EPIP Day One

The first day of the 2010 EPIP National Conference in Denver is over and it went great. The theme for this year’s conference is “Building a Movement, Making an Impact” and that’s exactly what over 100 young philanthropists are interested in doing. Even a little bit of snow in April couldn’t stop the excitement!

Yesterday marked the start of the conference and included a great opening session with Robby Rodriguez, the Executive Director of the Southwest Organizing Project and co-author of a book called Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership (all participants were lucky enough to get a free copy). In his talk Rodriguez talked about the issues within the non-profit sector with respect to leadership change and generational shifts between baby boomers, generation X and Millenials (like yours truly). I’m hoping that I can get a copy of his slides which goes into a bit more detail and if so I’ll be sure to provide a link to it. Probably my favorite quote from the session was “The world is seriously jacked up and we have to fix it.”

Following Rodriguez, we heard from Cynthia Gibson, who has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as a consultant and senior staff person for national nonprofits and philanthropic institutions. Gibson talked a little bit about her new effort called the “Generational Change Initiative” which will examine these trends and how the definition of philanthropy and social justice will shift as we see dynamic changes in the workplace. Gibson also talked about what she called “a perfect storm of whiteness” when it comes to the lack of diversity amongst nonprofit leadership and what efforts must be made in order to combat this problem.

The rest of the weekend’s sessions will be featuring some great diverse and multi-generational speakers. There are various learning tracks on philanthropic effectiveness, generational change and social justice philanthropy, interactive workshops, free career counseling, and a joint afternoon session with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, who is also in town for their annual conference. Sunday’s keynote speakers include Benjamin Todd Jealous, President & CEO of the NAACP.

If you aren’t in Denver, don’t worry you are not out of luck and can still participate. Thanks to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, EPIP is offering a free livestream of the conference content. You can check out the stream schedule, and join the conversation by chatting, tweeting, facebooking of blogging the conference from wherever you are. If you’re following the ocnversation or participating on Twitter, the hashtag is #epip10.