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Fall 2018


WORKING TOWARD A THRIVING SOCIETY Dr. Bulent Ender reflects on giving back locally, instilling a sense of legacy in the next generation, and his experience as a first-generation immigrant. Cover Story Page 6


200 people gathered to celebrate our 35th anniversary! Page 16


From a community garden to equitable youth leadership development, SEEDS is leading the way. Page 24

NEW FUNDS Please welcome the following funds, opened after May 2018, to the Foundation. DONOR ADVISED FUNDS George Horton Fund, Horton Grandchildren Fund, Lee Johnson Fund, REF Giving Fund, Pavliv Family Charitable Giving Fund, Jane H. Kirsch Fund, SimpsonDriscoll Fund AGENCY FUNDS Life Experiences, Inc. NEW HITCHINGS SOCIETY MEMBERS Charles & Cat Lineberry, Polly & Rebecca Mitchell-Guthrie, Mary S. Harper, Jane H. Kirsch, Steven Petrow, Stephen Barefoot

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Pat Nathan, Chair | Farad Ali, Vice Chair Tucker Bartlett | Anita Brown-Graham M. Christine DeVita | Sheldon Fox Michael Goodmon | Phil Lambert Luis Pastor | Steven Pearson | Larry Rocamora | Michael Schoenfeld | Jim Stewart, Past Chair | Carol Tresolini Timothy Trost | Kathryn Williams

STAFF Jessica Aylor | Rutina Bailey | Robin


FOUNDATION NEWS New Staff, Remembering Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr.


COVER STORY Working Toward a Thriving Society: Dr. Bulent Ender's story


INSPIRING GIVING What Matters: Women; New Artists' Exhibit


Empowering Through Education: The Gulatis' story


Giving Circles Feature: 20/20 Sisters of Vision


The Science of a Legacy: Hitchings & Elion Scholarships


SPECIAL FEATURE Founders' Day; Leaving a Legacy: Jim Stewart & Francis Dyer


MOBILIZING LEADERSHIP & ACTION Investing in the Triangle: An Update on Our Focus


Nurturing Youth and Community: SEEDS


Social Justice Through Art: Hidden Voices


A School Changed: Central Park School for Children


ONLINE FEATURE Highlights from the Foundation Blog

Barefoot | Ken Baroff | Sarah Battersby Meg Buckingham | Julia Da Silva Angie Elliott | Alexandria Franklin Bernadette Gonzales | Lindsay Harrell Treat Harvey | Robert Naylor | Lori O’Keefe | Hiral Patel | Katie Patterson Erin Short | Laurel Shulman | Ebony West | Anne Wolf

MAKE A DIFFERENCE is published twice a year on paper using recycled content. Editor: Meg Buckingham | © 2018 Triangle Community Foundation

Triangle Community Foundation is building a brighter future for everyone in the Triangle. By working with dedicated donors and strong nonprofits, we are able to guide gifts in a strategic way to fill gaps, reduce inequities, and solve the region’s most pressing challenges. Since 1983, we have envisioned a Triangle that works together so everyone can thrive. Stay Connected! | fb: @trianglecf | tw: @TriComFdn 2

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE This summer I was given a gift by Triangle Community Foundation’s board and staff: I went on an 11-week sabbatical. During this time, I was told to unplug, refresh, and recharge, as well as do some field research that aligned with strategies we are considering at the Foundation. Here are some things that I learned: 1. I need structure. Having a routine and structure is necessary for me to manage my time; I knew this already, but this time off definitely confirmed it. 2 . My children love me, but not that much. When I’m working, my daughters are much more “self-directed” during the day, and I think they missed that a little bit. 3.  I am not the be all, end all. I knew this already, but I have been overwhelmed with appreciation for how easily and effortlessly my colleagues took up the reins. 4. “Unplugging” is necessary, and we should all do it every time we go away. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to “unplug,” and it’s something I want to continue to embrace, and encourage all of our staff to embrace, every time we’re off. 5 . The challenges of Triangle Community Foundation are not unique. While we are privileged to serve our community the way we do, we often lament that it’s challenging to balance the many priorities, issues, needs, and focuses of our donors and our community partners. And we're not alone in this; it's a sector-wide concern. 6 .  The constant evolution of donor behavior is something we all must face. It’s a really crucial set of conversations we need to start having throughout the nonprofit community.

To read more of Lori's thoughts on her sabbatical, as well as the perspective from inside the Foundation from Jessica Aylor, Vice President of Community Engagement, and inside the Board, from Pat Nathan, Board Chair, visit our blog at trianglecf.

7. You’re only as good as your team. Bottom line, as I said earlier, I could not have taken this time off if I did not have a talented, dedicated, skilled, and enthusiastic team who really encouraged me to do this. 8. Having a supportive board is essential to every nonprofit. My time away was endorsed and supported by our Board of Directors, and in fact several of them stepped up in my absence to be ambassadors for the Foundation. 9. It’s ok to get pulled back in. I was not completely “cut off ” throughout the summer, and that wasn't a bad thing. In fact, it was a really good exercise for me to quickly weigh in on something and then “turn off ” again. 10.  Carpe Diem. The theme of “seize the day, life is short,” came up over and over for me this summer. How can we keep what’s important (family, health, relationships, community) at the forefront   and recognize that everything we do — whether in the office or at home — should positively impact one of those things? I've enjoyed sharing more about ideas and strategies I learned as we begin to incorporate some of them into our work at the Foundation. And my colleagues cooked up lots of exciting ideas and activities in my absence. I'm so glad to be back and connecting with all our friends and partners.

Lori O'Keefe, President & CEO 3




Please join us in officially welcoming the following staff to the Foundation family: Alexandria Franklin, Office Assistant, provides administrative support to all of the Foundation’s departments and staff while also providing general office administration. A native of the Triangle, Alexandria grew up in Apex and attended UNC Charlotte where she received her BA in International, Global, and Area studies with a minor in Spanish. She received her paralegal certification from Meredith College and worked as an Immigration paralegal prior to joining the Foundation. Julia Da Silva, Programs and Scholarship Associate, manages specialized grant programs, scholarship funds, and designated funds. She develops relationships with our donors, students, and nonprofits to help connect them to learning opportunities and offers assistance to grant applicants or scholarship applicants. Julia grew up in Alabama and Tennessee, and moved to North Carolina in 2009 to attend UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a triple Tar Heel, earning her dual Master’s in Social Work and Public Administration in May 2018. Ebony West, Programs and Engagement Associate, works to establish and strengthen relationships with nonprofit organizations and other partners in the region. She manages community and nonprofit research to assist the Foundation in better understanding systemic inequities and trends in the Triangle, and develops opportunities for community learning and convening. Ebony is a native North Carolinian and grew up in Charlotte. She is a 2016 graduate of East Carolina University and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2018. Erin Short, MSW Intern, assists the Scholarships team in managing scholarship applications and outreach. At the Foundation through May, she also will be evaluating best practices for scholarship applications. Erin grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina and moved to Raleigh in 2014 to attend Meredith College. She earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work and Public Health in May 2018. Shortly after graduation, she began her graduate studies at North Carolina State University in the Master of Social Work program. 44


