wall with drawing in Turkey

Emerging from Crisis through Inclusion

How Diversity and Inclusion Can Build the Future We Want
An interactive discussion with Deborah Frieze, Ingrid Srinath, Tulaine Montgomery and Marilia Bezerra
Wednesday, 20 May, 2020

COVID-19 has spread across the globe and as the pandemic continues to unfold, there will be unpredictable challenges to which none of us have all the answers. Now more than ever, the importance of building inclusive systems--economic, social, cultural, political--is paramount.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be healthy, are making sacrifices for our global community, but the burden is not spread equally. For many, those sacrifices are life altering.

The crisis makes visible how unequal and unjust our world is. And as many think about how to get back to what was, perhaps we can use the disintegration and disruption of this moment to move towards a more just and loving world. What can we learn from past experiences?

At Synergos, we believe in the power of community, and recognize that interconnectedness is the organizing principle of all living systems. Therefore, we understand that challenging times like these require us to strengthen our bonds and engage the power of our collective imagination and action.

Resources shared during the event included:

Our speakers

Ingrid Srinath

Ingrid is Director of the Centre for Social Impact & Philanthropy at Ashoka University, a private, nonprofit university offering students a multidisciplinary liberal education.

Previously she was CEO of Hivos India Advisory Services, a company providing advisory and program management services to facilitate private sector CSR initiatives, local philanthropy and international partnerships. Before that, she was Executive Director of Childline India Foundation, which operates a telephone helpline called Childline for children in distress. She has also been Chief Executive of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. CIVICUS is an influential global network of organizations at local, national, regional and international levels, dedicated to strengthening civil society throughout the world, including the Philippines, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. Ms. Srinath also serves on the board of the IANGO Accountability Charter and on the World Economic Forum NGO Advisory Group.


Prior to joining CIVICUS, she served as Chief Executive of India’s leading child rights advocacy organization, Child Rights and You. A Synergos Senior Fellow, she has been a passionate advocate for the child rights movement and social justice movements in multiple public forums as well as in the media, in India and other countries around the world. Her prior experience of over a decade in the private sector, chiefly in marketing and advertising, has enabled Ms. Srinath to facilitate dialogue across sectors, to build sustainable resource mobilization, branding and advocacy strategies as a consultant and trainer for other nonprofit organizations in India and overseas, including Children's Hour and the Ayala Foundation in the Philippines.

Tulaine Montgomery

Tulaine is an accomplished social entrepreneur, educator, and community organizer. She is a Managing Partner and member of the Executive Team at New Profit. A member of the founding team that launched New Profit, Tulaine provides strategic and financial support to many of our nation's most promising social innovations. Tulaine leads New Profit's Inclusive Impact, a comprehensive, sector-wide systems change strategy designed to increase investment and capacity building support for leaders of color. Additionally, she is a member of New Profit's Systems Solutions team and serves as a lead spokesperson for New Profit at a time of growing dialogue in philanthropy about the unprecedented opportunities and challenges facing the sector. She is Host and Executive Producer of "What Had To Be True", New Profit's podcast and online forum for conversations with “America’s Problem Solvers”- the grounded visionaries and practical idealists working hard to make things better.


Prior to her role at New Profit, Tulaine was Founder and President of New Resource Strategies (NRS), a consulting firm that enables mission-driven organizations to address major operational, fiscal, and strategic challenges. She previously held leadership positions at United Way Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley, Citizen Schools, YouthBuild USA and House of Blues Foundation. Tulaine received a master’s degree in Public Policy from Tufts University and earned her B.A. from Smith College in Northampton, MA. She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Collaborative Leadership at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, a Community Enrichment Fellow at Northeastern University, and a Neighborhood Fellow at Tufts University. Tulaine is an accomplished cellist and writer; she has written and produced five original plays.


Deborah Frieze

Deborah is an author, entrepreneur and activist. Her award-winning book (co-authored with Margaret Wheatley), Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. She is a Founding Partner of the Boston Impact Initiative, an impact investing fund working to close the racial wealth divide in Eastern Massachusetts. The fund takes an integrated capital approach, combining investing, lending and grant-making to build a resilient and inclusive local economy. Deborah is also Founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities.

Marilia Bezerra

Marilia helps lead Synergos' Philanthropy program, including the Global Philanthropists Circle, a community of leading philanthropic families and social investors using their time, influence, and resources to fight poverty and social injustice in their own countries and around the world. She is also the Founding Partner of CARE Enterprises Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of CARE focused on creating gender justice through impact investment.