Thank you for having lunch with us

Melissa Harris-Perry presents the keynote address on poverty and racism in the U.S.

You, our fantastic table hosts and guests, raised nearly $200,000 for Solid Ground’s 12th annual Building Community Luncheon! We’d like to thank everyone who made the event a success: our speakers, sponsors, table hosts and guests.

It was energizing to come together to celebrate our ongoing work and together move forward. We are finding ways to better integrate our services to be more effective, with the continuous goal of best serving our community.

Quinn Smart: How many of you have taken the time to seek out and listen to a child’s opinion on how to be a better philanthropist?

Quinn Smart, Penny Harvest Youth Board member, captivated us once again and illustrated how much of an impact one person – one kid – can make, when we work toward a common goal together. Her ask for support definitely inspired our guests.

Melissa Harris-Perry’s keynote was riveting. It was hard to fight the urge to take copious notes as she discussed structural racism and how important it is that we all remember that we are connected. Luckily for me (and you), there was no need to take notes, as her full keynote address is available on our YouTube Channel.

Most importantly, the Luncheon would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. By underwriting the cost of the event, every dollar raised by our guests can go directly to Solid Ground.

Thank you to Microsoft, our Presenting Sponsor this year. We are honored to continue a partnership that has spanned over 15 years. Through significant investments in our programs, housing facilities and IT capacity, Microsoft has helped Solid Ground get more people out of poverty and to a place of thriving.

Thank you, also, to our Community Builder and Supporter Sponsors.



Melissa Harris-Perry, rising media star and noted author, to deliver luncheon keynote

Melissa Harris-Perry

Solid Ground is thrilled to announce that Melissa Harris-Perry will present the keynote address at our May 11, 2012 Building Community Luncheon. She will speak on “Racial justice and its relationship to fighting poverty.”

Harris-Perry, a longstanding political analyst and contributor to MSNBC, is a frequent guest of PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton, and also serves as occasional host of The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word. Beginning mid-February she will host her own show (as yet unnamed) on MSNBC on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 12noon.

Harris-Perry “take(s) on the most-challenging issues of the day with the kind of sophisticated sass and vigor that is often lacking on mainstream television,” according to NewsOne for Black America.

An award-winning author and columnist for The Nation, Harris-Perry is also a professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South.

Her latest book is called SISTER CITIZEN: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America – For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Politics When Being Strong Isn’t Enough.

Luncheon guests will be treated to Harris-Perry’s warmth, intelligent humor and sharp analysis. For a preview, check out this clip from her January 9, 2012 appearance on The Colbert Report.

Luncheon sponsors and table hosts will be invited to a special Q&A session with Harris-Perry following the event. For more information on sponsoring or hosting a table, contact Megan Locatelli at 206.694.6862 or

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