Equity Fund for Pittsburgh Social Change Leaders

A note about transparency

We know it’s a bit unusual for a for-profit organization to collect donations. The short comment on that (there’s a longer statement at the bottom of this page): Fit’s efforts for this program are already fully covered, and the participants’ tuition is already covered. Your donation will go directly to provide a livelihood stipend to a few BIPOC participants, so they can afford to spend the time required to benefit from the program.

Have questions? Please contact us.
Note that these donations will not be tax-deductible.

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The story: a gathering of remarkable leaders

Holding space for change leaders to grow and thrive is close to the heart of our work. This Fall and Winter, Hannah du Plessis and Maurice Stevens are holding space for a group of nonprofit leaders from the Pittsburgh region who are on the forefront of shifting society. These leaders are creating community, providing essential services, standing for black lives and environmental wholeness.

Leaders who are tired

We began this work by listening. We asked these leaders, “Where are you at, what do you need, what might help you?” We heard several themes, gathered here into a single representative quote:

“I am tired, burned out, stressed, angry. I don’t get the support I need. This makes it hard to tend to my work and myself. Yet, I must keep going. I want to rest, but this is not easy for me. I want to experience the support of this group, learn from each other and develop practices of self-care.”

Support for leaders who need to rest

While we expect to work with what emerges from the group, our plan at the start is to explore the following together.

Refuge: How do I find beings, places or things I can take refuge in so I can access a greater sense of safety and groundedness? 

Worth: if the world tells me that I don’t belong, that I am alone and not enough, how do I reconnect to my innate worth and connection to others?

Discernment: If the world is demanding my constant attention, how do I discern when to say yes, when to say no, and when to keep quiet?

Joy and pleasure: If I want to sustain myself and this work, how do I nourish, play and celebrate?

The ability to rest is not equitably distributed

This retreat will run online over several months, and the generosity of some institutions will enable the leaders to attend free of charge. But even when something is free, it doesn’t mean that everyone who wants to participate has the resources to attend. Some feel too financially stressed to afford the time required to participate in training—that time is already spoken for by necessity. This fund aims to help alleviate that stress by offering a stipend to those who request and need it to attend our training.

Would you like to contribute to the resilience of local change leaders?

If you are able to care for your basic needs at the moment, please consider letting your love and care spill over into other lives. Knowing you, you are already doing this. So we are asking if you can extend your care even further.

When we look at the inequity in our world and at our own privilege, we are persuaded that for those of us who have, one of the best things we can do with what we have is to extend it—to leave behind a legacy of care, repair and restitution.


Thank you

Thank you so much for considering these leaders and this opportunity.

Hannah and Maurice

To be transparent…

It’s a bit unusual for a for-profit organization to collect donations, so we’d like to be clear about some things.

  1. This isn’t for us: Fit Associates’ work on this program is already fully funded. We don’t need more money for ourselves, nor are we asking for it.
  2. This isn’t for participants to pay us: the tuition of participants in the program is also fully covered. We aren’t asking for money for them so they can then turn around and give it to us in the form of tuition.
  3. This is for removing some of life’s barriers to participation, to make it possible for a few participants to make the necessary room in their lives (See “the ability to rest is not equitably distributed” above).

Email us if you have questions about the program or this fund.