Strategy in Action Learning Tour: Equitable Revitalization and Regional Power-Building in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania

Photo by Matthew Field / CC

Neighborhood Funders Group, The Heinz Endowments, Pittsburgh United, Ford Foundation, and The Colorado Trust are pleased to invite you to the Strategy in Action Learning Tour: Equitable Revitalization and Regional Power-Building in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

After decades of disinvestment and loss of manufacturing, Pittsburgh’s economy is resurging, bringing new opportunities and threats to low-income communities of color. With aligned progressive strength across the organizing community, elected leadership, and philanthropy, Pittsburgh is striving to be a model of equitable revitalization—not another story of displacement—and to use local power to build toward regional and state change. This Pittsburgh Moment offers tough questions and critical lessons to inform the work of NFG’s Democratizing Development Program.

This two-day convening will bring together the Democratizing Development Program working group of national and local foundations to explore, deepen, and refine our collective strategies, including:

  • Stabilizing communities in revitalizing cities that are facing gentrification and displacement while still struggling with entrenched poverty and disinvestment.
  • Community and worker power-building through sustained, nimble, multi-issue coalitions, and the philanthropic strategies needed to invest in such coalitions in this political moment.
  • Regional and state multi-racial organizing to build regional and state power for expanding the ability of cities to implement progressive policies. 
  • Equity metrics for grantmaking and public investments.
  • Critical role of local foundations to fund organizing groups that protects the most vulnerable and our social safety net as they are attacked through federal action.

We hope you will join us in Pittsburgh in June to enhance our proactive strategies and move this critical work forward.



Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Arrival (4:00 pm) 
  • Reception and Welcome (5:00 – 7:00 pm)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • Pittsburgh Tour (9:00 am) 
  • Evening Reception and Discussion (5:00 – 7:00 pm) 
  • Afternoon Session and Tour (1:00 pm) 
  • Lunch and Small Group Discussions (12:00 pm) 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

  • Breakfast and Morning Session (8:30 am) 
  • Lunch and Closing (12:00 pm) 


The Heinz Endowments is devoted to improving the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania and addressing challenges the region shares with communities across the United States. While that fundamental mission never changes, we also have been committed to using the most dynamic and transformative approaches in achieving our objectives and keeping pace with evolving societal needs and pressures.

Pittsburgh United is a coalition of community, labor, faith, and environmental organizations committed to advancing the vision of a community and economy that work for all people. Pittsburgh United aspires to create a community where all workers are able to care for themselves and raise their families, sharing in the prosperity generated by economic growth and development.

NFG's Democratizing Development Program engages funders and field leaders to harness the values of community residents and institutions organizing deeper together to create a people-powered alternative vision for local development. This vision is not driven by profit, speculation, or the influx of new corporate capital, but is centered on community needs. At the heart of this shift are grassroots groups that are partnering in new ways with advocates and intermediaries to build community power in local economic decision-making. The program provides space for funders and field leaders to share strategies and tools from around the country, and set the stage for advancing and scaling efforts to democratize development.

The Colorado Trust works closely with communities and nonprofit organizations in every county across the state to the improve health and well-being of Coloradans, ranging from bringing 9-1-1 emergency medical care to 38 Colorado counties to helping foster the development of the state's second largest regional transportation district in the Roaring Fork Valley, and much more. More recently, The Trust began a new strategy aimed at empowering resident-led initiatives to advance health equity at the community level.

The Ford Foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide. Its goals for more than half a century have been to strengthen democratic values; reduce poverty and injustice; promote international cooperation; and advance human achievement. Through its engagement with change makers, the Ford Foundation seeks to ensure that all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have voice in the decisions that affect their lives.