressing and persistent systemic inequities, foundation boards are working to prioritize purpose, show respect for the communities and ecosystems where they operate, commit to equity and recognize that power flows from the people who are ultimately served by those who benefit from philanthropy's support. Thinking around the "purpose-driven board,” first outlined in an SSIR article by BoardSource CEO Anne Wallestad, challenges boards to reimagine their most essential board roles, focusing on equitable social outcomes, broad-based impacts, community representation and inclusive listening to accomplish its mission and vision. In this trustees-only session, we will explore key principles that define how a board sees itself, help you assess where your foundation stands on the path to purpose-driven board leadership and provide the knowledge you need to plot your foundation's roadmap for moving further along this continuum.


Speaker: Andrew "Andy" Davis – Associate Vice President of Member Education & Outreach, BoardSource (Washington, DC)

Understanding the broader context of the philanthropic landscape and the critique of “big philanthropy” can help families, foundation boards, and foundation staff navigate the sometimes mercurial world of ethical governance and grantmaking. By providing more clarity of family philanthropists’ role and power in operating a foundation, we can help avoid common critiques in grantmaking practices and community engagement. Join us as we explore ethical dilemmas and helpful solutions that may face philanthropic families. Sample issues will include fiduciary management and stewardship, board behaviors and practices, conflict of interest policies, and more.


Speaker: Kaky Grant – Principal, Grant Philanthropic Advisors (Charleston, SC)

During the peak of the Jim Crow era, nearly 5,000 public schools for African American children were built across 15 Southern and border states. They were the result of an ambitious program launched by an unlikely pair: Julius Rosenwald, the son of Jewish immigrants who led Sears, Roebuck & Company, and Booker T. Washington, who was born into slavery and became the founding principal of the Tuskegee Institute. Working in partnership with black communities, they drove dramatic improvements in African American educational attainment and fostered the generation who became the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.

Today, the Rosenwald schools are fading into the past – while some remain active schools and others have been repurposed, many have fallen into disrepair. To preserve the memory of this incredible project, Georgia native Andrew Feiler has traveled more than 25,000 miles, photographed more than 100 schools and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, preservationists and community leaders. His book, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America, combines vivid photographs and compelling narratives that give the Rosenwald Schools their rightful place in the history of African Americans, the South and America.

Andrew Feiler will join us to share images and stories from his journey as we discuss the Rosenwald Schools, their legacy and how they can inspire philanthropy’s work today.

A book signing will follow this session. Copies of A Better Life for Their Children will be available for purchase by in-person attendees.


Speaker: Andrew Feiler – Photographer and Author, A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America (Atlanta, GA)


Moderator: Raymond Pierce – President & CEO, Southern Education Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Optional Events & Activities

These special opportunities provide Annual Meeting attendees the chance to experience our host city of Asheville, learn about unique and innovative work fueled by philanthropic investment and connect with colleagues.

    5:00pm-6:30pm | Evening Site Visits & Tours

Explore Asheville’s historically African- American neighborhoods through a Hood Tour led by Hood Huggers, an organization dedicated to building greater communication, connection and wealth in systemically marginalized neighborhoods in the Affrilachian region through the arts, environment, and social enterprise. Hood Tours is an intimate, interactive experience that is guaranteed to leave you looking at this mountain town with new eyes – the program provides opportunities for young people while helping to spark grassroots economic development.

This tour will begin at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center and will address the 1975 integration of the local school system and the gentrification of thriving Black communities while digesting how the destruction of landmarks contributed to a lack of economic mobility. You will leave prepared to ask deeper questions as you explore Asheville and other communities holding significant legacy and rich history.

The tour will last about 90 minutes. Please dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Transportation to the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center will not be provided – please use carpooling, ride-share or taxi service. Maximum 25 participants.


Cost: $25/person (A link to purchase tickets will be provided at a later date.)

Adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of Asheville's hidden gems. Known today as Grovewood Village, this historic site once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries. You will take a guided tour of the village, including the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum. Before the tour, you and a small group of SECF members will enjoy a delicious sampling from the ELDR Restaurant menu, (opening soon to the public) ELDR will be featuring seasonal vegetables and ethically-raised protein dishes, all served in a historical building where sustainability and the highest quality produce is the driving force. The group should plan to meet in the Elaine’s Piano Bar lobby area in the Vanderbilt Wing at 5:45pm and will walk over to the village together.


Cost: $80/person

A majestic Norway spruce and pathway luminaries welcome you to the historic Biltmore Estate, decorated for the holiday season. Inside, thousands of ornaments reflect the soft glow of candles, fireplaces, and twinkle lights. The magic continues in Antler Hill Village, which is festooned with a glittering cascade of lights, ornaments, and displays.

Tickets for this activity will go on sale later this year!


Cost: $199.00


SECF’s strength and stability over the past two years, not to mention the Annual Meeting and other events and programs, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and Sustaining Members – their contributions provide the resources necessary to fulfill our mission. President & CEO Janine Lee, the SECF Board of Trustees and the SECF staff will honor and celebrate our 50th Anniversary supporters at this exclusive event.


Note: This reception is by invitation only.

