ASCEND:BLO Network Event at The Silicon Valley Community Foundation
BLO Network events are a key component of the ASCEND:BLO initiative, providing peer networking, learning, and community building to all BLOs in the Bay Area. On Friday, May 17th, 2019, The Silicon Valley Community Foundation hosted a networking event for Black Led Organizations in the South Bay with the goal of supporting BLOs from Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties in building relationships and collaborations through connections with one another, as well as with funders. Representatives from 50 BLOs attended along with local funders and allied organizations and heard Nicole Taylor, CEO of SVCF, announce SVCF’s $75,000 commitment to ASCEND:BLO. In addition to Nicole, other speakers included James Head and Byron Johnson from EBCF, Milan Bilanton, Executive Director of the African Community Services Agency in San Jose, Thurman White, Board Member of SVCF, and Erica Wood, Executive VP for Community Impact for SVCF. Along with the great energy in the room, SVCF awarded three $1,000 pop-up grants at the event and attendees participated in a facilitated network session and a live poll exercise facilitated by Teng & Associates, our program evaluation team. The live-polling results confirmed that the networking platform is a pathway for BLO leaders to build a collective voice as over 99% of the participants found that the networking event met their expectations and the majority of BLOs indicated they are interested in more in-person networking and learning opportunities to get to know each other, hear new perspectives, share stories and concerns, and identify new opportunities and resources for their work.
For more information about the ASCEND:BLO initiative, contact Byron Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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