Wean Foundation Hosts Pay Equity Workshop Series

October 7, 2022 (Warren, Ohio) – The Raymond John Wean Foundation recently hosted the first of their three-part “Equitable Organizations Learning Series.” This interactive, hands-on workshop was facilitated by Jennifer Kelsch, owner of JSK Solutions and Jerry Peña and Victor Ruiz, both founders and senior partners of Gradient.

Community investment grantees from six nonprofits including Economic Action Group, Heart Reach Neighborhood Ministries, Inspiring Minds, Organización Cívica y Cultural Hispana Americana (OCCHA), United Returning Citizens and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership are participating in these capacity building workshops.

This first session, “Equitable Pay as a Strategic Imperative,” focused on the topic of pay equity; what it is, why it is important and how to develop strategies to achieve pay equity for nonprofits.

As Kelsch stated, “Investments in talent return dividends in the form of increased organizational capacity and effectiveness.”

Kelsch advises with the cost of inflation, both nonprofits and funders should consider increased asks. She further explained when a nonprofit is requesting the same amount as the previous year, they are actually asking for less in the current economy.

Prior to the close of the workshop, the 18 individuals in attendance were asked to begin developing their own strategic goals through an equity and inclusion lens. The groups will convene again on November 3 where they will share these goals with each other and learn about strategies for navigating conversations with funders and board members to achieve pay equity.

In addition to the learning series for grantees, the Wean Foundation will be hosting additional capacity building workshops this fall for anyone interested in attending. James Hayes and    Alwiyah Shariff from Ohio Voice will present “Social Movement Ecology” on November 19. At its most basic level, Social Movement Ecology is a theory which explains how we change society for the better. This interactive training will provide a space to build connections and relationships with other like-minded individuals where participants will leave feeling more connected, confident and curious about social movements.

“Finding Confidence in Conflict,” presented by Kwame Christian from the American Negotiation Institute, will be held on December 9. During this workshop, participants will learn practical tools for improving their work, their relationships, and the world through the foundational skills of negotiation.

Both workshops are in-person and open to the public; however, space is limited, and advanced registration is required. Those interested in attending either, or both, can register at weanfoundation.org/get-involved/#events.


About the Wean Foundation: The Raymond John Wean Foundation is dedicated to community-building in underresourced communities of Warren and Youngstown in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. The Foundation leverages a dynamic combination of grantmaking, capacity building, convening and partnerships to provoke new thinking, strengthen communities and disrupt the status quo to achieve its vision: empowered residents creating an equitable Mahoning Valley. Visit weanfoundation.org to learn more.

Photo: Jerry Peña (right) of Gradient speaks to a group of nonprofit organizations about pay equity at the Wean Foundation as his colleague Victor Ruiz (left) looks on. The workshop is the first in a three-part “Equitable Organizations Learning Series” hosted by the Foundation.