REMEMBERING DR. PHAIL WYNN, JR. Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr., born in 1947, and extracurricular support. Any passed away unexpectedly in July of funds raised above the matching goal this year. will support additional scholarships and support for recipients. Phail was beloved by so many in our community. As a father and Triangle Community Foundation husband, in his role as President has identified $10,000 in our of Durham Tech, and later as Vice discretionary dollars to support the President for Durham and Regional scholarship. If you are a fundholder Affairs at Duke University, as board and would like to recommend a member and community volunteer grant from the fund you advise, for countless nonprofits in our you may do so via DonorCentral region, and as a member of Triangle or by contacting Donor Services. Community Foundation's Board, If you wish to donate directly Leadership Council, and as Interim to the scholarship, you may do president on two occasions. so by visiting the Durham Tech Foundation website that has a He worked tirelessly throughout link to the scholarship: www. his career to ensure that our region's nonprofits worked together to achieve successful outcomes for We invite you to join us in honoring all residents, because that was what Phail’s legacy by contributing to this he wanted his legacy to be. He scholarship. He left a huge mark on constantly emphasized that we look our culture and our hearts, and we to the future, build bridges, and put will carry his work on into the future aside differences to make this region of our region. a great place where everyone could On a Personal Note succeed. So much has been said about In an effort to honor Phail's lifelong the immense contributions Phail commitment to the community and educational advancement, SunTrust made to our Foundation and our has generously offered a $100,000 community that I don’t think I could matching gift to the Phail Wynn add anything that hasn’t already SunTrust Foundation Memorial been said. The hardest thing about Scholarship at Durham Tech. If the articulating how much Phail meant community can raise the matching to me is that he meant that much or $100,000, the established scholarship more to so many. He had a magical endowment will be able to annually ability to connect on such a personal provide two or more graduates level, he almost immediately built from Orange or Durham County trust, and I always felt his support public schools or Durham Tech’s and indeed, love - for me.

I remember a particular conversation, when I was questioning my ability to make an important decision. He told me a story about a baby eagle, struggling to learn to fly while getting flapped on the head by his siblings. He said, “You just need to keep flapping your wings and pretty soon you’ll make it out of the nest!” I walked away thinking, “what in the world?” But as I thought about it, I realized he was trying to tell me that I had what I needed to lead – I just had to keep doing it, even if it didn’t feel comfortable yet.

I don’t think a day has gone by since his passing that I’ve not thought, “I wonder what Phail would think about this.” I would like to think that wherever he is, he’s whispering in my ear saying, “it’s ok, you’ve got this; you’ve flown from the nest.” But I know I’m not alone in feeling that as much as we “got this,” it’s a adult equivalency program (with a As busy as he was, he never said shame that he can’t be here to tell us preference for minority male students, no when I needed to run something in person. residents of public housing, and by him (which was often!) or get - Lori O'Keefe, President & CEO those with military experience) with his counsel. And I believe that was six semesters of tuition, textbooks, probably the same for my colleagues. 5




Dr. Bulent Ender was raised to believe that it was his responsibility to give back to those in need. As a firstgeneration immigrant from Turkey growing up in the suburbs of D.C., he was surrounded by opportunity. Opportunity that came with a clear message from his family and religion. “Being Muslim in origin, Zakat (a pillar of Islam) expects people with resources and funds to take care of the people who don’t have such resources,” Ender said. “I see philanthropy as my responsibility and that’s an important concept within my own family as well.” But giving back for Ender isn’t solely fueled by his beliefs now. As he became more aware of the “inequities in society,” he says that it began to really bother him. “We need to care for the well-being of the entire society, not just a select group,” he said. “The only way that society will thrive is if people who have the means to contribute do so, and work to make the playing field equal; to provide access to opportunity. Every person’s success depends on where they are 6

born and what family they are born We all volunteer, and the organization into – some people have huge barriers has really grown over the years and right from the start.” continues to thrive.” An experienced physician, Ender moved to Raleigh in 1993 with his wife and children. He had never been to the Triangle before but had a good job prospect at Wake Internal Medicine - the same job he holds today – and thought this area would be a good place to raise his family. While the family flourished locally, Ender never forgot about his relatives and important causes back in Turkey, and when he began to accumulate enough to give back, he focused initially on working with local organizations who had ties back to his home country.

Ender also works closely with Carolina Türk Evi (Turkish House) at UNC-Chapel Hill, ensuring that Turkish-American students have housing throughout their higher education experience. They are currently in the process of building a cultural center and residence hall that will serve the broader UNC community, in addition to Turkish students.

Once his family’s roots began to take hold in the Triangle, Ender realized that there were also gaps locally that he wanted to fill, and he became more A board member for Bridge to involved with working towards a Turkiye Fund, a nonprofit that raises thriving community here at home. funds to provide healthcare and “People must have the basics education for the youth of Turkey, Ender says that he finds joy in without barriers, like water, food, and volunteering. “That’s been a really lodging,” he said. “A more equitable ecosystem is the cornerstone of a delightful experience,” he said. thriving society. It’s important to ask “Turkish-Americans are their questions and understand the needs primary donors, and so there’s a real of the community. Many of us are sense of community among everyone. unaware about the social programs



in our neighborhoods and towns that seek to remove barriers and bring opportunities for growth. Giving at the local level is more impactful than anything else. You can see the benefit immediately; it’s our community – we can all pitch in to make it better.” Ender says that recently he’s focused more and more locally and contributed his time and dollars to the causes he’s passionate about, but also realizing that there are other worthy areas he didn’t know about before. Things like affordable housing, recovery from drug addiction, or investing in vibrant arts. “I’m increasingly interested in learning where the greatest needs are, and what I can do to help,” he said. So, what is he passionate about? As a doctor, Ender believes strongly that health is the foundation of any venture going forward. “You need

healthy moms, and healthy kids; that’s where it all starts,” he said. Ender wants to ensure that there is access to healthcare and education and thinks that the two go hand in hand – in an equitable society.

right mindset and capabilities, then your legacy disappears over time,” he said. “That’s true in families too. It’s important that we communicate with our family members and get them involved in the process of giving. We’ve always included our kids' voices in the process, and we’re preparing them to someday take over as the new generation – to carry out what we’ve done, but also make it theirs.”

“I really want more people to have the opportunity to take advantage of a higher degree,” he said. We need to encourage children to think of education as a life-long pursuit, but that’s hard to do when there are As far as being open to change, barriers – including access to health Ender says that it's unfortunate that care or primary and secondary schools so many donors aren’t willing to give with resources.” unless they have total control over how the funds are used. “It’s time we When asked what thoughts he trust institutions,” he said. “Be willing would leave with other donors, Ender to donate because it makes you feel said he was thinking lately about two good and you’re doing something things – succession and trust. right and trust the organizations you “You can be a great leader, but if are a part of to make a difference.” you don’t have a successor with the




Last April, nearly 800 guests left fired up to create a region of opportunities for women and girls in the Triangle after attending What Matters: Women. But there were so many questions about how we could help women and girls feel empowered and provide them the resources they needed to succeed. In October, the Foundation hosted more than 60 donors and community leaders at Meredith College to continue the What Matters conversation and work together to take action. President and CEO Lori O’Keefe addressed the group, focusing on the importance of improving the lives of women in the Triangle. She reminded us that “this work cannot be done alone” and that we must look for ways that we can come together to make real change in our community. Jennifer Clark from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research discussed their Status of Women in North Car olina report and highlighted the research on employment and earnings 8

of women in the Triangle and across the state. Clark spoke on the progress in the Triangle as the region holds four of the eight counties in North Carolina where women’s earnings exceed the national median, but there is still a long way to go to ensure women have the economic opportunities to thrive in the Triangle. “If the current trends continue, working women in North Carolina will not see equal pay until 2060,” said Clark.

nonprofit discussed the impact they were making in the area, what gaps and needs they were seeing, and how they were pushing the needle towards progress.

