Programs & Events

Mission Investors Exchange Impact Experience

A journey toward equity in impact investing.

Members Involved
Join us for the Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) Impact Experience. This two-day virtual program for foundation leaders of MIE member organizations provides an opportunity to work alongside fellow mission-driven investors to learn how to best steward capital, rebuild portfolios, and make decisions that are more equitable and just. Participants will also unpack implicit bias and structural racism in impact investing, and co-create solutions to these and other challenges across systems of philanthropy and asset management.
Applications were due July 9, 2021. Applicants were notified of their acceptance no later than July 13, 2021 and will be provided with information on how to register once their application is accepted. The cost of the program is $1,500. If you would like to attend the MIE Impact Experience but are unable to do so without financial support, please reach out to Karla Moreno at [email protected] to inquire about a limited number of scholarships available for this program.
Through longstanding partnerships with Illumen Capital, Impact Experience has worked in over 30 communities, leveraged more than one trillion dollars in assets, and influenced the redirection of these funds to address issues of racial and gender bias; and has engaged more than 2,500 participants to co-create strategies to increase equity over a range of fields and industries.
This unique experience will allow a group of 25 foundation board members, CEOs, CIOs and others, guided by professional facilitators and guest provocateurs and infused with cultural offerings and a virtual tour by local partners in Montgomery, Alabama, will use the historical period of 1880-1949 to more deeply understand present-day structural racism and its relevance to participants' investment practices. The events will build the capacity of participants to reduce bias toward women and people of color within philanthropy and asset management.
On September 30 at 12 - 6:45PM ET  and October 1 at 12 - 5PM ET, participants of the MIE Impact Experience will: 
  • Engage, critique, and assess methods through which to examine core thematic areas, including: bias, racial privilege in asset management, and philanthropy. 
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of implicit bias and how philanthropy and asset management are influenced by these factors.
  • Participate in an environment of trust and connection with facilitators, speakers, and fellow impact investors in order to take action and catalyze new opportunities for change.
  • Deepen the understanding of the legacy of slavery, mass incarceration, and present-day manifestations of the economic and societal structures that continue to uphold and perpetuate racism, inequity, and injustice.

If you have questions about this program, please contact Karla Moreno at [email protected].

