Panel + Q&A (*Maximum 4 Panelists)

It’s Black and White!!

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Our panel of 3 black female financial professionals will be interviewed by a white male who grew up in South Africa witnessing the terrible inequities of Apartheid. Authentic and strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are now table stakes for social enterprises and the funds and financial intermediaries who wish to invest in them. However, many firms are virtue signaling and not doing deep personal work, transforming their cultures to become truly inclusive, nor risking their reputations and cherished relationships to become true allies to black and female entrepreneurs, investors, fund managers, and advisors.

Participants will spend a portion of the session in breakout rooms with 2-3 others and share from their own experience based on prompts that the panelists will provide. Through hearing personal stories, this sharing will deepen our collective understanding of white centrism, systemic racism, and the experience of marginalized populations in social enterprises.

Hearing from a panel of black, female advisors, fund managers, academics, and activists, along with the interactive personal sharing breakout will leave participants with a transformative experience from which to deepen allyship and inclusion within their organizations and networks.

Confirmed Panelists

Panelist: Rachel J. Robasciotti founded Robasciotti & Philipson in 2004 and continues to head the firm as one of its two partners, directing overall policy, strategy, and communications. As a young, queer, woman of color, in an industry that is dominated by older white men, the odds were against Rachel when she started her own firm. Nonetheless, she was already well-versed in the finance industry and had proven her skills by being awarded the top financial planner at MetLife Securities in 2003. Among her many recognitions, Rachel was named one of Financial Advisor Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch and, after more than a decade of providing clients with independent and impartial advice, her story was featured in a national television advertising campaign by Schwab Advisor Services. As a founding member of the Women’s Wealth Initiative, a nationwide group of female wealth managers, Rachel is especially proud of serving as a role model and creating pathways for more women and people of color in personal finance.


Panelist: Erika Seth Davies has been a nonprofit leader for 20+ years with extensive experience in development and fundraising, program design, collaboration and partnership management, and racial equity advocacy. She has worked in the field of philanthropy for nearly 10 years including positions as Associate Director of Philanthropy at McDonogh School, the Chief of Staff of the Baltimore Community Foundation and Vice President of External Affairs at ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities.


Panelist: Tracy Gray is the Managing Partner of The 22 Fund a growth venture capital and advisory firm focused on increasing the export capacity of Southern California companies, targeting (not exclusively) women and minority-owned companies and creating jobs. She is the founder of We Are Enough, whose mission is to educate women globally at every socioeconomic level and age on WHY and HOW to invest in women owned businesses and/or with a “gender lens”. Tracy is also an Executive in Residence at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.


Moderator: Brent Kessel, CFP is a nationally acclaimed public speaker and workshop leader, having presented at MIT, the Los Angeles Times Investment Strategies conference, and as the keynote speaker for the Yoga Journal conference. He has appeared on the CBS Early Show, ABC News, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. His book, It’s Not About The Money (Harper Collins), was named one of Kiplinger’s Top Five Business Books of the Year. Brent is CEO of Abacus Wealth Partners which has been a dedicated impact investment advisor for over 20 years, including providing seed funding for the world’s first sustainable index mutual funds, and being an early anchor investor in several of the most successful and impactful private equity funds in industry history. Abacus was the first certified financial services B Corp., is carbon-neutral, and donates over % of revenues to charity each year.

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