Social Equity Track

Field Trips (pre conference Tuesday, March 13th, 12:00 - 4:00 PM)

1) Disrupting Displacement: Affordable Housing in the Bay Area

Organized by The Caprock Group and San Francisco Foundation

Steeply rising housing costs in the Bay Area are putting historic pressure on low-income residents to relocate from their communities. More than 60% of low-income households in the region are experiencing or at risk of displacement. How can impact investors promote development without displacement? Join us for an interactive affordable housing tour and learn how both non-profit and for-profit housing developers are using blended capital models to develop housing for low-income residents. The tour will include stops at three innovative affordable housing projects in Oakland – Tassafaronga Village, California Hotel and Fruitvale Village.


  • Ener Chiu, Associate Director of Real Estate Development, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
  • Nick Flores, Director of Impact Investing, The CAPROCK Group
  • Christina Garkovich, Chief Development Officer, Project Access Resource Center
  • Zach McRae, Program Associate, The San Francisco Foundation
  • Erin Patch, Chief Operating Officer, The Unity Council
  • Isela Rosales, CAIA, Managing Director, Bridge Investment Group
  • Annabelle Sibthorpe, Resident Services Manager, Project Access Resource Center

2) Exploring Oakland’s Cultural Hubs: Art, Tech and Entrepreneurship

Organized with Kapor Center for Social Impact and Beneficial State Foundation

Join us for a walking tour of downtown Oakland and explore the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Tour dynamic community hubs that are driving social change in the region. Learn about how local leaders are promoting an equitable tech ecosystem, see social entrepreneurship at work and experience Oakland’s flourishing art scene. Stops on this engaging walking tour include Kapor Center for Social Impact, Impact Hub Oakland, Oakstop and Beneficial State Foundation.

  • Cedric Brown, Chief of Community Engagement, Kapor Center for Social Impact
  • David Jackson, Interim CEO, Impact Hub Oakland
  • Trevor Parham, Founder and Director, Oakstop
  • Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank

3) State of Emergency: Addressing the Homelessness Crisis in Oakland

Organized with California Wellness Foundation and The California Endowment

In major cities across the country the homelessness population is on the rise, leading local governments to declare states of emergency. The problem is especially acute in West Coast cities with booming regional economies and surges in the number of people living on the streets. Cities like Oakland, where the homeless population has jumped 25% in two years, are strategizing how to humanely solve the homelessness crisis. Join us for a discussion about investing in the built environment as a place-based solution to ending homelessness, with a focus on transitional age foster youth and formerly incarcerated people. The tour will take participants to visit leading homelessness advocates, an innovative architecture and real estate development firm, and a local black church with plans to use their land to address the crisis.


  • Sonja Fitz, Director of Development and Marketing, Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency
  • Kyle Rawlins, Co-Founder and Development Director, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
  • Pastors Maria and Brondon Reems, Center of Hope Community Church
  • Deanna Van Buren, Founder and Design Director, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces


1) Practitioners Institute:

Workers and the Future of Work (Pre Conference, Tuesday, March 13th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

Open for Practitioner Members Only

The nature of work is quickly evolving due to advances in technology and shifts in social priorities. What are the opportunities for investors to meaningfully impact workforce training, job quality, and workers' equality across the supply chain? How will artificial intelligence and data platforms change our assessments and planning decisions about environmental management? Ultimately, where does a growing workforce fit into a rapidly developing, technologically-driven world? Join our panel of innovative thinkers and industry experts in conversation about how investors and grantmakers can affect the Future of Work.

  • The Future of AI and  Work

    Whether we realize it or not, artificial intelligence is already a part of our daily lives through the growing use of smart technologies. Make no mistake, AI is already colonizing communities across the Earth. Over the next few years our partnerships with artificial intelligence will become more and more apparent. We will increasingly find ourselves consulting and communicating with data platforms to tap aggregating networks, enhance planning, and inform critical decisions. In this session we will explore how AI will be used across a variety of investment themes to change the ways that all types of workers work.


  • Kate Starr, Chief Investment Officer, Flat World Partners (moderator)
  • Marina Gorbis, Executive Director, Institute for the Future
  • Arjan Schütte, Founder and Managing Partner, Core Innovation Capital
  • Investing in an Equitable Workforce

    The typical career trajectory has already changed from a lifetime under one or two employers, to shorter-term or temporary work, or to independence through the gig economy. Changes in corporate employment practices, a deficit in skill or meaningful employment, and attitudinal changes are prevailing factors that determine the ways individuals access work. In this session we will explore a variety of solution-based investor approaches that are promoting quality jobs across the supply chain, fostering workplace transparency, and enhancing the meaning of work.


  • Carmen Rojas, CEO, The WorkersLab (moderator)
  • Victoria Fram, Managing Director, VilCap Investments, Village Capital
  • Jamie Merisotis, CEO, Lumina Foundation
  • Alison Omens, Managing Director, Programs and Strategic Engagement, JUST Capital
  • Chemain Sanan, Partner, Humanity United


2) Art, Culture, and Impact (Wednesday, March 14th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM)

Art and culture are central catalysts for change, able to build community and a sense of place across political and social divides. Art and culture also disrupt social norms, provoking needed public discourse and shining a light on some of our darkest spaces. Where are impact investors in this transformative dynamic, and how can we show up in ways that are truly supportive? This plenary brings together a panel of provocateurs to engage with us around these questions in entertaining and compelling ways.