The Foundation’s Board Chair, Pat Nathan brought the forum to a close with a passionate call to action to join the Foundation’s new donor impact group which will likely begin by focusing on supporting low-income mothers’ entry into non-traditional Mary Williams Stover, Executive fields through affordable child-care Director for the Council on Women and opportunity creation. and Youth Involvement, described An impressive $160,000 has already the importance of the report and other topics the Council will explore been raised by generous donors over the next few years, including dedicated to this work, and $200,000 Health & Reproductive Rights, has also been allocated from the Poverty & Opportunity, and Political Foundation's Fund for the Triangle, totaling $360,000 at the start of this Participation. initative. If you are interested in being Attendees participated in roundtable part of this donor impact group and conversations with local nonprofit taking action for women and girls in leaders who described the issues they our community, please contact Treat saw in their work impacting women Harvey at or and girls, such as employment, 919.328.4007. housing, and lack of resources. Each


TRIANGLE COMMUNITY ARTISTS GALLERY: EXHIBIT ON DISPLAY Artists Leah Sobsey and Tim Telkamp's exhibit entitled "Tintypes: A Community Portrait," is now on display in the Foundation's gallery, available to view during business hours through February 4, 2019. The photograph shown here is entitled "Jim." The Durham Art Guild and Triangle Community Foundation are thrilled to present this first showcase of the 20182019 Triangle Community Artists Gallery exhibition season. Sobsey and Telkamp were the recipients of the first Click! Photography Festival PIC Grant in 2017.

and individuals came out to participate in the mobile tintype project. Sitters decided how they wanted to pose while collaborating with the artists to create their own unique portrait. In the true spirit of community, this project aims to bring people together and bridge art and community in a collaborative process.

Tintypes are created using the wet plate collodion process which dates from the mid-1850s and was in widespread use through the 1870s. To make a collodion photograph, collodion is applied to a plate just before use. The photograph is captured, developed, and rinsed before the plate is allowed to dry. The process takes roughly 15 minutes from The project had them taking their start to finish, while the photographer mobile tintype unit out into the goes into the mobile dark-room, pours community, setting up across the the emulsion, and processes the plate. Triangle in downtown Durham, in Wet Plate Collodion process is Habitat for Humanity worksites the antithesis of what 21st-century and neighborhoods, and finally at photography has become. We live in a residential/warehouse/art studio an era where portraits are stored in located in Raleigh. Hoping to phones, and in digital files. The wet include a few participants from each plate process is a very slow process location, instead what happened was relative to the point, click, and post an overwhelming interest from the online era in which we live. The artists' community. hope is to bring the portrait back to The goal of the project, Tintypes: A Community Portrait, was to engage with the community and bring people together through the wet plate collodion photography process. The idea was similar to that of the bookmobile or the ice cream truck where people come out of their houses and on to the street to engage with each other and in the process, create a large community portrait.

important part of a vibrant community. As part of Our Focus on regional cultural arts, our office space also serves as a rotating art gallery, for two main reasons: to support and foster local artists, and to encourage our community to connect and engage in meaningful conversation inspired by art. The gallery, in partnership with the Durham Art Guild (DAG), hosts artwork from local artists for periods of six months at a time. All artists in the gallery are chosen by a jury panel of fundholders and donors with an interest in the arts. The art on display, unless marked, is available for purchase.

We are proud of this partnership with DAG, our jury of community Their sessions were filled by noon life through the object based tintype leaders and arts-minded fundholders, with some electing to wait in line and to encourage dialog about art and and the artists we have the great for hours to get a tintype made. In community. pleasure of showcasing each cycle. the end, they made over 80 tintype The Foundation believes that a portraits as families, friends, couples, strong commitment to the arts is an 9



Ask Dr. Umesh Gulati and his wife Usha for advice about living an impactful life, and they're likely to say, "Have a conversation. Get to know someone." Preferably someone who's not like you. In their early years in the United States, the Gulatis were often faced with their uniqueness. In the places they lived and jobs they held, not a lot of others looked like them. Instead of grumbling about how their ethnic background caused them to stand out, though, Umesh and Usha made a concerted effort to get noticed for reasons that had nothing to do with the color of their skin. They'd both experienced the pain of isolation early in life. When the British government divided India and Pakistan in 1947, they and their families had become refugees in their own homes. Born in an area of India that became Pakistan with the stroke of a pen, they lost everything in an instant, becoming completely dependent on others even for basic necessities. Life altering, the experience would influence the entire course of their lives. 10

In response, their parents taught them to be resilient, stressing the significance of education in overcoming life's obstacles. Both Umesh and Usha followed that advice, going on to study at the highest levels. Usha earned two master's degrees and Umesh ultimately added a title, becoming Dr. Gulati in preparation for a career as an East Carolina University professor of economics.

we wanted to give it here," he said, "especially for underprivileged children who need more education. The more education they have, the more opportunity they'll have to get good wages in good jobs."

The Gulatis have chosen to pass on their educational legacy through scholarships for local high schoolers. Giving preference to those who will be first-generation college students, His vocation was a testament to his Umesh and Usha hope the investment mom's mantra: "Education is most they're making in today's youth will important." Although she passed continue to grow in the years to come. away before seeing Umesh graduate When asked why they are so with advanced degrees and go on to guide other students, his mother's passionate about giving back to the influence on his life and career was Durham community, where they now call home, the Gulatis smile. Umesh unmistakable. emphasizes once more his mom's Mostly, she passed down her passion insistence on the importance of for learning, which he has embraced education, going on to say education wholeheartedly, as evidenced by his got him where he is today. He also pursuit of higher education and his reminds us so many here and in his contributions to it. Today, through a homeland still lack schooling, which partnership with Triangle Community leads to the lack of good jobs and Foundation, he continues to laud the inability to make a decent living. benefits of schooling for all. "Whatever charity we could afford,


Usha echoes Umesh's sentiments but adds her passion to see learning beyond book knowledge. She hopes to contribute to mutual cultural understanding. If she has a life theme, it's summed up when she says:

hopes to have a small part in helping people to see others simply as people.

people are more concerned for one another today than a few years ago.

To that end, she continues to work assiduously. Serving on diversity committees, leading cultural events, and interacting amicably with "I like to help people feel neighbors are just a few ways she comfortable together. We don't need finds herself pursuing this passion to be afraid of each other." as the years go by. It's her way of contributing to education beyond That fear is one of the biggest secondary school. challenges Usha sees in communities. She believes racial relations have Umesh's conviction that education improved since she and Umesh is a key to our future is as strong as his arrived in the U.S. back in the 1960's, wife's. He insists lack of it is one of but she's not naĂŻve enough to overlook the biggest challenges facing the local underlying issues that remain. And she community, but he's hopeful. He says

In general, he believes we understand better the welfare of the underprivileged impacts the welfare of entire communities, and if those with limited resources gain access to what they need, everyone wins. So the Gulatis keep on giving, hoping, and striving for educational opportunities for those who've had least access to them. Access granted to the disadvantaged, they say, lifts the entire community. And isn't that something we can all agree on?


