The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Past Events


Bridging Vermont's Opportunity Gap: An Immigrant Integration Learning Session for Funders and Community Leaders

On May 23, 2018, The Sillerman Center, in partnership with The Vermont Community Foundation and many outstanding Vermont community partners and members, held Bridging Vermont's Opportunity Gap: An Immigrant Integration Learning Session for Funders and Community Leaders in Burlington, Vermont. In this workshop, leaders came together to learn about the changing demographics in Vermont, heard from experts about how they are creating and sustaining welcoming communities for all residents, discussed funder collaboration for an inclusive and equitable Vermont, and learned from funders how they are creating national and regional strategies to counter increasing threats to safety and well-being for immigrants.

Wilhemina's War: A Film Screening and Panel discussion

On April 18, 2018, The Sillerman Center held a film screening and panel discussion on the documentary Wilhemina's War. Wilhemina’s War (supported by JustFilms) depicts the devastating effects that stigma, discrimination, intergenerational poverty, and government and public health failures have had on the HIV epidemic and its impact on the black community in the south. In the movie, filmmaker June Cross tells the story of 62-year-old Wilhemina Dixon, a daughter of sharecroppers who lives in South Carolina with her daughter and granddaughter, both of whom are living with HIV. Discussion panelists included Celeste Lee of Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Massachusetts and Wangui Muigai, PhD, Professor at Brandeis University. The panel was moderated by Brandeis senior, Marcelo Brociner.


2017 Northeast Youth Philanthropy Gathering

On October 22, 2017, The Sillerman Center, Youth Philanthropy Connect, and an amazing group of partners held our 3rd annual Youth Philanthropy Conference at Tufts University's Fletcher School in partnership with the Tisch College of Civic Life. Thank you to everyone who attended!  Some key takeaways from this year's event are that networking, collaboration, and increased learning on social and racial justice and philanthropy are more important than ever. Photos from the event!

A Struggle We Must Win: Advancing School Integration Through Activism, Youth Voice, and Policy Reform

October 19th & 20th, 2017
New York City
We are proud to be co-sponsors of this event, organized by the National Coalition on School Diversity and its members.

K-12 School Integration. Building a Future-Facing Vision, Strategy and System of Support.
July 27th & 28th, 2017
The Ford Foundation. New York City

In collaboration with the Ford Foundation and the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, the Sillerman Center convened practitioners and leaders working to create, sustain and improve socioeconomically and racially diverse and equitable public schools. This 2-day event included visioning exercises and opportunities to explore cultural and communications  strategies.  This event will help inform a Funders Briefing on the topic of school integration to be held in Fall 2017. This convening is one component of a larger project to inform and engage funders around segregation, its attendant inequalities and the potential of school integration.


Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Summit
December 5-8, 2016
Carlsbad, California

The Sillerman Center provided consultation, facilitation and panel presentations at this important event organized and sponsored by the WK Kellogg Foundation. This event was preceded by a year-long process of design, in which the Sillerman Center and many others were deeply engaged. In June, 2017, the Kellogg Foundation announced $24 million in grants to 14 organizations working to heal the effects of racism in communities across the U.S. TRHT is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. It builds upon the foundation’s decades-long commitment to advancing racial healing and racial equity throughout the U.S.

2016 Northeast Youth Philanthropy Gathering
On November 20, 2016, Sillerman was honored to host over 200 youth philanthropists and their adult supporters for the 2016 Northeast Youth Philanthropy Gathering, in collaboration with Youth Philanthropy Connect. The goal of the day was to have fun, make new friends, and learn about empathy, other ways to practice philanthropy, think about social justice philanthropy, and come together as a community.

For photos from the event, please visit Youth Philanthropy Connect's Facebook.

Community-Engaged Grantmaking: Putting Immigrant Integration into Practice:
On October 20, 2016, The Sillerman Center, in partnership with the Maine Health Access Foundation, The NH-based Endowment for Health, GCIR, Maine Community Foundation, and Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, sponsored Community-Engaged Grantmaking: Putting Immigrant Integration into practice. The event provided the opportunity for Northern New England Funders and Philanthropic Advisors to hear from and interact with local community leaders with the goal of informing grantmaking strategies for maximum integration. Case studies and national scale best practices were discussed to further understanding on the topic. This event was designed as a follow-up to the Funder’s Briefing on June 3rd, 2016. The meeting is part of the Sillerman Center’s ongoing project, Immigrant Integration in Northern New England.

Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street - A film screening and panel discussion

On October 6, 2016, The Sillerman Center hosted "Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street," a film screening and panel discussion. The film and panel focused on community-engaged neighborhood development and community-informed philanthropy. The panel was moderated by Angela Vo (IASP) and panelists included Jose Barros of DSNI, Harry Smith of DSNI, and Maria Mulkeen of the Hyams Foundation.

Presentation: "Striking at the Root: Social Justice Philanthropy for the 21st Century" given at the Youth Philanthropy Connect International Conference

On July 7, 2016, The Sillerman Center staff offered the presentation and workshop, "Striking at the Root: Social Justice Philanthropy for the 21st Century" at Youth Philanthropy Connect's (YPC) International Conference held in Anaheim, California. Our presentation enabled grantmakers of all ages to explore the underlying theories and on-the- ground work of social justice philanthropy in the United States. Attendees also simulated the practice of social justice philanthropy by responding to community challenges presented in case studies. We were honored to be a part of the YPC Conference, which brought together young philanthropists to connect with and learn from each other and to explore new innovations in the field of grantmaking.

Photos from the conference!

Strategies for a Changing Northern New England: A Funders Briefing

On June 3, 2016, The Sillerman Center, in partnership, with the NH-based Endowment for Health and the national organization, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), sponsored Strategies for a Changing Northern New England: A Funders Briefing. The event brought together funders and community and non-profit leaders in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine to learn about demographic trends and explore opportunities and challenges related to growing cultural diversity. This meeting is part of the Sillerman Center's ongoing project, Immigrant Integration in Northern New England.

Book Talk: "The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?"

May 2, 2016, The Sillerman Center hosted a book talk on “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” by Dale Russakoff. The event included a conversation and book signing with longtime Washington Post reporter, Dale Russakoff, author of the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? (2015). 

Investment and Spending Policies Seminar

On April 4, 2016, board members, program officers and executives from a wide variety of foundations in New England attended our spring Sillerman Seminar, "Investment and Spending Policies" with Rob Brown, head of research at Just Capital. The seminar introduced professionals with vast experience in the program side of grant making to the capital markets and offered a variety of approaches for assuring that investments reflect the values and mission of particular philanthropic organizations. Thank you to Associated Grant Makers, our partners in this event.

The Business Case for Social Impact

On February 4, 2016, The Sillerman Center was extremely proud to co-sponsor an event coordinated by Gabby Zilkha, a current Brandeis senior. The Business Case for Social Impact took place during DEIS' Impact week. The goal of this event was to challenge the old notion that businesses are solely about making money. This panel brought together people who demonstrate the for-profit sector's power to solve social problems, to make the economy fairer and more equitable and to engender progressive cultural change. Each of our high-profile panelists shared stories about following their passions in the private sector and making positive impact that extends far beyond personal profits. 

Panelists included:
Nurys Camargo, Regional Director of External Affairs at AT&T and Founder of the Chica Project
Paul Francisco, Managing Director and Head of the Diversity Consulting and Sourcing Office & Head of Workforce Development Programs at State Street Corporation
Lynne Katzmann, Founder and President at Juniper Communities

Sponsored by: Brandeis University Business Program Undergraduate Representatives & Social Justice, Social Policy Undergraduate Representatives, The Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program, Hiatt Career Center, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

The Justice article.


Massachusetts Youth Philanthropy Summit

On November 22, The Sillerman Center was honored to host dozens of youth philanthropists for a Summit on giving and social action. Youth and adults from New England gathered at the Heller School to talk about their philanthropy models, explore the causes they care most about and to learn about strategies for assessing community needs and creating a better society through giving. 

Some of the conference goers come to philanthropy via clubs at their high schools or as part of community-based organizations. Other teens who attended the conference are members of the newest generation of givers through their family's foundations. The Youth Philanthropy Summit was organized by the Sillerman Center in collaboration with Youth Philanthropy Connect and other local community foundations. The 2015 event program can be found here.

Photos from the event. (Photos Credit of Heratch Photography)

Knowledge Advancing Social Justice

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