ACT for Alexandria

Welcome to ACT for Alexandria!


Spring2ACTion, Alexandria's Giving Day

It was another record-breaking year for our community! Spring2ACTion raised $2,038,033 from 9,423 donors for 162 participating nonprofit organizations helping to ensure Alexandria is a vibrant community for all.  For more information about Spring2ACTion and a list of prize winners, click here.  

Racial Equity Initiative 

ACT for Alexandria is embarking on a journey with our colleagues across the City to achieve a future when race no longer predicts one’s outcomes in life; when everyone has what they need to thrive, no matter what neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, their gender, or where they were born.

As Alexandria’s community foundation, this vision of a vibrant community is core to our work.  To move this vision forward, we are launching our Racial Equity Capacity Building Initiative.  This will include:

  • Workshops that address what it means to be an ally for racial equity and build bridges to ensure equity, opportunity and inclusion for everyone. These one-day workshops will be open to everyone in the community.
  • A Design Lab with participants from the workshops to capture feedback about their desired continued learnings around racial equity with the goal of creating a peer cohort group to begin in October 2019.
  • A six-month Learning Lab to equip leaders in effective racial equity implementation in their organizations.
  • Community conversations that bring people together for dialogue to build deeper understanding and surface new ideas and solutions.
  • Capacity-building grants that help nonprofits build know-how and knowledge about racial equity with their staff, board and constituents.

ACT’s Racial Equity Initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Meyer Foundation, Bruhn Morris Family Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente.

Learn About Our Racial Equity Capacity Building Initiative Events:

Allyship workshops What does it mean to be an ally for racial equity? 120 individuals participated in ACT’s sold-out Allyship workshops in May and June (led by Whitney Parnell, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Service Never Sleeps) to learn more about how to use their areas of privilege to advance racial justice and what it means to adopt an allyship lifestyle. We've added two additional Allyship opportunities including a 2-session evening option on August 19 and 20 from 6-9pm and an all-day option on September 13 from 9am – 4pm. Click here to register now! 

Ask the Grantees – On June 25th, ACT convened nonprofit and board leaders to highlight two of our 2018 grantees, Carpenter's Shelter and OAR, to hear about their organizations' racial equity journeys.

This conversation began with both organizations sharing about how they got started in this work and the grants they received. One theme that rang true for both groups was the importance of fully embracing this work, not as an add on program, but truly embedding it into everything they do. Elizabeth Jones Valderrama from OAR centered the conversation on race by sharing, "There is no program without this conversation."

Each group addressed the obstacles they encountered in their work with Blair Copeland from Carpenter's Shelter remarking, "Just because it is uncomfortable, it doesn't mean you don't do it." They also encouraged the attendees to find allies in this work, whether it is other staff members or board members, it is helpful to have internal champions in this work.

Both groups shared that this is a process, one that is unique to each organization. ACT's capacity building grants, launching in August, may be a resource to help you begin or continue on your journey. Stay tuned for more information!

Design Lab Workshop – ACT convened 12 community leaders on June 26th to solicit input for our pilot Racial Equity Learning Lab cohort program that will launch in October 2019. This Design Lab session, led by Whitney Parnell, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Service Never Sleeps, asked key framing questions including how this cohort might contribute to a more equitable Alexandria, to their organization’s mission and to their impact as a leader and then led into more specific program design questions about desired learning, action, accountability and coaching.

Some of the themes that bubbled up included the importance of focusing explicitly on race, understanding the context of Alexandria’s past and connecting with the present challenges, and the need for leadership development.

At the conclusion of the three-hour session, the group shared that they were energized and hopeful for the future and excited about starting a movement in Alexandria through this racial equity work.

Applications for the Learning Lab will be available in mid-August. Individuals interested in advancing racial equity change in their organizations are encouraged to apply for the six-month cohort program. For more information, contact Brandi Yee.


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