Philanthropy’s Visionary Response to COVID-19: Accelerating a Just Transition in a Moment of Crisis

Thank you to all who joined us! If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into clear light the systemic injustices created by the extractive, capitalist economic system driven by profit at all cost, which has enabled massive wealth accumulation and fueled extreme wealth inequality. Within this system, only those with means are able to receive what they need to survive and thrive, while whole communities that have long lived on the margins are experiencing disproportionate negative impacts to their health, their financial security and their very lives.

Given this reality, it is clear that any immediate response in this moment must also advance a long-term vision of justice and liberation. The grassroots social justice movements that have long been organizing for a Just Transition toward a regenerative economy are the most strategically positioned to both address the immediate needs of our communities while simultaneously transforming the systems and structures that fuel the extractive economy.

Similarly, philanthropy must go above and beyond the short-term responses of creating rapid funds and reducing the burden of grantmaking processes. This moment provides an opportunity for a more radical and visionary response by philanthropy to advance a Just Transition — one that matches the level of boldness and urgency that our movements are calling for.

Not surprisingly, the philanthropic institutions that had already been embodying a Just Transition through their grantmaking and investment practices before this crisis began, are the ones that have been able to respond in ways that not only address the immediate needs of the communities they support, but also re-imagine philanthropy’s role in building a regenerative economy by redistributing wealth, democratizing power and shifting economic control to communities to achieve our shared vision of a just and thriving world. 

Please join us for a conversation with movement and philanthropic leaders about how we can use this moment of crisis as a turning point for leveraging significant change toward building a regenerative economy rooted in cooperation, collectivity and deep democracy. We will hear from movement leaders who are utilizing their COVID-19 rapid response efforts to deepen and strengthen their Just Transition practices, and funders who are using this moment to accelerate a Just Transition for philanthropy.


  • Nwamaka Agbo, Nwamaka Agbo Consulting
  • Jennifer Near, Justice Funders
  • Solome Lemma, Thousand Currents
  • Alan Preston & Cynthia Renfro, Arch Community Fund
  • Crystal Hayling & Regan Pritzker, The Libra Foundation
  • Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities & Seed Commons


Date: April 28, 2020
Address: Webinar
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm PT