The documentary film Rosenwald tells the inspiring story of Julius Rosenwald, an immigrant’s son who became CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Company and used his wealth to support equal rights for African Americans during the Jim Crow era. His support of education, the arts, and housing for middle-class African Americans left a legacy that influenced the Civil Rights Movement and continues to resonate today. Rosenwald is told through archival film and photographs, feature film clips, and interviews with historians, museum curators, poets, Rosenwald family members, African American leaders, and Rosenwald school alumni.

SECF members are eligible to host a private meeting or reception on-site at the Grove Park Inn on Thursday evening. If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Quincy Kelly at

Members of the 2021-22 Hull Fellows class and all Hull alumni are invited to this gathering to celebrate the new class of Hull Fellows, congratulate the members of 2019-20 class in person and honor the legacy of the program’s namesake, former SECF President & CEO Robert Hull, who passed away earlier this year.

    7:30am-8:30am | Breakfast Buffet

Dr. Michelle Rozen’s rare blend of audience engagement, killer take-away strategies, and instant connection with the audience have made her one of the most unique and memorable speakers on the stage today. Michelle will share her personal story of how she embraced change and used it to pave the way toward leadership and growth, while guiding you through proven practices that will support your colleagues in not only embracing it, but in recognizing and navigating the opportunities it presents.


Speaker: Dr. Michelle Rozen – Change and Leadership Expert and Motivational Speaker (New York, NY)

    9:30am-9:45am | Networking Break
    9:45am-11:00am | Breakout Sessions

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of legislation that has seen government intervene on an unprecedented scale to put money directly into people’s pockets, support families and keep struggling businesses afloat. Presidents in both parties have overseen massive relief bills, Democrats have been unafraid to “go big” on spending and deficit hawks no longer dominate an increasingly populist GOP. What does it all mean for philanthropy? In this session, we’ll discuss the impact the end of austerity is having on foundations and their missions, and on the future of partnerships between philanthropy and government.


Speaker: Jeff Moore, Independent Sector (Washington, DC)

Join a conversation with investment leaders about how investment processes can benefit from a variety of perspectives and sharing the benefits of diverse life experiences and viewpoints to gain an investment edge. This session will also include a panel of asset managers from an array of asset classes who have demonstrated the advantages of “thinking differently.”


Armond Reese – Institutional Investment Advisor, Truist Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice (Atlanta, GA)
Elizabeth Cabell Jennings – Director of Institutional Investments, Truist Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice (Richmond, VA)

The nation has become acutely aware of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color. The call for health equity has been loud and clear across the nation, but in particular communities across the Southeast. In this session we will explore not only how health outcome disparities were exacerbated by COVID-19 but also how focusing on health equity empowers communities to use data and collective will to improve health outcomes for marginalized people.


William Buster – Senior Vice President for Impact, Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville, NC)
Dr. Lauren Smith – Chief Health Equity and Strategy Officer, CDC Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Given the new administration in the White House, its priority on climate change and the desire to heal divisions in this country, where and how do racial equity and environmental issues overlap? The approach should be intersectional, and the time is now.

The impacts of climate change disproportionally harm people of color and low-income communities. Yet these same groups are severely underrepresented at the leading environmental groups calling for measures to stop, reverse, or adapt to climate change. We need everyone at the table if we are to effectively address this growing crisis.

The racial equity and environmental movements can be each other’s assets, converging to accomplish the ends of each. Foundations can play a key role. Guided by the belief that culture and place matter, how can we change the systemic structures that hurt people and the earth? Join this session to learn about the process and outcomes of working at the intersection of racial equity and environmental stewardship.


Chandra Farley – CEO, ReSolve Consulting, Founder, Good Energy Project (Atlanta, GA)
Sekita Grant – Programs, The Solution Project (Oakland CA)
Laurene Hamilton – Vice President of Programs, Greening Youth Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Chandra Taylor – Senior Attorney and Leader of the Environmental Justice Initiative, Southern Environmental Law Center (Chapel Hill, NC)

The Omni Grove Park Inn spa will provide a yoga instructor, so that our SECF attendees have an exercise opportunity during the meeting. Limit is 25 people per session.

    11:00am-11:15am | Networking Break

Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy – and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

(Book Sales immediately following this session)


Speaker: Heather McGhee – Author, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together (New York, NY)

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SECF’s Code of Conduct 

The Southeastern Council of Foundations is composed of a broad and diverse membership of grantmakers. At our core, we are a community of grantmakers connecting with each other to improve the practice of grantmaking in the Southeast.

At our meetings and events, we also welcome visitors from other organizations – which are not members – that participate as presenters or participants. SECF strives to create a comfortable place for all Members, visitors, and others engaged in philanthropy to exchange experiences and ideas and engage in conversations that are welcoming and of benefit to all participants. As such, SECF is not a venue for grant seekers, fundraisers, or other types of charitable solicitations during any of its meetings, events or through its publications nor is it an appropriate venue to conduct political activities. We ask that our Members and visitors not solicit at SECF-sponsored events or programs and that Members and visitors not use information obtained through their SECF membership or participation in SECF events for charitable, business or other solicitations outside of those events.

Southeastern Council of Foundations
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Visiting SECF:
All staff are working remotely at this time but can still be reached via email and by calling (404) 524-0911.

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–12:00pm (ET)

Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116

Mission: SECF strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.