FJE Network Strategy Session 2022


As we enter year three of the global pandemic, workers everywhere are in a fight for their lives: for their physical and mental health, for protections on the job and in their communities, and for economic security and social protections. Workers are sounding the alarm that this country’s deep allegiance to racial capitalism, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy crushes democracy. Additionally, corporations and the wealthy have seen unimaginable profits since the beginning of the pandemic, amassing money and power while ensuring inflation and a higher cost of living for the rest of us. Considering these conditions, workers have more leverage than they have had in many years. More workers are unionizing and building power in industries across the U.S. to resolve the myriad crises facing our communities: fires, storms and infrastructure failures, evictions, deepening debt, school closures, family care challenges, violence and suppression by the police and ICE, continued extraction of resources and capital, and workplace exploitation. Philanthropy will need to be more organized than ever in order to bring the resources to bear to support the success of our movement partners. Our collective vision for justice and liberation is at stake, and building worker and community power is critical to rebuild a new thriving democracy.

Considering the deep and strategic ways movements are building power, NFG’s Funders for a Just Economy (FJE) program hosted a Network Strategy Session in lieu of our annual Policy Briefing this year. We held two keynote conversations and two panels to discuss the current conditions for workers, and especially frontline, essential and gig workers, and the opportunities and strategic vision that movement leaders and workers are building toward through organizing, civic engagement, and policy campaigns. 

During the funder strategy session, funders worked together to integrate learnings into action steps that funders can take to shift their grantmaking and build toward more collaboration across the FJE network. This year’s session reflected NFG’s continued and growing work to experiment with ways to organize funders, to become more accountable to movement partners, and to move more resources to build power. 

In preparation for the FJE Network Strategy Session, we asked funders to bring an open mind, their full selves, and their ideas and grantmaking strategies for the year (or years ahead). 

  • What commitments are they making to movement partners? 
  • What commitments can they make to support power building, worker policy, community organizing, and narrative change? 
  • Which foundations and groups are they hopeful to collaborate with? 
  • What do funders need to be successful in moving resources toward racial, gender, climate and economic justice?

We hope this space for funders reinspired and motivated members to become bolder, move money outside of the typical silos in which philanthropy often operates, and align our funding with the visions and aspirations of movement partners. The recommendations and ideas we developed from the Network Strategy Session will shape the rest of the discussions and meetings that FJE plans to host throughout the year. 

Full Agenda

Day One 3/28

Panel - Frontline and Essential: Building Worker Power Amid Layered Crises

  • Lauren Jacobs, PowerSwitch Action (formally Partnership for Working Families)
  • Ligia Guallpa, Los Deliveristas
  • Max Alper, North Bay Jobs with Justice
  • Saket Soni,  Resilience Force

Day Two 3/29

Keynote Conversation - Rep. Pramila Jayapal, U.S. Congress, and Saru Jayaraman,  One Fair Wage

Panel - Addressing the Violence of Racial Capitalism: Building Power & Multi-issue Movements

  • Richard Wallace, Equity and Transformation (EAT) Chicago
  • Rukia Lumumba, People's Advocacy Institute
  • Stacy Suh, Detention Watch Network
  • Fatima Goss Graves, National Women's Law Center

Day Three 3/30

Keynote Conversation: U.S. DOL Deputy Secretary, Julie Su and Jennifer Epps, The LIFT Fund

Funder Strategy Session

Note: This event is for representatives of foundations, funder affinity groups, and the philanthropic community only. Once your registration is approved you will receive a confirmation with a link for the meeting. Thank you for participating in our virtual safety and security practices with us.