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No matter your approach to social justice, finance affects all of our work – and yet it continues to be inaccessible to most. The Institute for Social Justice Leaders is a unique opportunity to learn how to reclaim finance to serve the needs of your community. 

In its first four years, the Institute has brought together over 130 leaders, majority people of color, serving over 5 million individuals collectively. Over three days, participants learn how capital works, explore its relationship with communities, and imagine what it could do instead if grassroots leaders and activists were at the helm. 

For capital to become a force for good, we need social justice leaders like you to devise ways to engage with it and take it back. Come join us and add finance to your social justice toolbox!

Is the Institute for you?

Participants come from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds, from grassroots racial justice organizations to cooperative developers to national labor networks. The one common thread? All are dedicated to social justice and want to know more about the ways finance plays a role in their work. 

So, if you're wondering how foundation dollars directly or indirectly affect your organization, why enterprises in some communities get startup capital more than others, how you can steer capital towards your non-profit or for-profit organization, or anything else about the intersection of justice and finance, then YES, the Institute is for you!

Participants will leave the training with:

  • An orientation to the connection between social justice and capital flows
  • The basics of finance and the various investment instruments available to organizations, with a focus on impact investing and venture philanthropy
  • Three main social change strategies for capital engagement:
    • investments and earned revenue to supplement other funding sources 
    • market activity as a driver of social change outcomes
    • investor accountability for inbound capital flows

Past Participants and Speakers

Sample 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

Sample 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

More details, including dates and location, to come about this year's institute so stay tuned!

Check out our Institute for Social Justice Leaders Facebook page for more frequent updates, event announcements and other resources. 


We also provide a limited amount of scholarships so stay tuned for for more details about the application process!

Even if you won't be attending the Institute, you can still support the scholarships of other participants to ensure everyone has the opportunity to join us. Please donate through this Virginia Organizing platform by selecting Transform Finance from the dropdown menu. Any contribution is much appreciated!