Sorkin Center

Compass Connect Conversations

Compass Connect Conversations, hosted by The Sorkin Center at Compass, are virtual gatherings of nonprofit leaders coming together to support each other – to share ideas, concerns, best practices and community.

To stay up to date on upcoming events, please reach out to Wendy Gualtieri at

Upcoming Events

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
January 28, 10:00-11:00 am (EST) – Register Here
What to consider and where to begin to develop a culture, policies, and programs that support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for your nonprofit.

  • Renetta McCann – Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe
    Renetta McCann has been recognized as one of the leading innovators and most influential executives in the advertising, marketing and media industries, with a global reputation for building brands and the organizations and leadership to sustain them. As Chief Inclusion Experience Officer for Publicis Groupe, she works to drive inclusion at all levels of the organization, with an emphasis on ensuring that the company’s clients are benefiting from the many strategic advantages that diverse teams deliver.
  • Grady Tripp – Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, TEGNA Inc.
    Grady Tripp is vice president and chief diversity officer for TEGNA Inc. where he oversees all aspects of TEGNA’s diversity strategy, including attracting, retaining and growing diverse talent at all levels of the company; developing training programs to enhance awareness and accountability in diversity issues; and facilitating the company’s racial diversity and inclusion employee working group.

Creating a Culture of Innovation
February 18, 12:00-1:00 pm (EST) – Register Here
How to grow and innovate your organization, team, and self during transformational times.
Panelist: Rishad Tobaccowala – Advisor, Author, Educator
Rishad is the author of Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data. He was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIMEmagazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators”. Rishad is a Senior Adviser to the Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communication firm with 80,000 employees, serving most recently as its Chief Growth Officer and Chief Strategist.

Past Events

Community Members Serving on Nonprofit Boards
Wednesday, November 18, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. ET
As many organizations are focusing on better understanding the communities they serve and becoming more inclusive, some nonprofits are exploring inviting community members to serve on their boards. Join us for a conversation about the benefits and challenges to bringing community members onto a board. Our panelists lead nonprofits with community board  members or advisory board members and we will hear their stories and look to identify best practices.

  • Vincent Keane, President & Chief Executive Officer, Unity Health Care
  • Brooke Kidd, Founder & Executive Director, Joe’s Movement Emporium
  • Lupi Quinteros-Grady, President & Chief Executive Officer, Latin American Youth Center
  • Dan Rhoton, Executive Director, Hopeworks N Camden
  • Schroeder Stribling, Chief Executive Officer, N Street Village

Allyship: Become a Bridge-Building Ally in Promoting Social Justice
Date: Friday, October 2 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET
Speaker: Whitney Parnell, CEO/Founder, Service Never Sleeps (SNS)
What does it mean to be effective allies in our work for racial equity? Guest speaker Whitney Parnell will lead an intensive, fast-paced presentation designed to explore how to use individual and collective areas of privilege to advance racial justice. Using SNS’ CLAIM framework (Care, Learn, Act, Influence, Maintain), this presentation will explore what it means to adopt an Allyship lifestyle.

The Critical Role that Nonprofits Play in the Fight for Social Justice and Racial Equity
Date: Thursday, September 10 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Speaker: David Johns, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)
As leaders of nonprofit organizations with social justice missions, racial equity has become one of our community’s greatest priorities and challenges. Guest speaker David Johns will lead a discussion on how nonprofits can use their platforms to advance racial equity awareness and conversations in our communities. This session will include an opportunity to ask David questions on the current state of affairs and his perspective on possible steps forward.

Thursday, July 16
Managing Staff Engagement, Productivity and Culture in the Virtual World
Speaker: Michael Hynes, Senior Manager, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Panelists: Dominque Bernardo, Executive Director, Variety – the Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley; Michelle Tafel, Executive Director, City Year Washington, D.C. 

Tuesday, June 23
Understanding Anti-Racism and Your Role
Speaker: Michelle Molitor, The Equity Lab

Virtual Sorkin Summit – The Role of the Nonprofit Board During Covid-19 
For board members and Executive Directors 

  • Thursday, May 21 – Board Role in Fundraising 
    Panelists: Darryl Bundrige, Executive Director; Arlin Green, Board Chair, City Year Philadelphia; Christopher Morgan, Executive Artistic Director, and Adam Weers, Treasurer, Dance Place 
  • Thursday, May 14 – Nonprofit Governance 
    Speaker: Lucretia Risoleo, Compass board member, Adjunct Law Professor, American University 
    Panelists: Jamila Larson, Executive Director, and Char Beales, Board Chair, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project; Kevin Hinton, Executive Director, and Beth Harrison, Board Chair, Beacon House 

Thursday, May 7
Nonprofit Partnerships and Mergers: Saving Impactful Programs in a Crisis 
Speaker: Nadya Shmavonian, Director of the Nonprofit Repositioning Fund and a partner at SeaChange Capital Partners

Thursday, April 23
Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus
Speaker: Kerry-Ann Hamilton, CEO and Principal Counselor, KAH Consulting 

Thursday, April 16
Greater Washington Executive Director Virtual Gathering 

Topics: Caring for Your Team and the Urgency to Innovate 
Discussion lead by Michelle Edwards, Executive Director of Live It Learn It, and Jeff Franco, Director of The Sorkin Center at Compass 

Thursday, April 9
Philanthropy in Light of Covid-19
Speaker: Henry Berman, CEO of Exponent Philanthropy 

Thursday, March 26
Greater Washington Executive Director Virtual Gathering 

About the Sorkin Center:

The Sorkin Center at Compass builds on Compass’ years of experience and expertise in the local nonprofit sector. The Sorkin Center works with nonprofit boards and leaders by bringing services to support board work, matching business professionals to nonprofits seeking to grow and diversify their boards, and providing trainings for board members, Executive Directors and individuals interested in board service.