Community Foundation's Isaiah Oliver joins international "We Give" panel discussion

FLINT, Michigan — The Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s President and CEO, Isaiah Oliver, will serve as a featured speaker at next month’s We Give Summit. He will join more than 40 philanthropy experts and change-makers from around the world for the 3-day summit. 

Tyeshia Wilson, Director of Engagement at Philanthropy Together, and Melissa Walker, Head of Giving Circles at The States Project, will join Oliver for a panel discussion titled, People-Powered Philanthropy: How Collective Giving is Protecting Democracy in Michigan. The conversation will explore how collective action and community engagement can influence democracy.

Participants will learn the benefits of collective giving and how it can motivate people and influence policy. In addition, participants will discuss ways to make change by leveraging partnerships. 

During the panel discussion, Oliver aims to share lessons and insights learned during the Flint Water Crisis. He says Flint captured the hearts and minds of many across America during the crisis which has brought attention to the Community Foundation’s work.

“As we have come together over the past several years to heal from this environmental injustice, the work of the Community Foundation has gained national attention by engaging community voices and being transparent in our grantmaking work,” says Oliver. “Our experiences helped us navigate through another crisis – the pandemic – and so we find ourselves sharing those challenges and opportunities as well.”

Flier for panel discussion.A graduate of Flint Northwestern High School, Oliver serves as Board Vice Chair of Community Philanthropy at the Council of Michigan Foundations and advisor to the Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy Affinity Group. He is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees at Central Michigan University. Locally, he has served on multiple boards and advisory committees including The Flint and Genesee Group Regional Leadership Council.

Anti-racist activist, author, and professor Dr. Ibram X Kendi will serve as a keynote speaker at the conference. In 2016, Kendi became the youngest writer to win the National Book Award for his non-fiction text “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.” He is the founding director of Boston University’s Center for Anti-racist Research and a contributing writer for The Atlantic

The summit also features activist and writer adrienne maree brown who co-hosts a podcast on emergent strategy practices. Brown studied African American studies at Columbia University; she is the co-founder of the League of Young Voters. Brown was a facilitator for the Detroit Narrative Agency and the Detroit Food Justice Task Force. 

The conference is hosted by Philanthropy Together which inspired We Give Summit 2023’s theme of Bolder Together: Uniting to Build a More Inclusive Future. 

The summit will be held virtually beginning on Tuesday, May 2; registration is free and open to all who wish to attend. Donations are accepted but not required. Attendees with a donation of $50 or more will receive a gift bag.

To learn more about We Give Summit, visit:
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