Turning Challenges into Opportunities

2020 was not the year we were expecting, and so far, 2021 isn’t much different.

When COVID-19 forced many of us to abandon our offices, we figured working from home would only be a temporary solution – not a long-term fix.

But here we are, 16 months later. If your family is anything like mine, you’re probably still wearing a mask when you go grocery shopping; keeping hand sanitizer in every purse and pocket; and maybe feeling a little weird about shaking hands with people you’ve just met for the first time. While businesses are reopening and students are returning to school, in-person conferences just don’t feel quite right yet.

Earlier this year, GSP made the decision to move our biannual Convening & Learning Tour to a virtual format. While we believe that some of the best opportunities to engage and collaborate come from in-person gatherings, we also know that the safety and comfort of our members and partners are paramount. We could not feasibly ask our network to travel from across the country to gather in a small space, and then go out into community spaces – putting themselves and others at risk.

That being said, GSP runs on challenge, and we are so excited to welcome you all at our upcoming Virtual Membership Meeting & Learning Tour. Spoiler alert: our team already traveled to Texas and filmed a virtual Learning Tour with leaders from Jolt ActionWorkers Defense ProjectTexas Freedom NetworkAustin Justice Coalition, and Texas Organizing Project – we can’t wait for you to meet them and see their work in action!

And there are so many other philanthropy leaders we’re excited to introduce you to at our Membership Meeting. Some are involved with the Southern Power Fund, which used authentic relationships to identify where money was needed most this past year and directed funds to those organizers in a more efficient manner. You’ll also become acquainted with the BIPOC communities that are hit hardest by climate change and learn about the best ways funders can engage with and support these communities.

Other topics we will cover include intersectional movements that are changing communities’ consciousness about racial equity, as well as the lives of BIPOC people in the South. All of the key themes from these sessions will come together in an analysis of philanthropy’s role in the movement for reparations.

And so, what started out as an insurmountable challenge – creating a collaborative environment for compelling conversation and education – has really become an opportunity for GSP. We are delighted to bring together members and colleagues from all over the country for this Virtual Membership Meeting & Learning Tour in a way that is safe and comfortable for all. We hope you will register today to reserve your spot, and we look forward to greeting you in person when it is safe to do so.