NLA Upswell 2020 Campaign

Raised toward our $18,000 Goal
50 Donors
days left
Project ends on November 18, at 08:00 PM MST
Project Owners

2020 Upswell Conference Cont.

October 19, 2020


  • Terence Lester, the 2020 American Express NGen Award Winner, and  Fatima Goss Graves, the 2020 John W. Gardner Leadership Award winner and President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, spoke on activism during the midday session. Gaves described how her motives were rooted in her childhood values and how society is at a point where women in particular are subject to a number of injustices and societal wrongs. Lester gave encouragement through the framework of building our communities, and leaning on them in times of need, and through building shared communities and sharing our unique cultures, our explicit and implicit biases surrounding each other will be forced to be addressed, and we must use this catalyst for positive change. 

  • Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II closed our session Thursday evening, and spoke on fighting, and understanding racism. In order to properly fight racism and injustices in our country, we must first understand the systems that keep these injustices in place, and how these issues, including racism, sexism, poverty, education inequity and inequality, among others, are perpetuated. He stated that in order to combat all of these issues, we must join together and escape from the mentality of this being one-moment, but rather, view this as an entire movement. 


Our closing session Friday consisted of mainstage sessions by:

  • Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stephen Heintz, head of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Marc Morial, President and CEO of National Urban League, who dived into conversations about the state of our American democracy, and how nonprofit organisations must become more involved and responsible in the democratic process. Heintz stated that “social movements move the needle to educate the public in American life,” and that we need to take advantage of the current political climate in an effort to do as much good as possible. 

  • Jasiri X, Miracle Jones, and Treble NLS from Pittsburgh-based 1Hood Media discussed the impact the arts has for social movement, and the community they build. They promoted the idea that radical change is needed immediately, and provided advice on how to step out of comfortable spaces in order to stand up for what is right.

  • Friday night, and the 2020 Upswell conference, concluded with a performance from J. Dash, a musician, singer, songwriter, activist, who urged young people to engage in the creative arts, and states that music is "the voice of the culture of our time." 


This conference was an incredible experience, and we’re so excited to share more highlights with you in the coming weeks! Thank you again for your contribution, you are supporting the future leaders of the nonprofit sector by making these powerful learning experiences a reality. We strive to be excellent leaders that contribute significantly to the efforts to enact positive change in our communities. Please keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks!

-The 2020 NLASA Upswell Team


2020 Upswell Conference

October 19, 2020

Good evening everyone!

       We want to send a HUGE shout out and thank you to those who have donated to our Upswell 2020 campaign so far. Last Friday was the last day of the Upswell Conference and I can confidently say that it indeed impacted each and every one of us. I wanted to provide the first look into the key speakers and topics covered during this impactful three-day event!


On Wednesday our main sage speakers were: 

  • Isabel Wilkerson, author of the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, and the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, who spoke on race and the brokenness of our national infrastructure. She describes how the caste system was intentionally put in place to assign people roles in order to build up the new United States, and how we are currently seeing the outcomes of these hundreds of years of abuses. The caste system is the idea of holding "fractured bones in place." Race the skin, caste the bones, and how to police boundaries between the two. We can never change our future unless we understand our history, and Wilkerson says “Our era is calling on us to get to know our history,”  in order to heal from it. 

  • Ibram X. Kendi, the Director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, covered what it means to be anti racist, and how one must acknowledge that racism exists and one's own place in its infrastructure in order to assist in dismantling it. We must all work alongside each other and build up our communities in order to heal. "This nation is dying," he urges, "and we need to do the hard work of healing. We need to go through the pain of healing. Some of us want this nation to heal without pain. I don’t think that’s possible.”

  •  Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, closed out our first night by speaking on deep personal faith, and its role in shaping our outlook on humanity, without overtly politicizing the conversation. He imagined a world where religious conviction and political activism coexists, and individuals came together to do good. 


Thursday, we continued our education, hearing from:

  • In opening, Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, Researcher, journalist, organizer, and professor; Bernie Williams, World Series Champion and GRAMMY Nominated artist; and Mary Luehrsen, the director of public affairs and government relations for the National Association for Music Merchants, and Executive Director of the NAMM Foundation. They used “music in a positive way to uplift spirits” through their performance, and provided inspiration on what it means to be a changemaker in the world. 






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The Legacy

In honor of the 41st annual campaign lead by the students of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance at ASU, you will continue this long and proud legacy! Fantastic!


The Future

The Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the preferred national certification for those entering the social sector. $100 covers the credentialling fee for one future nonprofit professional. Outstanding!


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