About PRE

About the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity

The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) is a multiyear project intended to increase the amount and effectiveness of resources aimed at combating institutional and structural racism in communities through capacity building, education, and convening of grantmakers and grantseekers. PRE works to assist organized philanthropy to meet the overall community goals of racial equity.

Since its inception in January 2003, PRE has directly engaged hundreds of foundation representatives (including program staff, management, board members and individual donors) in discussions of racial equity and, in particular, how they can advance the mission of achieving racial equity through their own philanthropic institutions.  PRE has conducted local and/or regional events in the Northwest, West, Midwest, Northeast and Southeast, as well as a number of national events.

PRE is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 organization that provides administrative and infrastructure support to new emerging charitable organizations who share its mission of striving for positive social change.  PRE gratefully acknowledges major multiyear support from the C.S. Mott Foundation, as well as generous project support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Annie E. Casey Foundation.


PRE is directed by Lori Villarosa, who has worked within the field of philanthropy for more than 17 years.  Prior to launching PRE, Lori was a program officer with the C. S. Mott Foundation, where she worked closely with numerous organizations operating at local, regional, national and international levels from a diverse range of approaches.  She began working at Mott in 1991 and was instrumental in developing the Foundation’s U.S. Race Relations grantmaking portfolio, focusing on addressing institutional racism and building appreciation of racial and ethnic diversity.  Until her departure in 2002, she was responsible for ongoing strategic planning, program development and evaluation of more than $24 million in new grants. Her portfolio covered a broad spectrum of community-based, academic, advocacy and research efforts at a time when a number of new approaches were emerging due to the changing demographics and post-Civil Rights Movement redefining of racial equity work.

Lori frequently serves as an advisor or presenter on a range of issues related to racial justice, intergroup relations, and philanthropy. She has worked closely with a broad range of grantmaking institutions including national, international, community, corporate, family, and progressive membership foundations.  She currently sits on a number of boards, including the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, which focuses on economic development; education, and economic, social and racial justice throughout Arkansas; and the Paul J. Aicher Foundation.  She currently serves on the Program Committee of the Association of Black Foundation Executives and is a member of Hispanics in Philanthropy.  From 1997 through 2002, she served on the national board of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, as Chair in 2000-2002.

Advisory Board

PRE is guided by a diverse advisory group of nationally renowned and respected leaders from the various fields being bridged by this initiative, including community-based racial justice, civil rights, and philanthropy.

*Organizational affiliations listed for identification purposes only

Jacqueline Berrien, Associate Director- Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Lucy Bernholz, Founder and President
Blueprint Research and Design, Inc.

Ron Chisom, Executive Director
People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Field Director and Director of RACE Program
Western States Center

Keith Lawrence, Research Associate
Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change

Kien Lee, Senior Managing Associate
Association for the Study and Development of Community

Martha McCoy, President / Executive Director
The Paul J. Aicher Foundation / Everyday Democracy (formerly Study Circles Resource Center)

Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General

Makani Themba-Nixon, Executive Director
Praxis Project

Eva J. Paterson, Executive Director
Equal Justice Society

Gihan Perera, Executive Director
Miami Workers Center

john a. powell, Executive Director
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Rinku Sen, Executive Director and President
Applied Research Center
ColorLines Magazine

Robert Sherman, Program Director
Surdna Foundation

Arturo Vargas, Executive Director
National Association of Latino Elected Officials Education Fund


To ensure its work has broader and lasting impact, PRE is committed to partnering with affinity groups, funders, and nongovernmental organizations in a variety of ways, including co-sponsoring convenings that explicitly address issues of racial equity, conducting joint research, providing skills building workshops for grantmakers, or developing joint tools. Current and recent partners include: GrantCraft; Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change; Applied Research Center; Center for Social Inclusion; Institute on Race and Poverty; and Kirwan Institute for Race and Ethnicity

Related Affinity Groups

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy

Association of Black Foundation Executives

Hispanics in Philanthropy

Native Americans in Philanthropy



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