Home » Events » Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action: Implications for Philanthropy

Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action: Implications for Philanthropy

October 4th, 2023
1:00PM to 2:00PM
Zoom - information to be emailed
Grantmaker, Philanthropic Advisor
Event type:
Philanthropic trends
Base fee:

As we’ve seen over the past few years, many funders have increased their commitments to centering and advancing race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) through grantmaking, investments, scholarship programs, leadership development opportunities, etc. Philanthropy Massachusetts is committed to this work and supporting our members (and the broader Massachusetts community) to strengthen and expand these investments and commitments. 

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling effectively ending affirmative action in college admissions has reverberated far beyond the world of higher education. The decision has already led to increased scrutiny of REDI programs in other settings, triggered new lawsuits and initiatives (including here in Massachusetts) targeting REDI policies and initiatives, and prompted intense conversations about how to move forward in this new context.  The implications for philanthropy and the broader social sector are still evolving, with many complex questions to consider and unknowns to grapple with.   

Join us for an informal conversation to: 

  • Learn the current state of affairs, including but not limited to WHAT exactly is the Supreme Court decision and WHY does it matter/should we care 
  • Explore current impacts: the opportunities and challenges of this ruling
  • Practical Applications
    • How do we continue to center Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in our work
    • Dos and Donts
    • Emerging Areas of Opportunity and Controversy/Risk
  • Hear of Resources & Consider Next Steps 


Alyssa Rayman-Read (she/her), Hurwit & Associates, Legal Counsel for Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector 

Drawing from her experience as both an attorney and a nonprofit executive spanning a variety of sectors, Alyssa is a trusted partner and legal advisor to tax-exempt and mission-driven organizations and their leadership teams. Alyssa specializes in workplace matters, strategizing with clients to preempt and resolve workplace challenges, protect organizational reputation, maximize employee relations, and identify and minimize liability. 

Alyssa has spent her professional life focused on two areas: providing strategic counsel and executive leadership for and within mission-driven organizations and advocating to reduce systemic inequalities and injustice in the workplace and beyond. As Vice President and Massachusetts Director of Conservation Law Foundation, where she oversaw all state advocacy, and as Senior Advisor to clean energy incubator HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team), Alyssa has advised on workforce development and organizational growth, compliance and risk planning, and establishing system-wide JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) practices. Alyssa is a frequent speaker and educator on gender and sexuality rights, and serves as Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and as a member of the Beverly Human Rights Committee.

Alyssa has a JD from Georgetown University Law School, an MA from Union Theological Seminary where she received the Charles A. Briggs Award for “Courage, Conscious, and Commitment,” and her BA with honors from Swarthmore College. She enjoys cooking and eating good food, long hikes and big adventures (she is a thru-hiker of the Appalachian Trail), and spending time outdoors with her family, rain or shine.

*Please note: 

  • We recognize that there are other conversations on this subject taking place. This particular one is not meant to serve as an all-encompassing session. Philanthropy MA encourages you to attend other programs of this nature as all will broaden your awareness and inform your decisions moving forward. In that spirit we share our Community Guidelines as you consider joining this conversation.

  • This session will not be recorded.  


Registration type: 
Normal registration

Zoom Instructions for Virtual or Hybrid Programs:

Zoom information: Zoom information for the program will be sent out to all registrants one week before AND in the afternoon of the business day before the session is scheduled to take place.  Please reach out to info@philanthropyma.org if you believe you are registered for this program and do not receive the link.

Registration & Program Follow-up Materials: Registration for the program will be closed at 2pm EST on the day before the program is scheduled to take place.  If you register after this point, you will be added to the waitlist and will be able to receive the program recording as well as all follow-up materials from the session.  For fee-based Nonprofit Partner programs, you can request these materials for a discounted rate.  Please note that it may take up to a week to prepare and disseminate those materials to all registrants.

Community Guidelines, Program Policies and In-Person Protocol:

Philanthropy Massachusetts has adopted these Community Guidelines & Policies for all programs.  

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