I N S P I R I N G G I V I N G : G I V I N G C I R C L E F E AT U R E



I N S P I R I N G G I V I N G : G I V I N G C I R C L E F E AT U R E

20/20 Sisters of Vision have never hesitated in helping the women and families of their community. As a giving circle of women of color, their mission is to empower women and families in local and global communities by enabling them to improve their quality of life in health, education, economic development, and spirituality.

“We were able to help Tracy Scott, founder and CEO of Tracy’s Gourmet, get her business off the ground, and it has led to her products being sold in a major supermarket like Whole Foods,” said Rowson.

they can be best supported,” Rowson said. But it’s not always done this formally. Because of the giving circle’s origin story, people within the community still come to them to talk about important work that is being done, and what is needed.

“Through 20/20 Sisters of Vision, I was able to join a Women in Business organization where successful women “Community members will come provided mentoring and helped me It all began when women in the to jumpstart my business,” said Tracy and tell us about an organization, and we do research and see if that works Durham community would approach Scott. with our particular theme for that Denise Rowson, co-founder of 20/20 20/20 Sisters of Vision doesn’t year,” said Rowson. “We always try to Sisters of Vision, in need of financial just see the importance of helping contribute if possible.” assistance for their rent, children’s glasses, bills, and more. Joining forces their local community, but also their By word of mouth or through their with Joanne Jennings, co-founder of global community. As many of their quarterly meetings, 20/20 Sisters of 20/20 Sisters of Vision, they would members travel, it became clear to Vision works to stay connected to ask friends and women they knew to them that it was just as important to the community and their needs. They help collect money for these causes. help the global community as it was to hold an annual fundraising tea where “The ladies we would ask for help help the local community. they celebrate their vision, mission, were the very first members of 20/20 “We’ve had members who went to and accomplishments. Through this Sisters of Vision, before we even Haiti during both of the most recent annual tea, they tell stories to let knew what that was,” said Rowson. hurricanes there, so we supported people know what they are doing for Rowson and Jennings were simply their efforts in aiding the relief. When their community. helping the women in their community, I went on a mission trip to Ethiopia But good enough isn’t good enough but it was Darryl Lester, founder of to work with the AIDS community, for this group of women. They the Community Investment Network 20/20 Sisters of Vision supported my are always trying to improve and (CIN) for giving circles, who brought efforts there too. We’re not just staying make a greater impact. “Our biggest the idea of starting a giving circle to the in the local community and doing challenge is to stay plugged into the pair. It was through the help of Lester good things, we take that work with us community and give more of our and Triangle Community Foundation wherever we go,” says Rowson. time” said Rowson. “We want to be that 20/20 Sisters of Vision were able 20/20 Sisters of Vision knows the able to spread ourselves out and spend to continue helping individual people importance of informed grantmaking significant time with the nonprofits and investing in a broader community and listening to the needs in the themselves, and find out how things to make systemic changes. community. They meet with various are going and how we can better help The giving circle has helped women organizations to learn more about them. It’s a process we’re always trying who need assistance in their everyday them and find out what different to perfect.” life, and their efforts have also helped nonprofits are doing, what impact Advice to our readers? “Give back! women become self-sustaining and they are having, and which ones align We were not blessed nor are we given independent by assisting with female- with their own mission. “We invite the resources we have to just keep led business startups since the day nonprofits to our quarterly meetings them to ourselves.” and have the opportunity to learn they began. more about them, and find out how




Like many scientists, George Hitchings and Gertrude "Trudy" Elion aren’t exactly household names, despite their incredible achievements. They are best known for winning the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988. Together, they created innovative drug treatments for leukemia, malaria, AIDS, and more. Those familiar with the history of Triangle Community Foundation may also recognize George Hitchings’ name; he started the Foundation with an idea, $1,000, and then later, his award winnings from the Nobel Prize.

sciences. Hitchings and Elion were both inspirations in BWF’s mission. Hitchings himself served as BWF’s chair from 1974 until 1990. Elion was also very involved in the Fund’s operations. When Hitchings died in 1998, BWF decided to set up a charitable fund at the Foundation in his honor, but they were not yet sure how to direct the funds. A year later, Elion also passed away.

female clinical and doctorate students at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill. BWF’s thoughtful approach has paid off. These grants are almost magical for the students who receive them. Compared to large research grants like those from the National Institute for Health, ten thousand dollars may not seem like much. But for young scientists, these scholarships are a launch-pad for their careers. They offer a unique space for flexibility and creativity.

“Trudy [Elion] was a real role model to a lot of us at the Fund,” says Victoria Kelli Gerken can attest to that. Their groundbreaking work has McGovern, Senior Program Officer at BWF. She laughs. “We knew exactly A graduate student of veterinary changed hundreds of thousands of lives for the better. And thanks to what kind of award she’d want set up medicine at NC State University and a 2018 recipient of the Hitchings the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, their in her name.” Award, Gerken studies human legacies continue to have an impact Elion was committed to promoting behavior toward animal products and on scientific research and the next the careers of young women scientists. health. The Hitchings award allowed generation of scientists, today. And, despite its location in Research her to travel to Ethiopia, where she The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Triangle Park, BWF does not target worked to create a human-centered (BWF) was originally formed as local universities in its grantmaking. design project focused on female dairy the charitable arm for Burroughs With these two ideas in mind, the farmers in Addis Ababa. The goal Wellcome and Co., a pharmaceutical Fund shaped their two new awards was to implement trainings that help research company (now known as at the Foundation: the George H. women teach each other and create GSK) where Hitchings and Elion first Hitchings New Investigator Award safer practices for their work. began their work together. In 1994, in Health Research for veterinary “Seeing the people and being in the BWF received an endowment and students at NC State University and became an independent foundation the Gertrude B. Elion Mentored field first-hand completely changes the dedicated to advancing the biomedical Medical Student Research Award for research,” says Gerken. She already 14


plans to return to Ethiopia over winter break to continue her work. “I have something I am really passionate about now, thanks to this award.” And the female farmers she works with have safer practices, better products, and healthier cows. Women in Science Elion got her toehold in the world of scientific and pharmaceutical research during World War II. For years, labs turned her away because she was a woman. Then the war came, and with it came a shortage of chemists, so she was finally able to get a job in a laboratory. Once the war ended, Elion had to struggle to keep her job in the male-dominated field. Today, the field of medical research is still largely populated by men, but that tide is shifting. When Amy Wisdom received an

Elion award in 2016, she was new to her field. An MD/PhD candidate at Duke University, Wisdom works in a cancer biology lab, where she focuses on the use of immunotherapy in soft tissue sarcoma. "I was the first person studying the immune response within my lab,” says Wisdom. “There were experts in cancer and radiation, but not immunology. "

organizers of Advocates for MDPhD Women in Physician Science, a student group based out of UNC and Duke that supports and mentors women in their field.

