What will it take to advance equity in the social sector workforce?
Many innovators are making great strides in understanding institutional and system-level barriers to diversity in social sector leadership and creating frameworks for change. During this panel discussion, national leaders will share promising trends in equity, diversity, and inclusion, and discuss the opportunities and challenges on the horizon.
Moderator: Jane Pirsig, executive director, Aurora Family Service
- Monisha Kapila, founder and CEO, ProInspire
- Marcus Littles, founder and senior partner, Frontline Solutions
- Sean Thomas-Breitfeld, co-director, Building Movement Project
- Adrian Haro, managing director, The Workers Lab
Response from local leaders:
- Walter Bond, executive director, Teach for America
- Ralph Hollmon, retired executive director, Milwaukee Urban League; and board president, America's Black Holocaust Museum
Founder and CEO
Monisha Kapila is the founder and CEO of ProInspire, a nonprofit that activates leaders at all levels to accelerate equity at the individual, organizational, and systems levels. Rooted in the belief that leadership and equity are key to the systems change needed to maximize social impact, ProInspire designs and delivers cohort programs, fellowships, workshops, coaching, research, and convenings. Founded in 2009 and based in Washington, D.C., ProInspire runs programs in six cities across the U.S. and is a co-founder of Equity in the Center and the Impact Fellowships Summit. The Chronicle of Philanthropy named ProInspire one of seven nonprofits to watch in 2015.
Kapila previously worked for Capital One, Accion, CARE, and Arthur Andersen. She has a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School, where she received the Dean’s Award, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Michigan. Kapila is a board member of the National Human Services Assembly and AchieveMission, a nonprofit talent consulting firm. She has written extensively about equity and inclusion, leadership, and career paths in the nonprofit sector. Kapila has been recognized as one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40, a Harvard Business School Leadership Fellow, an American Express NGen Fellow, and one of America's Leaders of Change.
Founder and Senior Partner
Marcus Littles is a visionary leader, a sought-after thought partner, and an organizational strategist. He founded Frontline Solutions in 2005 to help the Ford Foundation and other key partners determine the best use of a multibillion-dollar investment in Gulf Coast recovery after Hurricane Katrina. He has also served as an instrumental leader in directing philanthropic investment at the intersection of race and gender. He was integral in launching the Executives’ Alliance to Expand Opportunities for Boys and Men of Color, a network of over 40 national, regional, and community foundations working together to redefine opportunity for boys and men of color, their families, and their communities.
In 2016, Littles was named one of 25 Disruptive Leaders Who Are Working to Close Racial Opportunity Gaps by Living Cities. Prior to founding Frontline, he worked for TCC Group, the Ford Foundation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Littles is a graduate of Auburn University. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Delaware.
Building Movement Project
Sean Thomas-Breitfeld is the co-director of the Building Movement Project (BMP), a national organization developing research and resources to support—and push—the nonprofit sector to be more progressive. Since joining BMP as co-director, he has led the organization in shifting the focus of its research on nonprofit leadership to address the nonprofit racial leadership gap. He also has led the development of a series of tools and resources to increase the capacity of social service organizations to embrace community organizing and advocacy strategies.
Prior to joining BMP, Thomas-Breitfeld spent a decade working in various roles at the Center for Community Change, developing training programs for grassroots leaders, coordinating online and grassroots advocacy efforts, and lobbying on a range of issues including immigration reform, transportation equity, and anti-poverty programs. Before joining the Center, Thomas-Breitfeld worked as a Policy Analyst at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza). He earned a bachelor’s in social work and multicultural studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He then received a master’s in public administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, where he now serves as an adjunct assistant professor and teaches a course on race, identity and inclusion in organizations.