Convening

Thank you so much for attending the Hello Neighbor Network 2021 Convening. Save the date for next year's Convening which will be held on March 30, 2022.

You can review the full agenda from our 2021 event below and check back here for updates on next year's event.

Countdown to 2022 Convening

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April 13-15, 2021

April 13th, 2021: REFOCUS (Members Only)
April 14th, 2021: REIMAGINE (Free and Open to the Public)
April 15th, 2021: RECHARGE (Invite Only)
2021 Convening Speaker Photos Preview page 12021 Convening Speaker Photos Preview page 2
Our Why

Grassroots leaders of nonprofits have been stretched thin, overworked and under resourced. This has been especially true for those working with refugee and immigrant populations over the last four years. The divisive impact on local communities has caused immense inequity particularly for our newest neighbors and aspiring Americans.

The Hello Neighbor Network Convening is an opportunity for leaders and aspiring leaders interested in refugee and immigrant resettlement, innovation, and nonprofit success to learn from the work of others, ask questions, engage in dialogue, and celebrate together in time we often feel far apart. You will leave feeling connected, supported, and empowered to move forward in your mission to build more inclusive communities across the U.S.

What to Expect

This isn’t your typical day on Zoom. Our virtual convening is a two and a half day event of learning, inspiration, and growth with one day (April 14th, 2021) open to the public. 

Our keynote speaker, Nilofer Merchant, is one of the leading business thinkers in the U.S. and her opening remarks on Onlyness will ground you in the one spot only you can stand as a function of your history, experiences, vision, and hope. The sessions that follow will provide various lenses to give you a new perspective from that spot. The agenda includes panel conversations on racial healing and relationship building; fireside chats on belonging, the impact of COVID on women, storytelling, and more. 

We are taking every opportunity to think creatively and embed interaction and connection throughout the day with a yoga/meditation to start the morning, musical guests and poets in the evening for cocktail hour, and time on the virtual “shuttle bus” to get to know other attendees in breakout rooms.

Including special remarks from Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey Jr., Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf, and Mayor of Pittsburgh Bill Peduto

April 13th, 2021 Agenda: REFOCUS
Members Only
5:00-6:30 p.m. EST
What We Bring With Us
Facilitated by Todd Connor, Founder of Bunker Labs

Hello Neighbor Network Members gather for an opening session to connect, get to know one another as leaders and humans on a deeper level, and set your own intention for the subsequent days of the convening. You will walk away with a new frame to understand your fellow members and a fresh perspective on your work heading into the next two days of sessions.

6:30-7:00 p.m. EST

Close the day over mocktails and cocktails (BYOB) while listening to music from incredible global artists and connecting with other convening attendees.

April 14th, 2021 Agenda: REIMAGINE
Free and Open to the Public
Registration is required. Please use the link below to register for the day. 
9:00-9:30 a.m. EST
Yoga for Social Justice
Alecia Dawn Young, Founder of YOGAMOTIF & Joy Facilitator
Sponsored by Nugo

Attendees gather for an antiracist-centered yoga and meditation practice to start the day with a clear intention of equity and open-mindedness. Practice with your camera on or off to cultivate a posture of presence throughout the day of sessions.

11:00-11:15 a.m. EST
Welcome
Sloane Davidson, Founder & CEO of Hello Neighbor

A formal welcome to the 2021 Hello Neighbor Network convening. Learn about the work of the Hello Neighbor Network and the purpose of the convening—for grassroots leaders to feel empowered and connected in order to better achieve their missions.

11:15-12:00 p.m. EST
Keynote: The Power of Onlyness
Nilofer Merchant, Business Strategist & Best-Selling Author

Onlyness. It’s the source of all new ideas. Each of us stands in a spot in the world only one stands in. And from that spot—from our history and experience, as well as visions and hopes—we each add our bit to the world. Even if some of those experiences are not as “perfect” as we might want, they are a source of what one creates. As we understand our Onlyness, we know to whom we belong, and how to add our bit to the world. Actively engage with Nilofer Merchant’s renowned perspective on onlyness including a presentation and Q&A. You will have a new lens and framework for all the sessions that follow.

12:00-12:45 p.m. EST
How Deep Relationships Can Strengthen Your Mission
Moderated by Susan McPherson, Founder & CEO of McPherson Strategies
Panelists: Sabrina Hersi Issa (award-winning human rights technologist, CEO of Be Bold Media), Tina Tran (Director of Business Development, Microsoft), Hitha Palepu (CEO of Rho Pharmaceuticals and Founder of Hitha on the Go)

Facilitated by Susan McPherson, a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert as well as a founder, CEO, and author of “The Lost Art of Connecting”, this panel focuses on the power of building deep relationships over the course of a lifetime and how those relationships strengthen your mission. Susan will facilitate a conversation with leaders in relationship-building and storytelling including an award-winning human rights technologist focused on global advocacy and media innovation and an investor, entrepreneur, author, and CEO.

12:45-1:20 p.m. EST
Lunch: The Dialogue Continues
Sponsored by VisitPITTSBURGH

A series of lunch breakout rooms for Q&A and continued dialogue. Participants will have the chance to pre-register with their preference of breakout room. Following the panel, enjoy an open conversation with leaders in the field.

1:20-1:45 p.m. EST
Break
1:45-2:00 p.m. EST
Shuttle Bus Conversations
Sponsored by VisitPITTSBURGH

Connect with other attendees on the “shuttle bus” between sessions, recreating the opportunity for chance encounters and connections at in-person events.