Like Elion, Wisdom feels that diversity in the sciences will lead to greater research capacity and creativity. "We need people of all perspectives to contribute,” she says. With the Elion award, Wisdom was “Women are smart, and they have able to go to the foremost conference important scientific insight. We need on immunology. She brought what to feel like we can be involved." she learned back to her lab and Lee Hong, a 2017 Elion Award infused it in her work, spreading the recipient, echoed the sentiments from benefits of her award throughout her Wisdom on women. “[As a woman] community. in science, it can be hard to feel like She also began thinking more you belong,” says Hong. “You don't about the role of women in science. see a lot of people who look like you "The award started an awareness in or have the same concerns as you." my mind that female representation in science was an issue," she says. Wisdom was one of the early STORY CONTINUES AT WWW.TRIANGLECF.ORG 15

Founder s' Day C




Nearly 200 esteemed guests gathered at the Umstead Hotel in Cary on the evening of Wednesday, November 14, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Triangle Community Foundation. Pat Nathan, Board Chair, welcomed the crowd, remarking what a momentous occasion was, “a milestone that without all of you in the room, we wouldn’t be here to celebrate.” 16

The Foundation was founded by Dr. George Hitchings in 1983 with a single check for $1,000 and a vision “for a community that came together, set aside differences, and gave back to those in need.”

on urgent matters that need our attention here at home,” said Nathan. “Of building an ecosystem of strong nonprofits who are equipped to serve our community’s needs. Of creating a legacy that will serve the Triangle for generations to come. Thirty-five “Thirty-five years! Thirty-five years years. It hasn’t been a small task to do of connecting donors to critical issues the work we do – we’ve grown and in our region. Of convening local changed alongside this region and leaders to learn more about how we evolved over time to ensure we’re can work together to move the needle

y Celebr ation

making the greatest impact.”

next. We share a vision for this region, one where we work together to ensure Nathan reminded the crowd how everyone thrives. We are on this that work has been possible, and what journey together, and it is our shared the one common denominator has legacy,” she said. been - them. Nathan introduced a video “You are a part of our past, and highlighting where the Foundation the connection to our future. For 35 has come from, and where it is going, years, our impact in the community with newly uncovered footage of Dr. has been significant because of your Phail Wynn, Jr. speaking of his early passion and dedication for what’s conversations with Dr. Hitchings.


Fundholder Margareta Claesson, President & CEO Lori O'Keefe, and Board Members Farad Ali and Tucker Bartlett also appeared in the footage, sharing their memories of those early beginnings and their hopes and dreams for the future of our community. O'Keefe took to the podium and also thanked everyone for their contributions to the Foundation, asking past board chairs to stand. 17


“We’ve had different leaders, different office locations, and different programs throughout those years, but one thing has never changed. We’ve always existed to connect donors with causes of great importance in our community and make the greatest impact. And you've made that happen.”

- Last year we hit a new scholarship record with nearly $1 million granted out in just one academic year, and in total over the last five years, we have granted out over $4 million in scholarships, helping so many students in the Triangle achieve their dreams of higher education.

their clients that impact the community for generations.

O'Keefe spoke fondly about Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr., who passed away in July, and announced that SunTrust and the Durham Tech Foundation were working together to raise funds for his scholarship at the school (if you are O'Keefe highlighted the legacy interested in joining us and making a She went on to point out the many work of passionate, forward-thinking grant in his honor, please follow the things that have been accomplished in individuals, donors who “have brought instructions in the box to the left). $2.5M to conserve and protect land

THANK YOU Thank you to our Sponsors: Blue Heron Asset Management, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Colonial Consulting, and SunTrust Bank. Thank you to our Foundation Leadership Council Host Committee: Ronald Strom, Chair; Carol Bilbro, Jean Carter, Perry Colwell, Stephen Corman, Frank Daniels, Rick Guirlinger, Mary Hill, Fred Hutchison, Annie Liptzin, Peter Meehan, Jack Walker, and Richard Williams

MAKE A GRANT To make a grant to the Phail Wynn SunTrust Foundation Memorial Scholarship at the Durham Tech Foundation, log in to your DonorCentral account on our website, or visit the Durham Tech Foundation site directly. To support the Foundation's Fund for the Triangle, and begin your legacy today, visit our website or contact your Donor Services liasion.

just the last five years. Things like: - Five years ago, we received $25.2 million in gifts, and this year we received a record $36.5 million.

and water in the region, generational giving that has helped us reshape our Social Responsible Investment portfolio’s negative and positive screens, large planned gifts to support necessary local human services, an endowment for the arts, selfless giving to women and girls in our region, and so much more.”

O'Keefe spoke of the future, and shared what she thinks it holds for the Foundation.

“A deeper focus on our community. A commitment to working with - Five years ago, we granted out transformational donors and leaders $15.4 million to the community, and to identify gaps, reduce inequities, this year we granted out a record $29.6 and come together to solve some million. of the region’s most pressing She also credited professional challenges,” she said. “Space and - Our assets have grown by 31%, advisors for stewarding much of the time for real conversation, listening, this year they are at $247.9 million giving to the Foundation, and their and learning from those impacted by dollars; and they continue to grow. commitment to creating legacies for these challenges. Continued financial 18


expertise and insightful guidance in our work. And so much more.”

and many of you in the room to learn about the greatest needs in our region and discuss how we could tackle them, together,” he said. “Since then, $6.4 million dollars has been contributed to our Fund for the Triangle, funding Our Focus programs in the arts, community development, the environment, and youth literacy, as well as Send a Kid To Camp™, and educational programs like our Learning Co-horts and What Matters.”

“We are so fortunate to have a community of people who want to do good and be more. Thank you for being a part of that in the past, involved our present, and invested in our future,” he said.

He excitedly shared that we've granted out $3.6 million of that to 125 organizations over the past five years, noting how much we've accomplished, Guirlinger remarked that the and yet how far we have to go. Foundation is home to over 250 Legacy donors, and that these donors Guirlinger reminded the audience have helped to shape the future of our that legacy gifts have allowed us to work and created significant impact make real change on these issues in the work we are currently able to in our region, and we look forward accomplish. to a continued commitment to the Foundation's Fund for the Triangle so “Five years ago we engaged that we can build a stronger region for community leaders, nonprofit leaders, all.

“I encourage you to have these conversations, and explore what is important to you, what change you want to see in our region,” he said. “We look forward to exploring what's next with you.”

Foundation Leadership Council member Rick Guirlinger was next to speak, and he reminded the crowd just how important their legacy is. “Your legacy is about life and living. It’s about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future,” he said. "It’s about creating something that is never

over, serves others forever, and expresses your hopes and dreams for the future.”

As he closed out the evening, Guirlinger left the audience with two poignant questions - What will your legacy be? What good do you hope to accomplish during your lifetime and beyond?






For Jim Stewart and Frances Dyer, contributing to the community has always been a part of life. Growing up in Durham, Stewart was keenly aware of his father’s (John “Shag” Stewart) passion and impact in the region, and knew he had big shoes to fill. “My dad’s favorite expression was that a person’s place is in the arena, not the grandstand,” Stewart said. “My parents believed deeply in contributing to the community. Even before the Foundation was founded, I was rooted in that viewpoint, and once it was, I got to witness a different kind of giving back in action.”

Foundation,” she said. “He wanted to make sure that whomever he talked to, they would bring to the forefront that it is our responsibility to take care of the community. I was bit by the bug early – we don’t get a free pass in life, we can’t just sit here and expect things to change. We have to change them.”

