About the Roundtable

The Roundtable = Alignment + Equity

  • Rigorous frameworks that are illuminating, accessible and actionable.
  • Convening, aligning and building trust across sectors, systems, fields, disciplines, and generations.
  • Directly addressing the intersection of race and the opportunity areas that matter most.
  • Safe and supportive spaces for stepping back, thinking creatively and innovating.
  • Connecting community, metropolitan, regional and national stakeholders.


The Roundtable’s work is deeply rooted in the perspective that community members, leaders, organizations, institutions and systems need be intelligently and consistently aligned for the common purpose of individual and community wellbeing and development.

Aligning is easier said than done, however.  The challenges of community and economic development are complex and deeply affected by politics, the global economy, race, class and place.  In our efforts to meet these challenges, the Roundtable convenes and supports local and national leaders across sectors to identify problems, understand challenges and opportunities, and chart the way to better outcomes and a better future.  We facilitate common understanding and develop strategies that catalyze interest and will to effect sustainable change.

Our partners include community organizations, foundations, nonprofits, news organizations, government, advocates, business, practitioners, universities, elected officials, and others.

An Equity Lens: Activating Voices, Nurturing Change

Race plays a role in nearly every aspect of well-being, but conversations and decisions on race are too often clouded by stereotypes and misinformation.  Our challenge at the beginning of the 21st Century is to use our collective wisdom and effort to champion racial equity and democracy for a better society for everyone.

We are building a critical mass of leaders of all races/skin colors via seminars, workshops and public forums, equipping them with strategies and tools for promoting racial equity in their spheres of professional and social influence.

We work across sectors, supporting foundations, school districts, community organizations, media outlets and other local, regional and national stakeholders in their efforts to promote racial equity and build bridges between the communities, organizations and institutions that matter to us all.


The Roundtable develops knowledge through research on critical issues in the community change and racial equity fields. We distill lessons from convenings, and disseminate that information through publications, presentations, and leadership seminars. Our method of knowledge building is a constant cycle of researching, learning, and sharing; bridging the gap between research, theory and practice.

The Roundtable’s exploration of innovative learning strategies in the 1990s led it to develop the “theory of change” approach to evaluating community change initiatives and building evidence about their effectiveness.  This path-breaking methodology has become a standard approach in designing, managing and evaluating interventions in a wide number of policy domains.

Over the years, the Roundtable has used the theory of change approach to explore and assess community change strategies in areas like neighborhood safety, education, employment, economic development, and housing, and to examine the role that community-building strategies play in improving social, economic and civic outcomes for children, youth, families, and neighborhoods.  Our signature series, Voices from the Field, periodically assesses the state of the community change field and distills lessons for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.

The Roundtable has also applied the theory of change approach to its ground breaking racial equity work, developing a practical guide for designing strategies to close chronic racial disparities. This process is used in all of the Roundtable’s racial equity seminars, and many seminar alumni are applying their theories of change in their communities. Using our community change model, we explore new, more equitable conceptions of policy and practice through research and convenings.