The Transform Finance Institute for Social Justice Leaders is a two-day, introductory training for those interested in the intersection of social justice and finance. Now in its fifth year, the Institute came out of a realization that social justice and finance are often at odds, even though we believe there is tremendous potential for them to be in sync for social good. 

The Institute exists to empower participants to understand, engage, challenge (and ultimately reclaim) finance as a tool for social justice. The Institute is not a "Finance 101" boot camp, there are plenty of free resources available to learn about risk and returns. The Institute provides a framework for the intersection of social justice and finance, where financial concepts are learned within the practical context of social justice efforts, not in a vacuum detached from the valuable work already being done in communities.

Through a mixture of humble facilitation, group exercises, technical knowledge, case studies, and the wisdom of participants and invited speakers, the Institute curates a shared learning environment that is unlike any other finance-focused training by providing a framing guided by people, not profits.

The Institute will begin with an overview of the larger financial sector, its key players, and the components of an investment, which serve as a foundation for us to dive deeper into several financial tools, such as (but not limited to):

  • Earned revenue strategies for your organization
  • Impact investing (PRIs, MRIs) by foundations
  • Shareholder advocacy to support your campaign
  • Community-governed capital funds
  • Raising capital for business or cooperative formation

Building on previous iterations, this year's Institute is much more than a two-day in-person training. To maximize our in-person time together, this year all attendees will participate in brief, offline activities in preparation for the Institute (e.g., light reading, discussion questions, etc.). We believe this shared background knowledge will allow us to hit the ground running in October.

Following the Institute, we will be hosting a Jeffersonian Dinner to reconvene participants. Since participants will be local to New York, we believe there is tremendous power and potential to reconnect, reflect, and go forward in community together. The dinner will be held on a weekday evening in November.

This year’s Institute for Social Justice Leaders will include:

  • Prep readings/virtual discussion (remote, required)
  • Two-day training (in-person, required)
  • 'Deep Dive' follow-ups, based on participant feedback (remote, optional)
  • Jeffersonian Dinner, to reconnect and reflect in community and plan individual next steps (in-person, required)

When: Fall 2018

Where: New York City*

Cost: TBD**

Application: Coming Soon

You should attend if you:

  • work at an organization fighting for social justice
  • are interested in learning how finance can be a tool for social good
  • can devote time to on/offline learning
  • want to build a network of like-minded peers
  • are based in/around New York City** 

You will walk away with:

  • understanding of the intersection of social justice and finance
  • fundamental knowledge of key financial concepts/terms, as they relate to your work
  • financial tools/approaches that you can use to further your social justice work
  • an informal network of like-minded peers devoted to social justice in New York
  • exposure to values-aligned experts and practitioners


Over the last four years, the Institute has trained more than 130 social justice leaders.

Notable Past Participants | Arab Cultural Center | Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality | BALLE | Bay Localize | CEJA | CERO | CoFED | Cooperation Jackson | Disability Rights Fund | Forward Together | Generation Waking Up | Movement Strategy Center | Mujeres Unidas y Activas | Oakland Grown | National Day Labor Organizing Network | Restaurant Opportunities Center | Roots of Success | Social Justice Learning Institute | Source International | United Roots | Urban Peace Movement | Youth SEED

Notable Past Speakers
Boston Ujima Project | Causa Justa :: Just Cause | Civic Insight | East Bay Community Law Center | Greenlining Institute | Inner City Advisors | International Development Exchange | LISC | The Working World | Mandela MarketPlace | NESRI | Next City | Nonprofit Finance Fund | Project Equity | People's Community Market | SITAWI Finance For Good



*Historically, our Institutes have been attended by people across the country. This time we are experimenting with keeping it local to New York City, to make it more accessible (eliminate travel/lodging costs) and develop an informal cohort working in a similar geographic setting.

**In the past, Institute fees were on a sliding scale ($450 - 850); to increase accessibility, we are determining how we can significantly reduce our fee. Your registration fee will cover tuition and all other education-related program services, breakfast and lunch on both days, and the Jeffersonian Dinner. Transportation and lodging will not be covered.



For inquiries, please email Eric Horvath, Program Manager for Community & Social Justice Partnerships, at