Engaging in Anti-Racist Conversations in Advancement



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Become more confident discussing issues of race and racism as an advancement professional. 


In the wake of multiple ongoing pandemics that occurred simultaneously with several high-profile events exacerbating racial tensions in the U.S., many institutions have attempted to commit to better addressing racial injustices. To be successful in this work, professionals across all areas of an institution must be capable of having difficult conversations about race and racism. Advancement professionals in particular play an important role in demonstrating an institution’s commitment to addressing racial inequities, through relationships maintained in their wide networks of alumni, external constituents, and donors.

Through this virtual training, you will gain a better understanding of why it is imperative to have discussions around race with external constituents for better philanthropic outcomes, examine your own comfort level with talking about race and racism, and practice skills that will translate into an action plan for engaging those stakeholders around these topics.

Who Should Attend

This training is for advancement and alumni relations professionals committed to better understanding the role racial equity can play in philanthropy, as well as for those who want to build their toolkit to facilitate more effective conversations about race and racism with donors, alumni, and other external constituents. Whether you are a new or experienced advancement professional, if you are looking to better contribute to your institution or department’s racial equity efforts, this program is for you.

If You Can't Attend the Live Event

You can still register to receive a recording of the live session that you can access anywhere, anytime.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


July 25, 2022

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Eastern

This three-hour virtual session will feature discussions around the following topics:

Understand the Importance of Race-Based Conversations

There is a significant amount of data relating to racial equity efforts and philanthropy that illustrates the importance of race-based conversations in advancement work today. You will consider this data, as well as some of the main ways in which racial inequity continues to be enacted through philanthropic norms today.

Examine Your Comfort Level and Identify Conversation Tools

Talking about race with donors and other external constituents requires you to be honest about your own comfort and skill levels related to engaging in conversations about race. You will be encouraged to reflect on your personal reasons for engaging in racial equity and anti-racism work as an advancement professional, discuss ways in which race plays a role in advancement work, and identify conversation tools that will better equip you to have conversations about race going forward.

Practice Using Tools and Create an Action Plan for the Future

After engaging in personal reflection and identifying conversation tools, you will have the opportunity to practice using these tools in small groups. You will learn how colleagues within the profession have addressed these conversations in the past and can then begin to create an action plan for how you yourself would like to better engage with donors, alumni, and external stakeholders in conversations about race and racism.


Portrait of Dhiraj Chand

Dhiraj Chand

Deputy Chief Philanthropy Officer for Principal Gifts, University of Utah

Specializing in higher-education fundraising, Dhiraj lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he is the Deputy Chief Philanthropy Officer for Principal Gifts at the University of Utah. In this role, he sits on the advancement leadership team and works to generate philanthropic support for health sciences, academic initiatives, donor relations, student programs, research activities, and presidential initiatives.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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