Who We Are
The Convergence Partnership is a national funder collaborative that is led by eleven national, statewide, and local foundations and multifunder initiatives: The California Endowment, Chicago Community Trust, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Elevated Chicago, Health Forward Foundation, Foundation for Louisiana, Kansas Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Stupski Foundation is a Contributing Member of the Partnership.
Lead staff includes:
Amanda M. Navarro
Amanda M. Navarro is an accomplished senior leader working at the intersection of racial justice and health equity for almost 25 years. As Executive Director, Amanda is leading the next chapter of Convergence Partnership in focusing its efforts and investments that amplify the power and leadership of people of color and shift power structures within philanthropy and government toward racial justice and health equity. Along with an incredibly committed team, Amanda helped guide and manage the Partnership for 13 years inside PolicyLink, where she served as Chief Impact Officer helping to advance and accelerate the organization’s impact strategy. During her time at PolicyLink, Amanda worked closely with philanthropic institutions and government agencies at the local, regional, and national levels to increase investments and sharpen grantmaking strategies that deliver equitable results for low-income people and communities of color, as well as trained hundreds of diverse leaders and groups across the country on a range of strategies to advance racial justice and health equity. Before joining PolicyLink, Amanda worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amanda holds a master of public health from Boston University and a doctor of public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.
Director of Programs
Michele Silver has worked in non-profit, academic, and government settings at the intersection of racial justice and health equity for nearly two decades. As the Director of Programs for Convergence Partnership, Michele works to help advance the Partnership’s vision and strategic priorities, increase the Partnership’s grantmaking capacity, and deepen the Partnership’s commitment to an anti-racist, intersectional, equitable, and participatory approach to grantmaking that resources Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color-led grassroots organizations and networks on the frontlines of transformational racial justice and health equity work. Michele first started working with Convergence Partnership in 2017 as a Senior Associate at PolicyLink. While at PolicyLink, in addition to Convergence Partnership, Michele worked to support various projects, initiatives and learning cohorts related to health equity, and equitable policies, systems, and philanthropic practices. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Michele spent several years working in food policy in New York City, conducting evaluation research of community-based food equity interventions in low-income BIPOC neighborhoods. Michele holds a master of science in urban policy analysis and management from The New School’s Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment.
The Partnership is governed by a Steering Committee, made up of representatives from each member organization. The Steering Committee’s charge is to determine the strategic priorities and investments of the Convergence Partnership, and serves as:
- Champions for racial and health equity;
- Investors in the work of Convergence;
- Influencers of philanthropy;
- Storytellers to advance inclusive and antiracist narrative change for a national racial justice and health equity agenda; and
- Amplifiers for a national racial justice and health equity agenda.
A Look Back: Convergence Partnership Steering Committee Members Over the Years
Kaiser Permanente (2007-2020), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2007-2019) served as the founding members of the Convergence Partnership. They were joined by Nemours (2007-2021), the California Endowment (2007), the Kresge Foundation (2008), Ascension Health (2011-2016), the Rockefeller Foundation (2012-2014), and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (2015-2020). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) served as the Partnership’s technical advisor (2007-2018). The Tides Foundation managed the Convergence Partnership Fund at Tides (2007-2020). PolicyLink served as Program Director of the Partnership (2007-2022) and Fiscal Sponsor (2020-2022).
In centering racial justice and health equity in all practices and decision-making processes, the Steering Committee acts in accordance with the following principles:
- Transparency: We commit to open and transparent dialogue, with an emphasis on continuous feedback and early sharing of information, to increase the level of trust within and outside the partnership.
- Risk-Taking: We take bold actions to advance racial justice and health equity, leaning into innovation to chart new paths forward for philanthropy.
- Flexibility: We remain focused on long-term vision and strategies while consistently learning and evolving to stay nimble and responsive to short-term demands.
- Inclusion & Power Sharing: We honor lived experience and community voices to drive transformative solutions, and commit to shifting and sharing power.
- Mutual Accountability: We cultivate honest and authentic relationships that allow for mutual benefit, vulnerability, and growth to deliver on transformative outcomes.
- Alignment: We work strategically within the larger ecosystem of philanthropic racial justice and health equity efforts to add value and expand impact.
The California Endowment
The California Endowment (TCE) is a not-for-profit, statewide private foundation whose mission is to build a healthier California for all. TCE was established in 1996 when Blue Cross of California acquired the for-profit subsidiary WellPoint Health Networks. Today, with more than $3 billion in assets, The Endowment is the largest private health foundation in the state. TCE supports non-profit organizations that are building power to remove health disparities in California. TCE focuses on empowering the most disenfranchised communities of color in the state that have been disproportionately affected by unhealthy systems and policies. To accomplish their mission TCE is focused on three bold ideas: People Power, Reimagining Our Institutions, and a 21st century “Health for All” system.