  • Jeff Chang, Executive Director, Institute for Diversity in the Arts (moderator)
  • W. Kamau Bell, Comedian, Host: United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell
  • Deborah Cullinan, CEO, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 
  • Steve Oliver, President, Oliver & Company

Closing Remarks

  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus 


1) Maintaining Inclusive Growth in Urban Economic Development (Wednesday, March 14th, 1:30 – 2:45 PM)

Organized with Pegasus Capital Advisors

This session will explore best practices in urban design and development to ensure inclusive economic growth.  In particular, it will focus on revitalization of existing distressed urban areas, while avoiding the negative impacts of typical gentrification.  We will explore key elements of inclusive economic growth including: best practices in community engagement; creating opportunities for the underserved; creating and maintaining wealth within the community; sustainable building and infrastructure design; and affordable housing. Case studies will be presented that demonstrate both lessons learned and success stories.  Metrics and approaches to monitor and evaluate investments in inclusive economic growth will also be discussed. 


  • Delilah Rothenberg, Operating Advisor, ESG & Impact, Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. (moderator)
  • Stephanie Gidigbi, SPARCC Policy, Capacity, and Systems Change Direct & Senior Advisor, Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Naomi Williams, Director of Impact, Renaissance Downtowns
  • Francesca Vietor, Senior Advisor, Donor and Development Services, The San Francisco Foundation

2) Integrated Capital and Gender Lens Investing (Wednesday, March 14th, 1:30 – 2:45 PM)

Organized with Nia Community Foundation, RSF Social Finance, and Threshold Group

Can impact investing and gender-lens philanthropy improve the health, education, economic empowerment, safety and rights of women and girls? Women are at the center of important movements and trends shaping the future of capital markets. Yet, these trends may not be realized without an intentional and coordinated approach to increasing women’s participation and leadership in impact investing. From training young women investors and donors, to a focus on diversity and inclusion, we will shed light on impact beyond products or services to impacting larger systems and communities.  The audience will get a real sense of how to incorporate a systems-thinking lens to help create a more inclusive economy through investments that have multiplier effects.


  • Deb Nelson, Vice President of Client and Community Engagement, RSF Social Finance (moderator)
  • Kristin Hull, Founder, Nia Community Foundation
  • Ruth Shaber, M.D., Founder & President, Tara Health Foundation
  • Tracy Gray, Founder and Managing Partner, The 22 Fund

3) Investing for Racial Justice (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)

Organized with Zevin Asset Management

Racial injustice is a stark reality for too many Americans and financial access is one of the main drivers of this injustice. Often overlooked and un-discussed, portfolio investments by company and fund affect equity-based outcomes. Join us to learn how your investment decisions affect communities of color, and explore practical examples from foundations and impact investors who are investing with an explicitly racial equity lens.


  • Sonia Kowal, President, Zevin Asset Management (moderator)
  • Andrea Dobson, Chief Operating & Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • Erin Harkless, Senior Investment Director, Cambridge Associates
  • James Rucker, Founder, The Color of Change
  • Thomas Yee, Initiative Officer-LA Thrives, Low-Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

4) Community Asset Building and MRI Performance (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)

Organized with Swift Foundation

We begin this session with the premise that Mission-related investments are mostly characterized by top-down agency, ownership and control by the capital providers, subjugating the expertise and wisdom of communities. This panel will propose strategic approaches to mission-aligned, community-driven transformation by challenging the divine right of capital and the premise that foundations must try to maximize financial returns. We will suggest that foundations have a duty to mission when they invest, and we will explore how this approach can be economically sound through collaborative decision making and by sharing returns in ways that are proportionate to contribution. The core proposition is to redirect mission-related assets from conventional investment vehicles to mission-aligned asset-building and reinvestment in historically disenfranchised communities such as indigenous and communities of color.


  • Leslie Christian, Integrated Capital Specialist, NorthStar Asset Management (Moderator)
  • Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Director of Programs, PUSH Buffalo
  • Regan Pritzker, Board Member, The Libra Foundation

5) Technology and Educational Equity (Thursday, March 15th, 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM)

Organized with Threshold Group and Avivar Capital

Impact investors are increasingly examining the role of technology in the classroom. In this session, we will discuss what the classroom of tomorrow might look like and how technology crafts that vision. In particular, we will delve into the potential for technology to play a key role  within the educational system by contrasting possible positive, or negative, outcomes. Finally, we will explore what the limits to technology. What other interventions are needed that technology cannot provide?


  • Stephanie Cohn-Rupp, Managing Director, Tiedemann Wealth Management (Moderator)
  • Tina Castro, CFA, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Avivar Capital
  • Rick Moss, Founding and Managing Director, Better Ventures
  • Gerald Pambo-Awich, Director-Strategic Initiatives and Impact Investments, Prudential Financial


Foundation Investments in Native America Luncheon (Wednesday, March 14th, 12:15 - 1:30 PM)

Join us for a conversation about philanthropic investments in Native American communities. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities to increasing access to capital for community development and social enterprise. Participants will also learn about current initiatives, including the Rainmakers Investment Collaborative and Wallace Global Fund’s investment in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.


  • Dave Castillo, CEO, Native Capital Access (moderator)
  • Brandy Davis, Investor Program Director, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Daryn Dodson, Managing Partner, Illumen Capital
  • Stanley Keasling, CEO, Rural Community Assistance Corporation
  • Joohee Rand, VP, Community Investment and Strategy, Santa Fe Community Foundation and Confluence Rainmakers Steering Committee Member

Racial Equity Luncheon (Thursday, March 15th, 12:45 PM)

To mark the launch of our Racial Equity Initiative, Confluence Board and Staff will lead a critical conversation with philanthropic leaders about diversity, equity and inclusion in the impact investing industry.


  • Shawn Ginwright, Trustee, The California Endowment, and Confluence Board Member (moderator)
  • Fatima Angeles, Vice President of Programs, The California Wellness Foundation
  • Erika Seth Davies, Acting Chief of Staff, Baltimore Community Foundation
  • Brandy Davis, Investor Program Director, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Sonja Velez, CFO, The San Francisco Foundation