Married since 1990, the couple is focused on doing good in the community, and recognizes that it has become their legacy, as well as Shag’s. Dyer says she weighs heavily the importance of being able to look back over your time and see what you accomplished to make a difference. That a legacy is the passing down of Stewart says he remembers well the something - values, ideas, or resources. beginnings of the Foundation, because And that’s important. his father was passionate about collective giving and worked with “We tend to lose those in our society Shannon St. John (the Foundation’s - values and ideas. To some people it first President), connecting her to the means we need to do exactly what our people he knew in the community. predecessors did. I don’t think that’s As a city councilman for 17 years in true. There’s always something to Durham, his father wanted to leverage learn, something to change. Maybe it’s any relationships he could to get the the values system that’s passed down, Foundation off the ground. Stewart and even though to implement them says that passion and work ethic now may look completely different, was passed down to him, by way of there is still a thread there that you can example. call a legacy,” she said. For Dyer, a connection to Stewart’s father also set her philanthropic spirit in motion. She grew up in Atlanta, went to Spelman College, and came to Durham the day after graduation “to figure out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.” She found a strong sense of community here and put down roots. Those roots led her to law school and when she began practicing over 30 years ago, she met Stewart’s father, and the rest is history. “Anyone who came to Durham knew that Shag was a part of the

Stewart says he wants their legacy to be a reminder to get involved. That people will continue to contribute time, talent, and treasure. That they can encourage the next generation to lead by example. And that starts with being involved, Dyer says. “Once you start being challenged to make a difference, it grows on you. It’s difficult because you will always encounter people who don’t want to make the move to change. And that’s the challenge,” she said. “To show them it can be better

if they change just a little bit – if they shifted a little, it would be better for everyone. The rub of differences and different ideas, is what creates something better because each side gives up something, and you end up with a wonderful product.” So, what are they passionate about? Both Stewart and Dyer say issues affecting children. Supporting work that is helping to expose and educate children to opportunity is important to them, as they recognize that there are so many roadblocks for children to grow, and thrive, and be successful. Stewart specifically made the connection between education and healthcare. “A supporting factor to success for children is healthcare, and access to healthcare,” he said. “Obviously you need quality healthcare to live. It’s hard to learn if you’re sick and hungry.” Dyer added that our society seems to forget that most of the learning a child does is before the age of 7, and it’s important that we’re providing what they need during that time frame. She finds it difficult to walk by any child and not acknowledge them because kids, she says, just want to be seen. “Even if it’s such a small moment, that’s important,” she said. “It’s an important part of our shared legacy – to adequately prepare the future generation.” Dyer adds that another issue she cares deeply about is women in achievement. As an involved participant in encouraging women in leadership, she says that being involved is key.








The local arts sector, and the creative people it employs, enhances the quality of life, stimulates innovation to attract and retain talent, provides a magnet for cultural tourism, and contributes to overall economic vitality. Because we believe in the importance of this work, Triangle Community Foundation is helping to grow and sustain nonprofit arts across our region. For the past five years we have partnered with the NC Arts Council to support 20 local nonprofit arts organizations in the New Realities Program.

The eradication of poverty and systemic inequities is no easy feat, but I constantly feel empowered by the work our Community Development partners are doing every day to break down the barriers and institutions that keep some of our residents from thriving. We are wrapping up our 2017-18 Capacity Building Partnership Grant Cycle, which has allowed the Foundation to invest in the capacity of nonprofits addressing health, housing, and employment. This cycle, we were able to invest $171,000 in 10 organizations.

We've been committed to supporting leadership development and provide the resources necessary for organizational growth and sustainability; identify and invest in arts nonprofits addressing social injustice, increase cross-agency partnerships, and encourage creative innovation in the sector.

The organizations who received grants for the 201718 grant cycle include Chatham County Council on Aging, Communities in Partnership, Durham Literacy Center, Housing for New Hope, Inter-Faith Council for Social Services, Pardoned by Christ, Project Access of Durham, The Scrap Exchange, TABLE, and THRIVE Collaborative (led by Milestones Culinary Arts Institute, Inc.).

Conducted by Nello McDaniel of Arts Action Research, the New Realities Program provides arts organizations with a conceptual framework, working process, tools, and guidance to develop effective ways to address current and ever-changing realities and needs. Our current partners include: Durham Symphony Orchestra, St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center, Classical Voice, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, and Playmakers. Grants have been used to address positioning of the organization, board and staff development, planning, financial management, fundraising, and marketing. The Foundation is proud to support visionary, longterm organizational development for these cultural leaders of our region.


This past summer, after 5 years of this work, we embarked on an evaluation of the current program to learn more about the impact of our grantmaking. The evaluation helped us better understand the importance of investing in building nonprofit capacity, and enlightened us on the demographic trends of the nonprofits we fund. It also provided insight on the gaps in our outreach efforts. In the coming year, we will be using this evaluation and the lessons learned to evolve this program. We are shaping this work now, and look forward to seeing how the Foundation can deepen our impact and ensure we are supporting nonprofit and community-led initiatives moving us towards eliminating inequitable systems.






Did you know that the Triangle population grew 130% over the last decade and the conversion of natural and agricultural land to developed land grew a staggering 650%? It is estimated that our population could grow an additional 106% by 2040, placing significant pressure on remaining natural resources that benefit our community health.

In 2017, the Foundation made three-year grants to support the growing National Campaign for GradeLevel Reading initiatives in the Triangle. Each of the Foundation’s four counties is home to a county-based, community-lead Campaign targeting grade-level reading by addressing key issues, such as school readiness, chronic absence, and summer learning loss.

Our environmental conservation programs aim to conserve and sustain our natural resources for future generations. The Foundation and several generous donors have invested together in innovative programs that encourage and expand local conservation awareness, sustainable public land use, and land donations for conservation purposes. Priority is given to collaborative proposals and projects that target lowincome neighborhoods or communities of color.

Each Campaign also recognizes and seeks to address the many factors that impact children and their ability to be fully present in learning environments. The Foundation committed $50,000 per county per year for three years, for a total of $600,000 in support through the end of 2019. The Foundation has also partnered with the United Way of the Greater Triangle and NC Early Childhood Foundation to provide additional technical assistance for this work. Finally, the Foundation has provided staff time and funding to the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, to further explore how we can be effective and impactful as grantmakers, collectively.

We believe that conserving our natural resources is vital to the health and sustainability of our community, and is a key factor in a thriving population, and we are committed to this work. We have 16 current partners embarking on exciting new projects across the Triangle this year. They include: Anathoth Community Garden & Farm, Communities In Schools of Durham, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, Durham Parks Foundation, El Futuro, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Extra Terrestrial Projects, Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library, Haw River Assembly, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Learning Outside, North Carolina Justice Center, Transplanting Traditions (c/o Orange County Partnership for Young Children), Triangle Bikeworks, Triangle J Council of Governments, and Triangle Land Conservancy.

In their first year, the county Campaigns worked to identify, involve, and listen to important community stakeholders and develop a Community Solutions Action Plan. In year two this work continued with Campaigns receiving additional training in order to fully engage each member of their community in a genuine way and identified new stakeholders and ways to build on early successes. In year three, they are looking forward to establishing metrics for measuring impact and building a framework for long-term sustainability. For a recent press release on how the Foundation is aligning all of our Educationional initiatives under one umbrella for heightened effectiveness, visit our website at








It’s a picture-perfect autumn afternoon, and the SEEDS two-acre urban farm is a hive of activity. As you walk through the whimsically designed gates, the space stretches ahead, a fusion of cozy backyard and childhood wonderland. A sprawling herb garden embraces the top tier of the property and offers up fragrant plants that can be used in culinary recipes, homemade teas, and even medicinal salves. A bare greenhouse patiently awaits winter plantings. The bottom tiers of the farm display tidy rows of vegetables. Beyond, a handmade sign on a fence proclaims, “Chicken Castle,” and hens cluck and peck contentedly around their home. A variety of fruit trees scattered about and newly installed beehives complete the idyllic scene. The twenty elementary-aged students who participate in the daily after-school program at SEEDS are divided into two groups, each named after a genus of plants. The Alliums are gathered in the vegetable rows learning how to harvest mustard greens. The Brassicas have finished planning out their winter crops (kale, peas, and peppers), and are now roasting peanuts that were pulled up earlier in the afternoon. Third grader Canaan Parker says that the peanuts are a little burnt, but he still enjoys snacking on them. He has been attending the after-school program at SEEDS for two years now. His mother, Erica, says that he’s always been interested in gardening and even tries to grow things at home on his own, so when he brought a SEEDS flyer home from school and said “Mom, I want to do this,” it just made sense.

