Racial Equity Investing: Opportunities for Foundations

Complimentary for Exponent Philanthropy members / $40 non-members

As the damaging impact of centuries of structural inequity and prejudice comes to the forefront of our national conversation, many members of the philanthropic community have leveraged their grantmaking to empower organizations that are working on the frontlines to bring balance to an unjust system. To maximize impact, funders are looking beyond their grantmaking dollars and considering how to leverage the entirety of their philanthropic assets as an engine for social justice.

In this discussion, Essma Bengabsia will share the outcome of her research on racial equity investing: an investment approach that seeks to close racial disparities in wealth and expand access to opportunities, resources, and decision-making for communities of color. Additionally, John Church will illustrate how he has worked with investment committees toward building consensus around impact goals and ultimately implementing this strategy in foundations’ investment portfolios. Through this conversation, we will seek to answer questions including:

  1. How have both historic and modern-day policies shaped the current environment of racial inequities and wealth disparity, and what is the cumulative effect of these policies over time?
  2. What investment approach can the philanthropic community take to empower diverse talent, seek investment opportunities that are high-impact for marginalized communities, and simultaneously seek a meaningful financial return to support their grantmaking?
  3. How can foundations approach these discussions productively and ultimately begin to implement racial equity investing in their portfolios?

We highly encourage you to ask questions in advance and to arrive with any items you would like to discuss. After the brief presentations, we will provide an open forum during which we invite you to actively engage in discussion and Q&A.


      Essma Bengabsia
      Senior Associate, Sustainable and Impact Investing, Glenmede

      Essma is responsible for researching and identifying sustainable and impact investment opportunities in global public markets. Essma holds a degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business and completed both Harvard Business School’s HBX Core Certification and Ethica Institute’s Certified Islamic Finance Executive program. Essma is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and board member of the American Muslim Community Foundation.

      John Church
      CFA Director of Endowment and Foundation Impact Portfolio Management, Glenmede

      John provides investment advice and portfolio management for endowment, foundation, and nonprofit clients, particularly those with impact-aligned mandates. He is responsible for portfolio construction, sourcing impact-aligned investment strategies, and implementing new technologies and best practices to help clients achieve their mission. Prior to this role, John served as a Portfolio Manager and provided investment advice for nonprofit clients. John earned a degree in business from Skidmore College. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder and an active member of the CFA Society of Philadelphia.

      Who Should Attend

      This program is open to foundation donors, trustees, and staff; individual donors; donor advised fund holders; and members of giving circles.

      Registration and Other Policies

      Please register, even for complimentary programs. Prior to the webinar, you will receive your unique webinar access information. By registering for this program, participants are agreeing to Exponent Philanthropy’s Participant Guidelines. Please contact us by email or at 202-580-6560 if you have any questions.

      Members can access past webinars in our webinar archive.

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