Keynote: Leading Through Crisis
Monday, October 29
Born and raised in
Flint, Isaiah supports a unique philanthropic perspective that focuses on
relationships and people. Isaiah advocates for an inclusive approach to
philanthropy that listens to and works with the people of the community in
order to develop a true partnership. This approach differs from the more
traditional top-down model of giving solutions to a community because it allows
both the people of a community and engaged philanthropists to be fully vested
in and empowered to develop solutions.
In January 2016, Isaiah knew the health and development needs of Flint children exposed to lead were going to be ongoing and long-term. The Flint community needed leadership. Families needed support, businesses needed bolstering, and nonprofits needed increased capacity. Learn how the tragedy of a water crisis was flipped into a model of community collaboration and rebirth.
Isaiah M. Oliver is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a charitable organization focused on engaging people in philanthropy to build a stronger community. He leads the Foundation’s strategic priorities around improving literacy rates, increasing access to healthy food, strengthening resident-led neighborhood improvements, and providing critical resources to the children affected by the Flint Water Crisis. He previously served as the Foundation’s Vice President of Community Impact, where he led the organization’s grantmaking operations.
Isaiah’s background includes extensive community leadership and executive oversight experience. Isaiah served five years on the Flint Community Schools Board of Education, including two years as board President. His leadership there helped the school district develop innovative partnerships and spurred intensive new community investment. Isaiah’s executive experience also includes serving four years on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers. As chair of the board’s Finance and Facilities Committee, he guided development of the hospital’s $370 million operating budget.