Erica says that Canaan “shows himself to be a dynamic child” at SEEDS. He has absorbed cooking and gardening concepts and applies them at home, alerting her when her plants need to be repotted or explaining the importance of seasoning when she cooks. She has also noticed an increase in Canaan’s vocabulary, his expanding social skills, and his taking on of leadership and helping tasks. “The [academic] impact is tremendous,” says SEEDlings afterschool coordinator Herb Thornton. In addition to the cooking and gardening lessons, students receive homework help at SEEDS. One middle schooler recalls how she was able to apply the science of photosynthesis and plant life cycles, which she learned at SEEDS, on a recent science test at school. Thornton has witnessed climbing letter grades and improved reading ability. He embraces the gardening and cooking themes, teaching multiplication skills when crops are being planned out (how many seeds per space per row to plant) and reviewing fractions when students slice up the pizzas they make in the kitchen.

Goodman, the communications and development coordinator at SEEDS. “Having so much space to be outside and the capacity to provide year-long programs is unique and special.” The SEEDS garden has been an oasis in Durham for twenty-five years. It was originally created to provide food and healthy eating options for the homeless population in the area. It later transformed into a community garden where local residents could rent out space and utilize educational resources to grow their own food to take home. But three years ago, after a long process of conducting focus groups and community listening sessions, “we underwent some big mission changes” says Howell. “We’re not dictating what happens; we’re responding to the community [and] integrating community members onto the board, onto staff, and really sharing a lot of that decision-making power with the community.”

There is a total youth focus now, and the entire property at SEEDS is utilized to promote youth leadership and positive racial identity development, to examine food access and equity, and to create young community According to executive director change agents. “Everything within our Jeff Howell, “[At SEEDS] we can fences is directly given to our youth implement so much learning and do it program,” says Howell. in a creative way where all kids can be In addition to their elementary successful.” Students sow the seeds, school programs, SEEDS offers tend the growing plants, harvest the crop, take the food to the learning an internship program for middle kitchen, and cook it all into meals or schoolers. Students are gradually snacks that they share together. And given more responsibility, tackling they learn valuable lessons all along self-directed projects or taking on the way. “Teamwork, communication, leadership roles. responsibility, work ethic, community - the garden is the vehicle for building STORY CONTINUES AT WWW.TRIANGLECF.ORG youth leadership skills,” says Abby







How would people living on death row believe they have a story to share? How would they consider their story even matters? Society would relegate them to its “outskirts” along with others deemed unworthy of story, where difference is uncounted. Lynden Harris and the team at Hidden Voices are working to amplify the stories of the forgotten, those who go unheard and unseen. With projects like their upcoming opera A Good Boy, they’re giving these stories a spotlight. One narrative at a time.

the UNC-Chapel Hill campus as part of the Political Science Department’s speaker series. After a reading of Right Here, Right Now, a cycle of monologues based on personal stories shared by men on death row, one of the mothers of a prison resident asked, “When are you going to tell our story?”

“These families are serving the time as well,” said Harris, Founder and Director at Hidden Voices. “They don’t think others care,” she continued, speaking of how the UNC event was transformational for this Through the organization's mission, community, as none of the parents to challenge, strengthen, and connect had ever met other parents with a diverse communities through the child on death row. transformative power of the individual voice, Hidden Voices collaborates The opera, due for final production with community groups and programs and launch in 2020, features the work to develop performances, exhibitions, of musician and composer Dana and other multi-art media to share the Reason; Marc Callahan, Assistant experiences of silenced communities. Professor of Music at UNC; A Good Boy, part of the organization’s Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Associate Serving Life: Revisioning Justice Director of Hidden Voices and UNC project, amplifies the voices of family Department of Dramatic Arts faculty members of the women and men on member (and longtime member of death row. PlayMakers Repertory Company), along with other collaborators and A Good Boy was originated after a creatives. A Good Boy consists of Serving Life event for family members composite characters—two mothers, of incarcerated people was held on

a sister, a nephew, and a prison guard—who will weave the audience through stories and experiences of family members of people on death row. The stories in the 90-minute piece are true but told anonymously, and are based on countless meetings and interviews with the incarcerated and their families from across the state. The hope is that this ongoing work with people living inside prisons will allow audiences to connect with their humanness and life struggles, their poverty or loss, the inequities they have faced, and their dreams and hopes, to realize that it could be their loved one sitting on death row. “We want people to experience the piece in a very heartfelt way,” Harris says. Interviews with the family members, particularly with the mothers, were often hard but were also at times joyful, as family shared pictures and happy memories. Harris also hopes this work will expand people’s compass and understanding around the political implications of the prison system and issues such as the Racial Justice Act in North Carolina, which “prohibited seeking or imposing the death penalty on the basis of race.” It was repealed in 2013. STORY CONTINUES AT WWW.TRIANGLECF.ORG




Walking through Central Park School for Children in Durham, students can be heard talking and laughing as they work on their assignments in class. It seems to be an ordinary school as Director John Heffernan leads the way through the halls, but the school has taken an innovative and creative approach to crafting an equitable learning environment.

to provide free and reduced-price lunches, along with transportation assistance. While these are just a few of the steps Central Park School has taken to create a student population that is more reflective of their community, the school administration knew they needed to do more, and so they didn’t stop there. Central Park School rolled out a new strategic plan in May 2017 with a focus on creating equitable opportunities for students and parents. The school’s goal was to show parents that they were serious about their new vision and strategy, and dedicated to making a change. Part of their strategic plan was to send board members, staff, and even some parents to Racial Equity Institute training.

biggest advocates in their parents. They knew the importance of this work and how it could help their children thrive. “This equity work needs to be done, and it can be done not only in Durham, but across the country,” Brown said. While the school knew the work was a step in the right direction, the shift to make their work more equitable brought about a lot of hard conversations on what needs to change. They found a need for balance between acknowledging the biases that existed and starting the work. The school has a commitment to recruitment and elevating leadership for people of color, and this can mean relinquishing responsibilities in certain ways. “This work needs to be interdependent,” said Heffernan. “It requires a growth mindset and determination of improving, and that can be hard but it’s vital.”