2:00-2:45 p.m. EST
Fireside Chat: The Nature of Belonging

Hear a conversation between a leading researcher on social contact theory, Linda Tropp, and the Founding Director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging, Wendy Feliz. They will discuss the nature of belonging and how to bring people together to welcome aspiring Americans in communities. Leave with examples of approaches that work and ways to be part of a national conversation.

3:00-3:30 p.m. EST
Fireside Chat: While the Earth Sleeps We Travel
Ahmed Badr, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Former Iraqi Refugee; Jessica Goudeau, Bestselling Author

Tune in to a conversation between Ahmed Badr and Jessica Goudeau about the complexities of migration, identity and self-expression. Learn about Ahmed’s work as a poet and social entrepreneur to reframe and reclaim the power of tragedy and his latest book “While the Earth Sleeps We Travel.” Ahmed will be interviewed by Jessica Goudeau, author of “After the Last Border” which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice book.

3:30-4:00 p.m. EST
Fireside Chat: A Woman’s Place
Gayatri Agnew, Senior Director at Walmart and Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code

Hear a conversation between a member of Walmart’s Global Responsibility leadership team and first Asian American woman to hold office in the state of Arkansas, Gayatri Agnew, and Founder of Girls Who Code and first Indian-American woman to run for Congress, Reshma Saujani. They will discuss the current state of economics for women—given COVID, employment numbers, and the particular impacts on low-income women and women of color, including those with language access challenges like refugees and immigrants —and they will share what actions they think need to happen next including Reshma's call for a Marshall Plan for Mothers.

4:00-4:45 p.m. EST
Racial Healing Panel
Moderator: Wasi Mohamed, Senior Policy Officer, The Pittsburgh Foundation
Panelists: Christina Blacken, Founder of The New Quo; Jerry Hawkins, Executive Director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation; Tammy Thompson, Executive Director of Catapult Greater Pittsburgh

Truth and Reconciliation Commissions have been a common response for decades around the world in the wake of civil wars and mass atrocities. Refugees around the world from South Africa to Canada are familiar with this process of perpetrators acknowledging acts of violence transparently and how it can offer solace and healing for survivors and communities. In the U.S. today and for hundreds of years prior, our communities need racial healing and reconciliation. Learn from panelists working in communities about how they bring together individuals, families, and communities to heal and grow.

4:45-5:15 p.m. EST
Cocktail Hour
Music by Clerel
Sponsored by Scratch and Co.

Close the day over mocktails and cocktails (BYOB) while listening to music from incredible global artists and connecting with other convening attendees.

April 15th, 2021 Agenda: RECHARGE
Invite-Only

Registration is required. Please use the link below to register for the day if you receive an invitation with a code to do so. If you have questions, please reach out to rachel@helloneighbor.io

9:00-9:30 a.m. EST
Yoga for Social Justice
Alecia Dawn Young, Founder of YOGAMOTIF & Joy Facilitator

Attendees gather for an antiracist-centered yoga and meditation practice to start the day with a clear intention of equity and open-mindedness. Practice with your camera on or off to cultivate a posture of presence throughout the day of sessions.

11:00-11:15 a.m. EST
Welcome
Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO of Hello Neighbor
11:15-12:00 p.m. EST
A Conversation with Eskinder Negash
Eskinder Negash, President & CEO of USCRI
Interviewed by: Ron Brownstein, Journalist and Political Correspondent

Be a part of this important conversation led by Ron Brownstein with Eskinder Negash, the President and CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) an organization founded in 1911 to protect the rights and address the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide. With nearly 40 years of nonprofit management experience, the two will discuss the ways communities work together to support migrant transitions to dignified lives.

12:00-1:00 p.m. EST
Lunch Break
1:00-2:00 p.m. EST
Advice to Make Your Grant Application Stand Out: A Panel with Local Funders
Moderated by Anne Marie Toccket, Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh
Panelists: Mark Bibro, The Birmingham Foundation; Tracey Armant, The Grable Foundation; Chris Ellis, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Grassroots organizations rely on partnerships with local philanthropic leaders. Listen in to a panel of local Pittsburgh-area funders as they discuss what makes a grant application stand out. They'll share insights about the most important things for grassroots organizations to consider and demonstrate and how to establish a great relationship with philanthropic partners.

2:00-2:30 p.m. EST
Fireside Chat: Charting a New Path
Tao-Ming Lau, Agent and Founder of Blue Crane Agency; Yassin 'Narcy' Alsalman, Founder/Educator/Multi-Media Artist

Listen in to this conversation led by Tao-Ming Lau, Founder of Blue Crane Agency, called "the woman changing the face of Canadian music" for the way her agency has made space for marginalized artists. Her label of artists (roughly 80% from diasporic and immigrant communities) includes Yassin 'Narcy' Alsalman who is an Iraqi-Canadian musician, actor, professor, and multimedia artist. The two will discuss the influence of artistry, storytelling, and business on charting new paths and expanding possibilities.

2:30-3:30 p.m. EST
Bringing it Home
Facilitated by Todd Connor, Founder of Bunker Labs

Hello Neighbor Network Members gather for a closing session to reflect on the three-day experience and walk away with an intention to carry the work forward with a new perspective.

3:30-4:00 p.m. EST
Cocktail Hour

Close the day over mocktails and cocktails (BYOB) while listening to music from incredible global artists and connecting with other convening attendees.

April 13th and 15th Private Day Registration (forthcoming)

Additional information about member-only sessions on April 13th and April 15th will be available here soon.

Generously Sponsored By

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