Community Foundation of Sarasota County to Host Virtual Community Voices Discussion on Connecting People and Ideas

Categories: Events for Donors, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Community Voices,

The October conversation will bring together three nonprofit leaders who are centering diverse perspectives and thoughts to enrich our region.

SARASOTA, FL – On Tuesday, October 5, 9:00 -10:00 a.m., the Community Foundation of Sarasota County invites the public to take part in a free interactive virtual panel discussion with three local nonprofits connecting people and ideas to build a more equitable region.

The program will feature Donna Hanley, a Board member with Project Pride SRQ; Jeannie Perales, Chief Experience Officer at The Bay Park Conservancy; and Michele Des Verney Redwine, Executive Director of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative. The conversation will be moderated by Mercedes Soler, President and Co-Owner of Solmart Media and a board member of the Community Foundation.

Each panelist will share how their organization is giving voice to those they serve through unique mediums to highlight the diversity in thought, perspectives, and opinions that enrich our region. Interestingly, the combination of rapid adoption of technology through the pandemic and an urge for traditional, in-person connections has strengthened the outreach of each of these organizations, but in very different ways, informing their work to come.

This conversation is virtual and free to attend. Register at

“Listening and learning from the voices of our community are the first steps we all can take to widen our pathway to possibilities and new partnerships,” says Kirsten Russell, Vice President of Community Impact at the Community Foundation. “These conversations have better connected us with those closest to our region’s greatest challenges – our nonprofit thought-leaders and change-makers – while also engaging generous individuals, families, and organizations to drive solutions.”

The Community Voices virtual discussion series hosted by the Community Foundation brings together experts from nonprofit and community organizations to share insights about our region’s evolving needs and how to reimagine our collective future. Since July 2020, five discussions have invited more than 20 cause leaders and organizations to take part, with more panels planned for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. All previous panel discussions are available on the Community Foundation’s website.


About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $418 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $21.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $274 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.