This panel discussion will share learnings from a collaborative, equity-focused, community-centered grantmaking process in a purpose-built community in southeast Raleigh. In 2021 the John Rex Endowment (JRE) funded the Kaleidoscope Project to partner with DHIC, a developer of affordable housing, for a place-based intervention focused on supporting children’s social and emotional well-being. Rather than maintaining its traditional authority to make decisions about improvements to its properties, DHIC identified a team of residents to gather input from their neighbors and decide how to invest the Kaleidoscope Project funding in their community. With guidance from the Kaleidoscope Project and DHIC staff, the team of neighborhood “Ambassadors” chose to have a mural installed in their housing complex. The Ambassadors led the process from data collection, through creating an RFP and choosing an artist, to working with the artist on the concept for the mural. This panel presentation will include staff from the John Rex Endowment, the Kaleidoscope Project, DHIC, and a community member from the Beacon Ridge Community for an honest conversation about ‘turning philanthropy on its head.” Panelists will share their experience participating in this innovative project that shifted decision-making power away from the Endowment to the community members impacted by its philanthropic investment.
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