2020 CDF Proctor Institute Leadership

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Rev. Starsky Wilson


Deaconess Foundation

Rev. Starsky D. Wilson is president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation, pastor of Saint John’s Church (The Beloved Community) and chair of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. His faith-rooted activism centers philanthropy, democracy and equity. With Wilson’s leadership, Deaconess is building a movement for child well-being, recently opening a collaborative community action tank and a network of three Freedom Schools with the Children’s Defense Fund. After the death of Michael Brown, Jr., Wilson led the Ferguson Commission. In 2015 they released Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity, calling for sweeping changes in policing, the courts, child well-being and economic mobility. In 2017, Wilson chaired the racial equity advisory group of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, guiding a charge for the affirmation of equity as central to smart philanthropy.