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Empower By Example

How many times have you wanted to volunteer or reach out to a disenfranchised community, but your stopped yourself? Why are you hesitating? Fear? Maybe shame or guilt? Those emotions are coming from your ego, and your ego is not a good enough reason to hide your light.

Today is the day you take that step to empower others. Today you will recognize what you have in common with those living unstable lives.

You have discovered Empower by Example with Laura Rock where we are redefining traditional philanthropy and we need your help. Listen here for new ideas – programs that are pushing boundaries, moving the needle and creating real change. We will be giving you action steps and we want to hear your takeaways!

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Empower By Example, Episode 11: Jake Goodman, Executive Director of The Opportunity Fund Part 1

We have touched on the dark side of philanthropy on this podcast before, but Jake and I take a deep dive here. How did we get here and how do we do these jobs with the knowledge that our daily lives are surrounded by privilege? And what does it look like to work with us? Our organizations have many parallels, but we are at different phases in our process creation.

The Opportunity Fund was established upon the death of Gerri Kay to continue her life’s work. Opportunity Fund awards grants to small to midsize arts organizations, and  organizations and initiatives that advance social and economic justice. They have a two-step application and the they grant in two cycles each year. They try their best to be as transparent as possible. Their grant application process is steeped in humanity, and the way they operate as neighborhood partners has won the hearts of funders and grant applicants alike.

What is social justice? For Jake in the case of philanthropy, in each area they fund there is also a status quo and it is benefiting some and leaving out others. We mention the latest report on  Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race and we agree that the work being done by organizations like New Voices Pittsburgh. When organizations meet with us to educate us, their perspective becomes part of the lens we use to determine which programs will be effective. I explain to Jake that since they took time away from their day to educate me, so I felt the need to try to come up with an hourly rate.

Join us for the second half of this interview on 11/25 where we talk about navigating imposter syndrome.

Laura Rock

Laura Rock In 2017 Laura founded The Rock Family Foundation to serve young women of color who are exiting foster care and other county run services. Going from for-profit sales to non-profit management was a huge switch, and Laura found ways to pull in the strategies and benchmarks from her past career into the private foundation.

Empower By Example, Episode 12: Jake Goodman, Executive Director of The Opportunity Fund Part 2

In our second episode with Jake Goodman from The Opportunity Fund, Jake and I talk openly about our personal struggle with imposter syndrome. As Jake states, in almost everything that we fund, people are going to do even if they don’t have access to the funds. We realize that ...

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Empower By Example, Episode 10: Michael Yonas, Director of Research and Special Initiatives for The Pittsburgh Foundation

Michael strives to cultivate culturally sensitive opportunities for informing interventions that reflect the priorities of communities, organizations and other stakeholders. His most recent efforts have focused on examining the influence of stress on health, systems for serving the homeless, and strategies for promoting community and school safety. He is influenced ...

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