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The MIE Impact Experience provocateurs provide a framing context around racial inequities within philanthropy and asset allocation. Provocateurs contribute an element of storytelling and lived experience that challenges and encourages participants to reflect more deeply on their own lives and work. During this unique experience, provocateurs will share:
  • Experiences that shaped them and how that shaped their work
  • Leverage points and opportunities for achieving racial equity in the context of philanthropy and investing
  • Signs of hope or points of leverage that can be applied more broadly
President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation
Judy Belk is president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation (Cal Wellness), one of California’s largest public health philanthropic institutions. With nearly $1 billion in assets, Cal Wellness awards approximately $43 million annually in grants and program-related investments that promote health equity, justice and advocacy for communities and individuals whose lives and wellness are too often determined by their race, income, immigration status or where they live. Throughout its twenty-seven year history, Cal Wellness has played a leadership role in promoting violence prevention as a public health issue and is one of the nation’s leading philanthropic voices in funding gun violence prevention efforts. Belk leads the foundation in pursuing its mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California, with a core belief that access to quality health care is a human right. Belk is also a board member and officer on the Cal Wellness board of directors.
Belk uses her vision and her voice to help Cal Wellness fulfill the vision of functioning as a social justice public health funder. Under her leadership, the foundation invested $13 million in two new initiatives to address health issues that disproportionately impact women of color and launched a mission-related investing strategy to leverage more of the foundation’s financial resources. She strives to integrate Cal Wellness’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion into every aspect of the foundation’s operations.
Prior to joining Cal Wellness in 2014, Belk served as senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a global nonprofit founded by the Rockefeller Family committed to helping donors be thoughtful and strategic in their giving; and as vice president of global public affairs at Levi Strauss & Co. where under her leadership, the company was awarded the first Ron Brown Award for Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility for its fight against institutional racism.
A prolific writer and speaker on organizational ethics, race, and social change, Belk has been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio (NPR) in addition to other news outlets.
Belk currently serves on the boards of the Surdna Foundation, a national New York-based family foundation, and Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat on Whidbey Island in Washington state that promotes women’s voices and social change. She also is a member of the Northwestern University Council of One Hundred. She has previously served on the boards of the ACLU of Northern California, the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Belk received a BS in communications from Northwestern University and an MA in public administration from California State University, East Bay where she was recognized as the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Belk was inducted in the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame in recognition of her writing and public service leadership. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
Jim Casselberry
Chief Investment Officer, 4S Bay Partners LLC and Board of Directors, Julian Grace Foundation
Jim is the Chief Investment Officer at 4S Bay Partners, LLC with the primary focus being on impact and mission-related investing. Jim is a board member at the Julian Grace Foundation and on the investment committee. Jim is also a board member of Arc Chicago, LLC, the appointed board of Benefit Chicago. Benefit Chicago is a collaboration between The Chicago Community Trust, the John D, and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Calvert Foundation. Jim has joined the board of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). Jim has written several white papers, most recently “Why Not the Best? Capturing Alpha from a Long-Neglected Market.” Jim has held senior roles at NexTier Companies, LLC and Dearborn Park Group, LLC (DPG), these firms offered strategic consulting advice to investment management and financial services firms. Prior to DPG, he was a principal at Ennis Knupp and Associates Inc. and served as the primary consultant and managed consulting assignments for some of the nation’s largest public pension funds, foundations, and endowments.
During his career, Jim has held leadership positions with Trias Capital Management, LLC, Wedgewood Capital Management, Inc., and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He began his career at First Chicago Corporation and Arthur D. Little Valuation, Inc. Jim has been an adjunct Professor at Valparaiso University teaching in the College of Business MBA program and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Jim sits on several philanthropic boards including Mosaic Genius, American Friends of Hebrew University, Morehouse College (Trustee), and the National Urban League (Trustee). Jim received a BS degree in economics from the University of Illinois and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Daryn Dodson
Managing Director, Illumen Capital and Co-Founder, Impact Experience
In addition to his managing role with Illumen Capital Daryn is a cofounder at Impact Experience, an impact venture capital and private equity firm that combines cutting-edge research and immersive place-based experiences to generate financial returns and systems-level impact. Daryn also consults for the Board of the Calvert Funds, a $13 billion mutual fund and pioneer of the Socially Responsible Investment field, to manage its Special Equities impact investing program. Prior to Calvert, Mr. Dodson served as Director Of University and Corporate Partnership for The Idea Village, where he created a platform engaging leading private equity firms, business schools, and Fortune 500 companies to invest more than 100,000 hours and $2 million into more than 1,000 New Orleans entrepreneurs post-Hurricane Katrina. Daryn started his career at the Center for Responsible Lending. There, he built a coalition of national banks and faith-based institutions to educate Congress on reforms needed to stabilize the subprime lending market and protect low-income homeowners from predatory lending. Daryn currently serves on the Board of Directors for Ben & Jerry’s and chairs its Audit Committee, which measures the company’s social impact in 35 countries globally. Daryn is a board member of Impact Hub DC and Vice Chair of Heifer Foundation Board. Mr. Dodson earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Public Policy from Duke University.
Trustee, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Paula Pretlow has served as a Trustee of the Weinberg Foundation since January of 2018. Ms. Pretlow has built a career helping company leaders maximize shareholder and stakeholder value—negotiating hundreds of millions in revenue across her career. She is a former senior vice president of The Capital Group, a $2.1 trillion privately held investment management firm. While there, she headed the firm’s public fund business development and client relationship group and was also responsible for large client relationships.
Ms. Pretlow is passionately involved on nonprofit and foundation boards, including The Kresge Foundation; Northwestern University, her alma mater; and her synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El, in San Francisco. In the private sector, she serves as an independent trustee on the board of an investment fund and is a director of Bitwise Industries.
She holds a B.A. in political science from Northwestern University and an MBA in finance and economics from the University’s Kellogg School of Management. She is a 2017 fellow of Stanford University’s Distinguished Careers Institute and has co-taught design thinking at the University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the “”).
Ms. Pretlow has been recognized with The Women’s Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Aiming High Award, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Wall of Fame Humanitarian Award, and the National Council of Jewish Women’s Outstanding Humanitarian Award. A frequent speaker on leadership and diversity, appearances include Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences convocation and Groundbreakers: Women in Leadership Summit, where she shared the stage with Gloria Steinem and Ali Wentworth. Ms. Pretlow is currently writing stories about her life and has discovered a hidden talent: improv!

