About the Summit

Service Never Sleeps’ (SNS) annual Allyship Summit brings together racial and social justice advocates from across the country to create a national community of allies working tirelessly towards racial and social justice. Throughout two days of programming, Summit attendees deepen their understanding of our Allyship principles, engage in trainings on how to effect social change, and connect with local and national leaders committed to social justice.

Allyship Summit


The encouragement to reject cynicism and practice hope was one that I deeply needed. The panelists and presenters have given me so much to be hopeful about, and put more tools in my toolbox.

2021 Summit Participant
Our 2022 Allyship Summit theme was ‘What Does it Mean to Be Black-Led?’ and engaged a community of learners and changemakers who are eager to equip themselves with tools to support Black-led organizations.
Th 2022 Summit focused on Black leadership and included tools from SNS’ signature Allyship presentation, issue-based trainings led by Black leaders, and a presentation on learnings from a SNS research project on what it means to be Black-led.
The Summit took place virtually on Wednesday October 26 & Thursday October 27 from 1-5pm EST each day.

Why You Should Attend

Participants in the 2022 Summit will:

  • Deepen their understanding of what being a Black-Led organization means
  • Learn from Black leaders about what being Black-Led means to them and what tools and tactics they use in their work towards racial and social justice
  • Reflect on what allyship and solidarity looks like in relation to supporting Black leaders, supporting Black-Led organizations, and being pro-Black
  • Join dozens of participants from around the country in furthering their commitment to be an active ally
  • Leave with a sense of community and inspiration for action

2022 Speakers

Kerrien Suarez (she/her)

Summit Keynote Speaker

President, Equity in the Center

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Edward Jones (he/him)

Summit Panelist & Trainer

VP of Program & Philanthropic Advising Services, ABFE

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Elizabeth Jones Valderrama (she/ella)

Summit Panelist & Trainer

Executive Director, OAR

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Je'Kendria Trahan (they/she)

Summit Panelist & Trainer

Executive Director, Collective Action for Safe Spaces

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Maurice Cook (he/him)

Summit Panelist & Trainer

Executive Director, Serve Your City DC & Lead Organizer with Ward 6 Mutual Aid

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Samson Girma (him/his)

Summit Presenter

COO, Service Never Sleeps

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Whitney Parnell (she/her)

Summit Presenter & Trainer

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Service Never Sleeps

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Day One

A brief presentation of the Allyship framework and posture.

Kerrien Suarez will share an overview of Equity in the Center’s Race Equity Cycle framework and research, including best practices that help organizations transform culture, how structural racism manifests and can be dismantled in organizations, and some of the specific challenges Black leaders face in doing this work.

A panel of social sector leaders sharing about their individual experiences, including how to thrive as Black leaders and how to support Black-Led organizations.

Panelists: Edward Jones, Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, Je’Kendria Trahan, Maurice Cook

Day Two

Black leaders & Black-led organizations and other organizations for communities of color have been here for generations – and historically under-funded.  They survive-often thrive-in spite of inequitable support. Let’s discuss strategies to better support organizations LED by the people closest to the challenges.

Trainer: Edward Jones

Join Elizabeth in a Zumba Chair dance session and conversation on the liberation of dance. Come enjoy the music and dance however the universe moves you, featuring salsa, merengue, reggaeton, soca, and other rhythms.

This session will delve into the basic principles of transformative justice and abolitionist frameworks and why they are important tools for keeping marginalized communities safe. We will also discuss hands-on strategies and roles we can play in utilizing these frameworks in our daily lives. Trainer: Je’Kendria Trahan

A discussion focused on the various intentions and impacts of those in search of “community.”

Trainer: Maurice Cook

Presentation culminating SNS’ 2022 research on what it means to be Black-Led, sharing data and findings from engaging 25 nonprofit leaders and race equity experts. Participants can expect to gain insights on what being Black-led entails, common barriers Black leaders face, and the unique value that they offer.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Interested in being a sponsor for this event? Email us!

Allyship Summit 2021 In Review

The second annual Allyship Summit: Maintaining Our Momentum brought together 50+ advocates and 8 local leaders to explore SNS’s Allyship principles and share the skills needed to turn those principles into action. The two days of virtual programming included a keynote from Azza Altiraifi that brought a combination of inspiration, motivation, and necessary discomfort, a powerful training on how to organize direct action from Danny Cendejas, music, inspiring breakout sessions, and camaraderie.

Participants came away with a deepened commitment to Allyship as forever work that must continue beyond one catalyzing moment and left feeling equipped to do the work with specific action items and tools. The conversations during the Summit were a poignant reminder of the work left to be done – and all the areas in which we can make an impact as allies, especially through building alliances.

“Even though I've done [allyship trainings] several times now, always, always, something new catches my attention and I hear it in new ways.”

2021 Summit Participant

“I appreciated the diversity of perspectives, roles and stories shared in this space.”

2021 Summit Participant

“Deeply grateful to the panelists who brought wisdom and knowledge, honesty and authenticity. Full of insights that will help me move forward.”

2021 Summit Participant

“I was deeply inspired and centered after the keynote. Azza is such a font of knowledge and they inspired me to be uncomfortable as I learn and unlearn and try to push for change within my organization and my community.”

2021 Summit Participant

“Cynicism is a tool of oppression--hope is a tool of liberation.”

2021 Summit Participant

2021 Speakers

Aja Taylor (she/her), Advocacy Director, Bread for the City & Co-Conspirator, Two Brown Girls Consulting Cooperative

Andrew Plumley, MBA (he/him), Senior Director Equity and Culture, American Alliance of Museums

Azza Altiraifi (she/they), Disability Justice Advocate and Organizer

Danny Cendejas (he/him/el), Organizer, La ColectiVA

Ericka Hines, JD (she/her), Principal, Every Level Leadership

Jessica Teachey (she/her), Senior Director of Community Engagement, The MusicianShip

Maurice Cook (he/him), Executive Director, Serve Your City DC & Lead Organizer, Ward 6 Mutual Aid

Whitney Parnell (she/her), CEO, Service Never Sleeps

Allyship Summit 2019 In Review

SNS’ inaugural Allyship Summit took place in-person on July 18 & 19 and featured activist and organizer Zy Bryant as a keynote speaker at the dynamic event reception followed by an engaging panel discussion and trainings led by seven local social justice leaders: Alicia Sanchez Gill, Danny Cendejas, Edward M. Jones, Elizabeth Jones Valderrama, Kerrien Suarez, Stacie Blake, and Whitney Parnell.