The Chicago Community Trust
The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) is a regional community foundation established over 100 years ago to effect lasting change that moves the entire region forward. Their approach centers on both tackling the region’s immediate needs and addressing the root causes of deep-seated issues to make a tangible, lasting impact. Today, the region’s biggest challenges stem from racial and ethnic wealth inequality—and it will not be able to realize its potential until this systemic issue is addressed. As a result, CCT is focusing all discretionary funds to address the region’s fundamental challenge: racial and ethnic wealth inequity. They will achieve this by connecting philanthropy, addressing critical needs, building collective power, catalyzing neighborhood investment, and growing household wealth.
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Since 1919, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (CFGB) has been committed to helping individuals, families, and organizations make their charitable goals a reality. The foundation’s mission is to connect people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York, creating a vibrant and inclusive Greater Buffalo region with opportunity for all. The Community Foundation is in a unique position to facilitate collaborative and long-term transformative change by co-creating solutions to community challenges based on the community goals identified in the current strategic plan: to improve educational achievement and workforce readiness for residents living in low-income households; o Increase racial/ethnic equity; to protect and restore significant environmental resources and promote equitable access; and to strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts and culture.
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help individuals throughout the world living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage. The Foundation invests in 11 program areas, including providing access to safe water, supporting transition age foster youth, ending chronic homelessness, hospitality workforce development, disaster relief and recovery, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS, and supporting the work of Catholic sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants, distributing $110 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2019. Foundation assets increased from approximately $2.9 billion to $6.6 billion following the 2019 passing of Barron Hilton who, like his father, pledged virtually his entire estate to the Foundation. For more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
Elevated Chicago is a coalition of BIPOC-led community-based organizations, CDFIs, civic partners and other institutions advancing Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD) in communities across Chicago. Founded in 2017 through a grant from the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), the Elevated Chicago collaborative invests in, advocates for, and changes narratives about ETOD in Chicago and nationally. Elevated started its work investing eHubs, areas within the half-mile radius of seven Chicago Transit Authority stations and is now expanding its reach to stations and bus routes citywide in close collaboration with the City of Chicago.
Health Forward Foundation
Health Forward Foundation was established in 2003 as the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. To bring its vision of healthy people living in healthy communities to life, Health Forward is working with partners to address health equity through economic inclusion. . The foundation partners with more than 150 organizations to ensure that its funding has the greatest impact in the region, using the foundation’s unique position as an independent, informed voice to spark awareness about wellness and prevention where it matters most. Current grantmaking is focused on the areas of mental health, safety net, and healthy communities.
The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 with a single but extraordinary mission: To promote human progress. Kresge works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development nationally and in Detroit, Memphis and New Orleans. In collaboration with its nonprofit, public, private and philanthropic partners, Kresge helps create pathways for people with low incomes to improve their life circumstances and join the economic mainstream. The foundation prioritizes strategies that take a long-view approach while staying flexible to adapt to new trends, concentrating its work in cities, where more than 80% of the U.S. population lives.
Kansas Health Foundation
The Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) creates strategies and develops partnerships to improve health for all Kansans, by reducing health disparities and focusing on health equity. We envision a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play, and invests in the following areas: access to care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement, and educational attainment. KHF works closely with other health foundations, nonprofit groups, community foundations, state agencies, universities, hospitals, communities and advisory groups to develop programs and find answers to complex health issues.
Foundation for Louisiana
Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) is a social justice philanthropic intermediary founded in 2005 as the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation to invest in the immediate recovery of Louisiana’s communities after Hurricane Katrina. While FFL was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the founders recognized the need to address the longstanding inequities that have shaped life outcomes for the most marginalized of Louisianans. FFL’s programs grew in response to these needs and now focus on racial justice, climate justice, criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, LGBTQ organizing, and support for Louisiana's vibrant arts and culture via investment, power building, and collaboration. The foundation believes that Louisiana residents should have the tools that they need to advocate for meaningful social change--all programs include an opportunity for residents to build skills and connections that allow them to play a key role in local decision-making processes.
Sierra Health Foundation
Sierra Health Foundation is a private philanthropy that forges new paths to promote health, racial equity and racial justice in partnership with communities, organizations and leaders. We are committed to reducing health disparities through convening, educating and strategic grantmaking. The Center at Sierra Health Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in 2012 to deepen the foundation’s impact statewide and eradicate health inequities across the state, especially within the underserved San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley Health Fund, a program of The Center, has committed more than $13 million since 2015 for organizations throughout the Valley in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties to improve health and well-being by advancing programs and policy changes that promote community health and racial equity and racial justice for all.
Stupski Foundation is a private spend-down foundation that is investing all of its assets by 2029 so one day everyone can benefit from the wealth of opportunities and resources in the places they call home. The Foundation recognizes that the challenges communities face are interconnected and urgent and too many members of our communities, especially people of color and individuals from low-income backgrounds, face systemic barriers and are left out of opportunities in their own backyards. The Foundation focuses on food security, postsecondary success, early brain development, and serious illness care in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, and Hawaiʻi.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF is committed to ensuring all children, families and communities – regardless of race or income – have opportunities to reach their full potential. They do this by advancing three interconnected priorities: thriving children, working families, and equitable communities. The foundation works throughout the U.S. and with sovereign tribes concentrating up to two-thirds of its grantmaking in priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and in Central and South Haiti.