Guest Speakers

Josephine Bolling McCall, Author, The Penalty for Success
Just weeks before Christmas, 1947, Josephine Bolling was five years old and learned that her father, Elmore Bolling, just 39 and the father of seven was dead. Elmore Bolling was a leader in Lowndes County’s black community, had established himself as a man who volunteered to serve the less fortunate and had worked hard to build a small trucking business and provide for his family and others.
In a moving and important book, The Penalty for Success: My Father Was Lynched In Lowndes County, Alabama, Josephine Bolling McCall tells the story of the murder of a black man in 1940s Lowndes County, Alabama. She reveals the scheme to cover up a “lynching” and presents convincing evidence that her father had been lynched, although he was not hanged, mutilated, or burned before a crowd of people. Elmore Bolling was shot six times in the front of his body with a pistol and once in the back with a shotgun.
After years of research, including interviews with relatives and elderly Lowndes County residents, Josephine Bolling McCall sought and found answers to many troubling questions that she had about her family, especially about events in her father’s life. Her journey of discovery presents a revealing narrative of a time, a place, and a people that challenges us to rethink the reality of life for both blacks and whites in a rural, southern community.
Ms. McCall is a retired nationally certified school psychologist. She was the first black president of the Alabama Association of School Psychologists and the first black person to serve as Alabama’s delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. She is the president of The Elmore Bolling Foundation which she founded to preserve the legacy of her father.
Michelle Browder, Founder and CEO, More Than Tours
Michelle Browder is an artist, founder of More Than Tours, CEO of B the One Productions, and founder of I Am More Than, a nonprofit youth empowerment initiative using art and story as a way to shift narrative and catalyze empowerment. For many Montgomery visitors, she has become the face of the city, Michelle’s funky, bright red cat-eye frames are now a familiar sight as she drives tourists around Alabama's capital city in addition to tours from Montgomery to Selma. She hails from a legendary family of long-time community activists in Montgomery, Alabama. Michelle's father is the first black prison chaplain in the state of Alabama, appointed by George Wallace. Her aunt, Aurelia Browder was the plaintiff in the 1956 U.S. District Court case Browder v. Gayle, in which bus segregation was ruled unconstitutional.
Kevin King, Executive Director, The King’s Canvas
Kevin King is a native of Mobile, Alabama. He, his wife Nicole and daughter Kaiya currently reside in Montgomery, Alabama. Kevin and his family live in the Washington Park neighborhood and their passion is to love, serve, and share life with others for the purpose of transformation and redemption as leaders are developed and empowered in their community.
In 2013, Kevin's wife and daughter gifted him art supplies for Father's Day. Nicole's statement to Kevin boldly suggested that she was officially taking away his excuses not to create. That following July Kevin’s wife broke her wrist and he played nurse for a full week after the surgery. He got bored during the times that Nicole rested, so he decided to put those paint supplies to use. After re-engaging in the arts after sixteen years Kevin found a new place of freedom and peace in using his creative talents. Kevin desires for all creatives to experience joy, freedom and the benefits that he receives when he creates. He is a selfless individual who relentlessly opens doors for others once he realizes that others do not have the same opportunities.

Guest Musician

Eric Dozier, Musical Artist
Eric Dozier is the former Musical Director for the world famous Harlem Gospel Choir and the co-founder and Director of Arts and Education for One Human Family Music Workshops, Inc. As a cultural activist and music educator, Eric has been assisting communities in developing creative, inspiring contexts from which to launch campaigns of dynamic service to humanity for the last twenty years. His work stems from a deep belief that music is much more than entertainment. It is a social force, a means, and modality for social change. Through his interactive workshops, lectures, and performances, Eric continues to embody his commitment to spirited, informed, and creative conversation around the divisive issues that threaten to undermine the fellowship of the human family.
He is a graduate of Duke University, holds a Master’s in Theological Studies from Duke Divinity School and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Tasmania.

Illumen Capital and Impact Experience Staff

Jenna Nicholas
CEO and Co-founder, Impact Experience
Jenna Nicholas is the CEO of Impact Experience which is focused on addressing the very critical (and timely) issues of structural racism and incorporates a variety of powerful tools to tackle prejudice by confronting and engaging with the historical and ongoing realities of inequality and racial bias. We apply insights from and combine elements of the disciplines of systems transformation and organizational development, design thinking, and somatic psychology and experiential learning curricula that builds bridges not only between organizations but between people. In doing so, we increase awareness about the persistent nature of structural racism and the imperative to overcome it. Impact Experience tackles society's most pressing issues including post-hurricane rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, Houston and Puerto Rico, workforce training programs in former coal economy-driven communities in West Virginia, building capital in people of color and women-run businesses, equitable and inclusive investment processes in Opportunity Zones, and supporting sustainable agriculture practices in rural Georgia. Jenna is also the Vice President of One Planet VC where she invests in early stage businesses in transformative industries, such as education technology, marketplaces, media and the future of mobility. Jenna formerly founded Phoenix Global Impact, a firm that specializes in impact investing, social entrepreneurship and strategic philanthropy.
Through her firm, she project managed Divest-Invest Philanthropy, a coalition of foundations, divesting from investments in fossil fuels and reinvesting in new economy solutions. Jenna spoke at TedX Portland about the Divest-Invest work.
Jenna has also worked with the World Bank Treasury on green bonds and other sustainability projects and with Toniic helping to support an impact investing community. She has worked closely with the Calvert Special Equities team and is an advisor to the Nexus Global Youth Summit and Ethic, an online impact investing platform. Jenna graduated from Stanford University with an International Relations Honors Degree during which time she also read International Development at Oxford University. Jenna is a Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA graduate, is a PD Soros Fellow for New Americans, recipient of the Stanford Social Innovation Fellowship, an Echoing Green Fellow, Forbes 30 under 30 for Social Entrepreneurship and a Summit fellow. Jenna has special links with China and co-taught a course at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management on Business Ethics, Sustainability and Impact Investing. Jenna also co-chairs the Emerging Leaders Council of LISC, a community development finance institution. Jenna is the Vice President of Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs. She is an active member of the Bahá'í Faith.

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