In the 2012-2013 school year, enrolled students of color made up only 29 percent of the student population in comparison to Durham Public Schools’ 81 percent. According to Heffernan, school leaders realized they had “become part of the problem in re-segregation, similar to other charter schools.” So, they decided to take a deep dive and reflect on their work and the students they served. It “The school helped me go to the was this clarity that helped them to training, and I was inspired to act move the needle forward towards a immediately,” said Yolanda Brown, a new vision for the school. parent of two sons who attend the They started giving weighted school. “I saw the strategic plan and The charter school for children lottery preference to economically the structural changes, and knew the has demonstrated the importance of disadvantaged families in 2013, which school was taking this work seriously.” moving forward in equity work and made them the first charter school to being open to mistakes along the way. Central Park School found their do so, and they changed their policies 28


“Our first year of this work didn’t go smoothly, but we had to start that conversation. We knew we needed to walk or even crawl before we could run,” Heffernan explained. “We’re actively saying we don’t have all the answers and are working with organizations like Village of Wisdom and Spirit House to learn more about how we can be better and to understand how we can build up the success of every child.” It wasn’t just the school leadership that was brought into the change either. Teachers were excited to step up in leadership and explore their own curriculum for ways to be more equitable. The reading list, extracurricular activities, and their own form of communication with parents and students were all evaluated to

make sure each student had what they in positive experiences and will help needed to succeed. build trust. Those things can make a huge difference for a child and their Erin Linn, third-grade teacher at family.“ Central Park School, built a stronger communication relationship with The school’s shift even changed the her students and parents to really way teachers looked at the books they understand what they needed from were reading and assigning to the class. her as a teacher. Because of this step, a “I have been more purposeful about family who historically had been absent from parent-teacher conferences and having the books I read aloud have generally non-participatory has been pictures with characters that look like attending conferences, supported my students,“ said Erin Morrison, decisions to get their child extra help first-grade teacher at Central Park in class, and even participated in field School. “I believe all children and families matter, and I want this to be trips. conveyed in my teaching, my language, Linn shared, “This may seem and the way my classroom looks and like a small step, but I believe that feels. anything we can do as educators to make education and school more accessible to a child's family will result STORY CONTINUES AT WWW.TRIANGLECF.ORG



HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FOUNDATION'S BLOG Our staff, board, and volunteers are a valuable resource. Their voices are important, they offer expert insight into our focus areas and regional issues, and their unique perspectives are what drive the passion of the Foundation. We use our blog, hosted on the Medium platform, to share these stories. The following are highlights from recent blog posts.


In September, our state was walloped by Hurricane Florence, the effects of which our neighbors all over the state, including locally after this morning’s flooding, will continue to feel for a long time to come. Before the massive storm hit, thousands of people were evacuated from coastal towns, many of them bused to emergency shelters throughout the state with just a few possessions and no mode of transportation. Initially, the largest shelter was set up at the high school in my town, and when I drove home from work on Wednesday night, I felt compelled to stop there on the way to see what I could do to help. I’m a career nonprofit professional. Aside from 2 years as a print journalist at the very start of my career, I’ve only worked for organizations doing good work or funding good work. In my time I’ve learned a lot about what nonprofits need vs. what they get, and how the “rules of volunteering” work, so I knew enough to stop and ask the shelter staff what they needed before I acted. When I arrived at the makeshift shelter, I walked down a hallway full of people being turned away because the shelter was at max capacity and waited at the desk while one of the volunteers found the staff person in charge to answer my question. While I stood there, I listened to a young mom soothe her infant. I listened to an elderly woman ask the volunteer if she had any extra blankets (they 30

did not) because she was cold and didn’t have time to pack the right things. I heard the volunteer in charge of the pet room say that she was afraid they’d run out of dog food. I heard a volunteer say she had already been working for 8 hours. When I finally asked the person in charge what I could do to help — did they need supplies, or people to volunteer to physically be at the shelter — she told me they needed toiletries pretty badly, but that was all I could do — to be a volunteer I had to be pre-approved with a background check, which I knew was standard at nonprofits and government-run shelters like this one.

“didn’t want any more donations.” This comment shook me a bit and paired with several other things I heard over the weekend to follow, got me thinking…

1. What was my motivation for giving? I was asked, “why I would So, I tweeted, asking for supplies, even want to donate,” by a shelter and my husband and I organized volunteer, and a friend probed to friends and co-workers to raise a bit question my motives for collecting of money, and we went shopping. supplies over the weekend. I think this And we dropped off one carload of question is loaded with judgement . supplies at the shelter that night, and so many other people who saw my THIS BLOG POST CONTINUES AT https:// tweets also did, prompting them to say that after our carload, their staff was too busy to take any more, that they



Equity: eq·ui·ty

financial inequity. If funders do our jobs right, the problems that plague our communities will be eradicated and we eventually put ourselves out of business.

What is equity? It’s a noun, a buzzword in philanthropy, an investment term, a branch of law, a value of shares issued from a company. Had you asked me two years ago what equity meant, I would have told you with confidence that it means equal outcomes regardless of race, gender, ability, class, etc. But I’m learning that it means more than that, and to be 3. Because honest it’s a hard thing to put words philanthropy has on. a responsibility to the public Tina Bailey, my co-leader of the and nonprofits, Equity Team at Triangle Community however the Foundation says it more clearly. “I bread crumbs of accountability from personally believe there is no real funder to community impacted by definition of equity, because how systemic inequity may be hard to can society determine what’s fair to follow. Power imbalances play a large someone else?... It’s not our job to role here. Can you imagine how the determine if what we believe to be script would flip if funders applied true is actually true. It’s our job to to nonprofits to be allowed to fund make sure what we believe does not them? make others feel mistreated or inferior because of what they believe to be 4. Because funders are not typically true.” representative of those experiencing poverty. Let’s daydream for a moment So I can’t tell you exactly how I here – what if affordable housing define equity yet, but I do think it is funding was decided by individuals very much a conversation needed who have experienced housing within philanthropy. insecurity? Lived experience is an Why do I think funders need to expertise you cannot learn in school and something that holds tremendous talk about equity? value. In my role it’s my job to hold 1. Because philanthropic institutions up other’s voices. I trust that someday hold power and resources, two tools I will see those directly impacted which help reverse the systems making the actual funding decisions. that perpetuate inequity. Power and 5. Because intention doesn’t equal resources can be used in many ways impact. Despite best intentions, (and often for good!), but these tools often exist to the funder’s advantage. implicit bias is still a reality for everyone, including funders. It’s 2. Because I’m not sure philanthropy especially important for funders to would exist if there was not systemic know and name this, as our implicit

bias has a much larger impact than we may realize (see #1). 6. Because I wonder if funders aren’t careful – is it possible that we could end up serving the problems of inequity instead of making the change our communities need and nonprofits are creating? #realtalk: I went into nonprofit sector because I wanted to make a difference. I’ll take the liberty to speak on behalf of all my colleagues at the Foundation and say that we are incredibly proud of what we do. Given that intention, it is personally very challenging for me to consider that there’s a chance I may not have my job if poverty did not exist. Learning that intention is not the same as impact is very much a part of this journey.



PO Box 12729, Durham, NC 27709 phone 919.474.8370  donor services  919.474.8363


What Matters: A Thriving Community May 1, 2019 | Raleigh Convention Center | Opening Sessions 10 a.m. | Lunch Program 12 noon Can you imagine what this region would look like if everyone were thriving? We believe that everyone should be able to thrive, but inequitable barriers and other factors like a growing poverty rate, opportunity gaps in education, and more, stand in the way for many in our community. Even as the Triangle continues to top “best of” lists, not all people are able to grow, move forward, or flourish. How can we work together to tackle the root causes of these issues and make real change for our region? Join us for What Matters: A Thriving Community, as we discuss and explore what’s possible from those doing this intentional work already.

Make a Difference Fall 2018 Issue