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Funding for Equity: More than Just a Buzzword
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Join us for CWIP Program "Funding for Equity: More Than Just a Buzzword"

When: Thursday, September 27
Where: Loyola University, Schreiber Center
16 E. Pearson Street
Board Room (10th Floor)
Chicago, Illinois  60654
United States
Contact: Administrator

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Funding for Equity: More Than Just a Buzzword

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are common catchwords used by nonprofits and funders.

"Funding for Equity: More Than a Buzzword" will provide an opportunity for foundations and nonprofits to discuss ways to fund impactful equity work. Philanthropy plays a critical role in supporting equity and ensuring that nonprofits can make a difference on the ground, both locally and nationally.

Join us on September 27th to listen to a powerful panel of funders and nonprofits for an honest conversation on how to make equity more than just a buzzword.


  • Niketa Brar, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Chicago United for Equity
  • Tameeka Christian, Program Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Tracie Hall, Director of the Joyce Foundation Cultural Program
  • Tiffany McDowell, PhD, Director of the Equity Institute at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore and co-founder of the Chicagoland Equity Network
  • Ellen Moiani, Senior Organizer for the Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Emily Reusswig, Executive Director of the Chicago Cultural Alliance

Please scroll down to learn more about our esteemed panelists. Light breakfast will be served.


Thursday, September 27


Loyola University, Schreiber Center
16 E. Pearson Street, Board Room (10th Floor)
Chicago, IL, 60654


$30 CWIP Members
$35 Non-Members


Niketa Brar is the co-founder and executive director of Chicago United for Equity (CUE), a civil rights organization that bridges policy and organizing to forward a mission of a more just, equitable, and inclusive Chicago. CUE builds civic action networks designed to tackle the greatest inequities of our time by connecting racial justice advocates in schools, neighborhoods, and civic institutions.

Brar comes to this work from a career bringing a community-centered approach to government. She has served as a consultant and adviser to political leaders including Oakland City Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers and Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis. She currently serves on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, overseeing the agency responsible for the dissemination of the largest grant assistance program for low-income college students in Illinois.

Brar holds a BA in Public Policy and International Affairs from the George Washington University, an Masters of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics from American University, and a Masters in Public Policy from the Ford School at the University of Michigan. She is the proud partner of a Chicago Public Schools teacher and mom to a future CPS student. 

Tameeka Christian, a Program Officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Tameeka is responsible for supporting communities with creating and implementing Quality-of-Life Plans (QLP). The QLP is a participatory process that has allowed disinvested communities to have a voice in planning and visualizing positive changes they want to see in their community. Tameeka is currently working on her Doctoral Degree in Community Psychology at National Louis University. 

Tameeka Christian has twenty years of experience working in government, social services and private sectors related to community development. In her most recent role as Program Officer with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Tameeka supports local communities with improving the “Quality-of-Life” by connecting them to the resources they need and deserve. In her previous role, Tameeka oversaw the Community Benefits Program and supported with the implementation of the Community Health Needs Assessment at Saint Anthony Hospital. Tameeka has a nine-year-old son “Joshua” whose has motivated her to keep pushing for the betterment of neighborhoods across Chicago and beyond!

  Tracie Hall is the Director of the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program. Prior, Tracie served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) for the City of Chicago where she oversaw the Arts and Creative Industries Division which included the Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music Industry, and Farmers Market programs, as well as the Chicago Film Office.

Hall has also served as Vice President of Strategy and Organizational Development at Queens Library in New York; at Boeing Company’s Global Corporate Citizenship Division where she worked as Community Investment and later as Chicago Community Investor; as Assistant Dean of Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science; as Director of the Office for Diversity at the American Library Association; as a visiting professor across the country.
A poet, fiction writer and playwright, Hall is a Cave Canem fellow and the recipient of various awards and residencies for her writing, creative and community work. Holding degrees from the University of California, Yale University and the University of Washington, Hall was born and mostly raised in South LA. She is Founding Curator of experimental arts space, Rootwork Gallery and continues to make time to serve on various non-profit boards and committees.

Tiffany McDowell, PhD is a community psychologist and thought leader committed to identifying and eliminating systems that push people to the margins of society. She understands the multiple ways that our current structures create barriers to wellness. Tiffany serves as Director of the Equity Institute at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, and is co-founder of the Chicagoland Equity Network, where she convened a diverse membership to advance a common equity agenda across Cook County. Tiffany’s passion for social justice and equity drives her approach to ensuring that all voices are valued. Much of her work is focused on building capacity of organizations, community residents, and other stakeholders to develop strategies and action plans toward equity and inclusion.  

Tiffany holds a PhD from The Ohio State University in Human Development and Family Science, specializing in couple and family therapy. She received a MS in Child and Family Studies from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and a BS in Psychology from Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ellen Moiani is currently a Senior Organizer for the Noble Network of Charter Schools. Ellen began her career as a 2008 Corps Member in Teach for America, teaching kindergarten and first grade for 5 years in Greenbelt, Maryland. She became an instructional coach for Teach for America. This led her to Chicago, where she taught kindergarten for 2 years at Herzl School of Excellence in North Lawndale.

Ellen went on to become a LEE Policy and Advocacy Fellow at the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and then became a LEE Community Organizing Fellow with Noble Network of Charter Schools, which is where she is working today. Ellen has come to realize that it is the sharing of experiences and stories that lead to changes. As a result, Ellen has lived out this work as a Special Service Area Commissioner for the SSA #63 in West Humboldt and leads work at her church, St. Teresa of Avila, centered around social justice. 

Ellen has a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, with a minor in Theatre Studies. She also has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University.

  Emily Reusswig is a nonprofit leader with over ten years experience in strategic leadership, philanthropy, and mission-based messaging for arts and cultural organizations. She joined the Chicago Cultural Alliance as Executive Director in early 2015 and has led the creation of a number of successful programs and initiatives, including Inherit Chicago, a citywide intercultural festival of art, ideas and performance that increases awareness of and engagement in regional cultural heritage centers. Previously, Emily worked as Development Director of the place-based spectacle company, Redmoon, and Executive Director of The Inconvenience, a multi-disciplinary arts syndicate. Emily’s work focuses on how arts and culture can create healthier, more equitable communities in Chicago, specifically centering on strategic collaboration and activating existing neighborhood space – whether in parks, cultural centers, or community spaces. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

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