Putting Racism on the Table Series

Join your peers to explore key elements of racism and the role philanthropy can play in addressing racial inequity. As philanthropy works to make Ohio a better place for all, issues associated with race and racism can shape the effectiveness of efforts committed to issues as varied as education or housing, the arts or health. Explore how race-based preconceptions and actions, -- whether conscious or unconscious – contribute to disparate outcomes in our region and how philanthropy can respond.

The series, developed by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, is designed to build awareness with each session featuring a 1-hour video presentation by a nationally-recognized expert, followed by an in-depth, facilitated conversation among participants.

You will:

  • Gain a greater understanding of how racism contributes to disparate outcomes in our region;
  • Learn how philanthropy has played a critical role in supporting research and advocacy to address racism and racial inequity in the past; and
  • Explore what role philanthropy can play now and in the future.

Cost – The cost of this program series is being generously underwritten by The Columbus Foundation.

Philanthropy Ohio Members: $0 (including The Columbus Foundation staff, trustees and donors)
(valued at $120)

Eligible Non-members: $0 
(valued at $250)

Participation in the full series is encouraged in order to foster a shared understanding within the philanthropic community. We ask that you commit to attending at least three of the sessions as each one will build on the previous sessions. We also encourage CEOs to invite trustees and/or donors to register and join them.


Dates: May 7, June 3, July 8, August 5, October 7 and November 4

The Columbus Foundation
1234 East Broad Street 
Columbus, OH 43205-1453

Registration Deadline
Tuesday April 30, 2019

For Program & Other Staff
Time 9:00am – 11:30am

For CEOs & Trustees
Time: 2:00pm - 4:30 pm

Topic Dates:

Structural Racism – May 7
White Privilege – June 3
Implicit Bias – July 8
A Case Study on Mass Incarceration – August 5
The Racial Mosaic of America – October 7
The Role of Philanthropy in Addressing Racism and Racial Inequity – November 4

Discussion Facilitators

Dr. Melissa Crum is a diversity practitioner, artist, author, researcher, and founder of Mosaic Education Network, LLC. She leads a consulting company that infuses the arts, research, storytelling and critical thinking into professional development, community building and curriculum development. Dr. Crum helps participants shape healthy ways of thinking about themselves, their future and their connection to a diverse world. She has conducted professional development training, given presentations and facilitated projects across the United States and internationally. Dr. Crum earned a PhD in Arts Administration, Education and Policy and an MA in African American and African Studies from The Ohio State University.


Laura Smith, MPAregional director of programs & learning, develops and delivers educational and professional development opportunities that equip Ohio’s philanthropists with the tools, training and network needed to be change agents in their communities. She previously served as a Senior Program Officer with the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the corporate foundation of a not-for-profit health services company where she managed a portfolio of grants centered on healthy food access and healthy aging. A native of the Dayton area, Laura earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Athens and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.


Brian Frederick, Principal, Brian Frederick & Associates LLC., previously  served as the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Lorain County from 1998 to 2017. He holds a Masters in Social Work degree from Western Michigan University and he has served on numerous committees for Philanthropy Ohio and the Council on Foundations. Brian was the 2013 recipient of the Ohio Philanthropy Award and is the 2015 recipient of the Eric Nord Award for Excellence in Leadership. Brian currently consults specializing in organizational vision/ strategic thinking, design, and change; governance and board transformation; executive coaching; and diversity, inclusion & equity.As vice president, programs & learning,


Deborah Aubert Thomas provides vision and oversight for all Philanthropy Ohio educational programs. She previously served as director of grants and programs at the Princeton Area Community Foundation and has experience coordinating a diversity internship program for Women & Philanthropy. Deborah holds a Master of Arts from the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University and a Master of Science from the Milano Graduate School, New School University.