Last week, along with the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Houston Endowment co-hosted the 2018 Annual Conference of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities (TFN), a national affinity group of foundations with an interest in the intersection of environmental sustainability, community development and social equity.

During the conference, TFN announced the appointment of Elizabeth Love, senior program officer at Houston Endowment, to its board of directors.

In its 19th year, this annual event has previously been held in cities including Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle but never before in Houston.

“Co-hosting the TFN conference gave us the chance to take other funders’ preconceived notions of our city and turn them upside down,” said Love, who served as co-chair of the conference. “We were proud to show our counterparts that while we certainly have our challenges, we can get things done here in Houston – big things.”

As we continue to rebuild and recover from Hurricane Harvey, Houston served as a fitting place to talk about climate change and how to build stronger and more resilient communities that can withstand and recover from extreme weather events – and how to approach preparation, relief and recovery in a way that is fair and just, especially for the most vulnerable.

Beyond discussions of resilience, conference attendees participated in mobile workshops that offered a first-hand look at Houston’s vibrant neighborhoods and unique approaches to tackling complex challenges in the Ship Channel fenceline communities; up the Red Line in the Near Northside; along Brays Bayou Greenway; throughout the Third Ward; and in Gulfton, the first stop for Houston’s immigrants and refugees.

The more than 275 attendees hailed from both place-based and national funders such as the Kresge Foundation, Ford Foundation, William Penn Foundation, California Endowment and Surdna Foundation.