St. Croix Foundation Hosts Week of Community Building Activities Featuring Tuesday Ryan-Hart

CONTACT: DEANNA JAMES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
(TEL) 340.773.9898, (EMAIL) DJAMES@STXFOUNDATION.ORG
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 1, 2018

The St. Croix Foundation is hosting a week of activities geared at empowering organizations within the nonprofit sector and for the community at-large to become change agents. On August 6th and 7th, the Foundation will be joined by Tuesday Ryan-Hart, an internationally renowned systems change strategist who has worked with organizations and stakeholders engaged in community building. The Foundation has enlisted Ms. Ryan-Hart, who will be introducing the community to a new concept of community engagement, entitled “The Art of Hosting,” to help build capacity in our community through conversations and training around high impact collaborations and self-empowerment. The public is invited to RSVP at stxartofhosting.eventbrite.com for the Keynote Address,‘Re-Inventing Our Collaborations,’ which will take place on Monday, August 6, 2018 at the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Conferencing Center at the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center at 5:30PM.

On August 9th and 10th, the Foundation will host Edward Jones of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and the Black Social Change Funders Network. The Black Social Change Funders Network (BSCFN) is a network of funders committed to creating thriving Black communities by strengthening the infrastructure for Black-led and social change.

BSCFN’s purpose is “to build the institutional and political power of the Black community to make Black lives matter and for the Black community to thrive.”

In March, ABFE President & CEO Susan Taylor Batten visited St. Croix with a number of local philanthropy executives for the Foundation’s annual Funders Forum during which Batten gave a powerful preview of ABFE’s work around community power-building.

Edward Jones, ABFE’s Vice President of Programs, noted that “ABFE’s goal is to increase philanthropic engagement in St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas & Puerto Rico. And through BSCFN’s work around black-led and black-serving social change, ABFE is nurturing a shift toward greater social equity for black and brown communities.”

According to St. Croix Foundation Executive Director, Deanna James, “Over the course of the past year, the Foundation has been sponsoring convenings around the issues of civic leadership, collaboration and community vision building. Ms. Ryan-Hart and Mr. Jones represent the deepening of our commitment to sustained capacity building in our civic sector.”

An extension of the Foundation’s Nonprofit Consortium, which was launched in the summer of 2016 to nurture dynamic collaborations among local nonprofits, BSCFN’s and ABFE’s visit represents a strategic agenda for the Foundation to empower and support greater self-sufficiency and sustainability in local nonprofits.

Through recent convenings with the Southern Partners Fund and the NY Federal Reserve Bank, St. Croix Foundation recognizes that many political systems were established upon ideals that perpetuate inequity, and as such change cannot take place until deeply entrenched and inequitable systems are better understood and  then reframed  with equity as a principle and a practice.

“It is the Foundation’s belief that this kind of systems-change can only occur if we arm our community with the necessary information, tools and capacity to be active challengers to the status-quo,” James continued. “The work of Ms. Ryan-Hart, and separately the BSCFN, has the potential to positively impact our community by helping stakeholders identify their own voice and therein, their own power and capital.” James concluded.

During Ms. Ryan-Hart’s visit, the Foundation will be convening both community-wide meetings as well as smaller more intimate sessions with local nonprofit stakeholders. The first convening will be a Keynote Address on Monday, August 6, 2018, and is open to the general public, including private and public sector stakeholders. The Foundation will continue with private sessions with Ms. Ryan-Hart and ABFE’s BSCFN throughout the week specifically geared toward their partners in the Nonprofit Consortium.

The upcoming convening is sponsored in part through TEAM Consultants and the Foundation’s Hurricane Recovery CARE Fund. Since the hurricanes, the CARE Fund has awarded over $300,000 to local nonprofits during its first cycle of strategic grants and has secured an additional $275,000 for several other organizations through their national advocacy. Seeking to stabilize St. Croix’s civic sector so that vital nonprofit organizations can become powerful advocates and champions of social justice as well as an organized political power base, the CARE Fund will be awarding a 2nd cycle of grants in upcoming weeks.

St. Croix Foundation extends its deepest appreciation to Tuesday Ryan-Hart and the Association of Black Foundation Executives, and to St. Croix’s nonprofits who continue to provide vital services to our community while also moving the needle on entrenched social issues. Special thanks also goes out to the many corporate, foundation, and individual contributors who make St. Croix Foundation Nonprofit Consortium and CARE Fund possible.

For more information on the Foundation’s upcoming convenings, or to RSVP for attendance, please call the St. Croix Foundation at 340-773-9898 or email: jwilliams@stxfoundation.org.

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