Register for the 2024 Annual Harambee Conference!

April 25th-27th, 2024 | Pre-Con April 24th
St. Louis, Missouri


Welcome to ABFE’s Harambee 2024 Conference: Igniting Transformative Change in St. Louis through Philanthropy and Unity!

Join us in the vibrant and historically significant city of St. Louis, Missouri! Our Harambee Conference has a rich history of fostering collaboration, sparking innovation, and nurturing community engagement. This dynamic event will take place from April 25th to the 27th, with pre-conference activities setting the stage on April 24th.

St. Louis, known for its rich cultural heritage, Black history, blues, and barbecue, is the perfect backdrop for this groundbreaking conference.


A Platform for Liberation and Action

Set against significant historical moments, including the Dred Scott case, the 10th anniversary of Michael Brown’s murder, and the Ferguson Uprising, Harambee 2024 arrives in St. Louis as a revitalizing force. It serves as a crucial platform for Black liberation, reflection, celebration, and strategic action in a city facing systemic challenges rooted in racism and the divestment of Black communities. Harambee will honor leaders working towards racial equity, reflecting on a city that has been central to the struggle for civil rights for centuries.


Solidarity and Commitment

Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE President and CEO, expresses the organization’s commitment: “Choosing St. Louis as our conference location is a deliberate act of solidarity with its Black community. We recognize the city’s struggles but, more importantly, we recognize the incredible legacy of this city and stand beside the community as we collectively seek to address and invest in the root causes of systemic challenges,” says Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE President and CEO. “ABFE is committed to organizing collective investments in Black-led social change to build political and economic power in Missouri, and hosting our annual conference here is just an initial step. This event will prioritize local Black businesses, shed light on Black-led and focused nonprofits, and convene national leaders to discuss collaborative opportunities for localized impact.”

Excitement from Local Leaders

Rebeccah Bennett, Founder and Principal of Emerging Wisdom LLC & InPower Institute, and a dedicated Board Member of Forward Through Ferguson, is excited about the conference’s impact on the region’s philanthropic history: “I’m delighted that ABFE’s 2024 Harambee conference is coming to St. Louis at a watershed moment in the region’s philanthropic history,” said Bennett. “For the first time ever, the leaders of the two largest foundations in the state are African Americans, along with the chief executives of the region’s community foundation, United Way, and child well-being and arts funding organizations. With this all-star roster of Black leadership talent, the question that arises for me is what becomes possible for Black people and other marginalized groups that would not otherwise occur without such powerful representation? This isn’t just a question for St. Louis, but for philanthropy as a whole and will be an underlying inquiry for Harambee conference attendees. Once we’re at the head of the table, can the rest of us expect to see liberation on the menu?” 


Why Harambee 2024 is a Must-Attend Event

– Join the largest gathering of Black professionals in organized philanthropy. Meet experts, leaders, and changemakers who are shaping the future. This conference has been a pivotal event for our community, bringing together individuals, experts, and leaders in philanthropy to address pressing issues and build a brighter future.

– Celebrate the individuals making significant impacts in Philanthropy. Our James Joseph Lecture and Awards Program will spotlight and recognize the leaders who are at the forefront of community development and racial equity. Amidst great vibes, enjoy the celebrations that have earned Harambee its reputation as the “family gathering of Black philanthropy.” Network with like-minded individuals and organizations dedicated to creating positive change.

– Engaging and Empowering Networks

  • Umoja Circle: Join Black foundation CEOs in discussions that shape the future of philanthropy.
  • Leverage the Trust Track: A platform for Black foundation trustees to expand their knowledge and network.
  • Connecting Leaders Fellowship Program: Reunite with fellow CLFP Alumni and welcome the new 2023-24 cohort.
  • Past ABFE Awardees: Engage with a growing network of past awardees who have made remarkable contributions.
  • The Corporate Community of Practice: Collaborate with corporate philanthropy professionals dedicated to supporting racially equitable practices.
  • Network Meet-Ups: Connect with local and regional groups focused on Blacks in Philanthropy.


– Engage in dialogues and actions that reflect on the journey since Ferguson and drive forward the ongoing fight for racial justice and equity. Dive into the essence of our conferences through the video below, showcasing a diverse mix of thought leaders and groundbreaking ideas from last year’s event. Harambee 2024 offers curated sessions influenced by ABFE’s racial equity and anti-Black racism framework, building on the momentum from last year’s conference in Raleigh, NC. The event will kick off with a virtual welcome from St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and a notable appearance from St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gabriel E. Gore.

Ready to Make a Difference?

Join us in St. Louis for an unforgettable experience of learning, sharing, and community building. Together, we can continue to forge a path towards a more equitable and just future.

Thank you for your continued support. Read our complete COVID Policy here

*The views and opinions expressed at Harambee 2024 are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of ABFE: A Partnership for Black Communities


**By participating in Harambee 2024, I understand my image, in video or still, and the likeness and sound of my voice as recorded on audio or video tape may be electronically displayed via the Internet or in ABFE printed marketing materials. I further understand that my image may be edited, copied, exhibited, published, or distributed and waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product wherein my likeness appears. 
***Please note that recording sessions and plenaries is prohibited to maintain a secure and comfortable environment, ensuring attendee safety and the protection of expressed views from unauthorized dissemination or potential misuse. Opting out of releasing your image does not grant permission to record sessions. If you have concerns or questions, please send a written request to Tahira Christmon at



About ABFE

Founded in 1971, ABFE (formerly the Association of Black Foundation Executives) has evolved from an all-volunteer organization into an influential network advocating for transformative investments in Black communities. ABFE focuses on fostering equality, diversity, and inclusion in the philanthropic sector.

About Harambee

Rooted in the Kenyan tradition of community self-help, Harambee (meaning “all pull together” in Swahili) embodies the spirit of unity, organizing, and pooling resources. ABFE’s Harambee Conference is a testament to these values, striving for effective and responsive philanthropy for Black communities.



Conference Highlights

Official Harambee 2024 Press Release


2024 Call for Nominations for the Annual James A. Joseph Lecture & Awards


Coming Soon!


Dive into the Heart of Philanthropic Innovation: Inspirational Leaders from Harambee 2023



We will follow all federal, state, and local laws, rules, and recommendations in an attempt to lessen and reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus; however, we cannot guarantee that attendees will not be exposed to the virus. By attending this event, attendees voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.

Read full policy here.

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