HERE to Listen: Listening for Racial Equity Impact

HERE to Listen

HERE to Listen: Listening for Racial Equity Impact in Philanthropy is a custom workshop for foundations looking to build and deepen their equity-centered practices. 

Rooted in ProInspire’s Leadership Model for Race Equity Impact, the program guides participants through day-to-day practices that embody racial equity values so that they can better show up in conversations with colleagues, grantees, and community members. By interrogating and disrupting biases and mental models, and committing to building trusting relationships in their work, foundation staff apply a racial equity and power analysis to their listening, communication, and feedback styles. Participants in the custom program will end the session with a personalized accountability plan to continue to deepen their practice of racial equity. 

The tailored HERE to Listen program is typically 8 hours, and can be delivered to your team, department, people leaders, or full staff in-person or virtually over the course of one or two days. Inquire here to learn more about how we can customize HERE to Listen for your team!

Is your foundation…

  • Needing support on how to embed racial equity in your organization’s culture?
  • committed to centering the voices and perspectives of people who have been most impacted and made “least heard” by systems of oppression?
  • Grappling with how the philanthropic sector yields and wields power?
  • Seeking intentional time for reflection, team-building, and action steps to apply in your day-to-day work?

If you said yes, bring ProInspire in to guide your team through our HERE to Listen: Listening for Racial Equity in Philanthropy workshop. You’ll discover why listening—with a power and race analysis—is a core skill leaders in philanthropy must adopt to advance racial equity and shift power.

Why HERE to Listen?

For decades, philanthropy has been “here” to solve; “here” to set priorities for communities; “here” to define success or evaluate impact. We invite foundation staff to consider an alternative—“here” to listen—through the acronym:

Honor lived experience

Exemplify equity

Responsive and


Over the course of our workshop, your team will be introduced to exercises and reflection prompts that support you to practice and move towards embodying the HERE model. 

Sample activities include exploring how your identities impact how and what you hear (and what might be blocked); understanding what it looks and feels like to be heard, seen, and respected; or, identifying how power shows up within your organization and externally with community partners and grantees. 

If facilitating in-person, you’ll also get access to our Here to Listen conversation card deck, which offers a suite of practices, examples, and prompts to foster reflection, encourage dialogue, and define new ways of advancing equity and shifting power in our work (you can access the virtual version of this card deck here).

4 here2listen cards
A preview of our HERE to Listen cards developed from ProInspire’s participation in Fund for Shared Insight’s Funder Listening Community of Practice

Program Outcomes

  • Understand how your lived experience and aspects of identity shape your listening 
  • Examine and explore how high-quality listening shows up within your leadership of self, interpersonally with people, and communities
  • Explore ways to create and assess processes of accountability to embody high-quality listening and building trusting relationships
  • Practice how to apply a racial equity lens and power analysis in philanthropy

Preview HERE to Listen: Experience the curriculum in action!

We’re excited to offer a preview of HERE to Listen in a modified version on Thursday, June 20. In this preview, you’ll be able to experience the key learning objectives of the program and be introduced to the principles and mindsets of equitable listening in service of racial equity. 

The session will be from 1-5pm ET | 10am-1pm PT, with breaks. For participants who enroll and attend this preview session, we’re also offering optional drop-in office hours on Friday, June 21 between 1-3pm ET | 10am-12pm PT with our facilitators to get practical advice or support with applying the framework to your day-to-day work, and to answer any questions about how to bring this full program into your foundation. 

In Partnership with Shared Insight 

HERE to Listen was conceptualized as part of ProInspire’s participation in Fund for Shared Insight’s Funder Listening Community of Practice, which included representatives from seven philanthropy support organizations and intermediaries around the country. We are deeply grateful to this community and the feedback, problem-solving, and collective learning that has happened together. 

Fund for Shared Insight is committed to building a culture and practice of high-quality, listening and feedback that supports foundations and nonprofits as they partner with and share power with the people and communities at the heart of their work. In addition to the Funder Listening Community of Practice, Shared Insight supports projects including a “Funder Action Menu,”a resource for foundations implementing listening practices throughout their organizations, and #Listening4Equity, a space to examine and promote listening in service of equity. Shared Insight also created and launched Listen4Good, its signature initiative offering expert tools, coaching, and resources to nonprofits seeking to build equity-based, client-focused feedback loops to help them listen and respond to those they serve.

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