Written by Rashidah McCoy, MS
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Launched in 2017, Upswell has been where changemakers from across the social sector gather annually and throughout the year to harness our energy, insights, and experience to create a healthy and just nation.

Upswell is powered by Independent Sector, a national membership organization comprised of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs nationwide. Our members and their networks reach into every state and district, and touch the lives of every person in the U.S.

Upswell brings together leaders across the social good spectrum – including nonprofits, foundations, corporations, academia, and community-based organizations and movements – to inspire, challenge, bridge, and care for each other, while pursuing our collective aim of a nation where all people can thrive. 

During our Upswell Summits, we’ve been inspired by nationally known, thought-provoking leaders such as Angela Glover Blackwell, David Brooks, Ann Mei Chang, Tarana Burke, Theaster Gates, Eboo Patel, Rev. William J. Barber II, Rev. Samuel Rodriquez, Angela Davis, and LaTosha Brown – just to name a few.

Our Upswell Pop-Ups keep our Upswell community connected throughout the year. Each Pop-Up has a different focus – binding our ties as people and communities, making sense of the changing world around us, and exploring big ideas about how to tackle what comes next. And our Upswell Exchanges, which now will be the last 30 minutes of each Pop-Up, allow you to take a deep dive on the presentations and give your perspective. The Exchanges will continue to be facilitated by Dr. Cheryl Hall-Russell, President and Chief Cultural Consultant of Black Women Wise Women, LLC. 

All the Upswell events are co-created with the community it brings together. We don’t develop the topics and content for our annual Summit and periodic Pop-Ups in a vacuum. We rely heavily on our Upswell community members, because who has better wisdom, energy, and experience to move us toward the better nation we all want to see?

This year, our year-round Upswell activities include three virtual Upswell Pop-Ups in April, June, and September – all free of charge – and our virtual Upswell Summit on Tuesday, November 15. Read on for more about our Upswell calendar of events:


Changemakers Focus on Building a Healthy and Just Nation

2022 Upswell Pop-Ups 

Tuesday, April 26: Recharge, Refuel, and Refocus

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM ET

Spring represents a new day, new life, and renewal. So, who better to focus our Spring Pop-Up on than the lifeforce of our Upswell community – you! Our Upswell Spring Pop-Up will provide you with tangible wellness, self-care tools, and skills to help you recharge and refocus, make new connections, and find new inspiration as we tackle the challenges of building a healthy and racially just nation.

On the Main Stage, Independent Sector President and CEO, Dan Cardinali, will be joined by Maryam Ajayi, CEO and Founder of Dive in Well, and Dr. Simran Singh, Executive Director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute, to discuss the importance of wellness and collective healing critical to sector leaders and advocates who do equity and justice work in our communities.

There’ll also be two workshops – one will explore the concept of honoring labor, rest, and the individuals who put forth hard work every day; the other will focus on self-healing and doing inner work that requires you to hold space for others.

Register Now for the April 26 Pop-Up 


Additional Upswell Pop-Ups

Tuesday, June 21: Bridging Toward Belonging
1:00 – 4:30 PM ET

You can’t thrive if you don’t belong. How do we close those divides and heal the deep wounds? We do it through bridge building – the foundation of harnessing collective and shared power. You’ll receive tangible tools to increase your bridge-building skills, unpack why trust and connection is critical to the process, and discuss why belonging is necessary in order to build a healthy and just nation where all thrive.

Register Now for the June 21 Pop-Up 


Tuesday, September 13: Transforming Systems Is the Only Way Forward
1:00 – 4:30 PM ET

Without disrupting, challenging, and transforming systems – we will never achieve an equitable and racially just nation. System change requires collaboration and mobilization to create the transformation necessary for all people to thrive. As the mid-term elections loom and with voter participation more critical than ever, our Fall Upswell Pop-Up will focus on advocacy and power – critical components of system change – and provide you with tangible tools and skills to help get system change underway. Registration for this Pop-Up will open later in 2022.

Registration opens this summer. 

Upswell Summit 2022 

Tuesday, November 15, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Don’t miss our virtual Upswell Summit 2022, where we’ll forge everything, we’ve learned and accomplished in 2022 – and in the previous tumultuous two years – into a single day of impact.

During our one-day Summit, you’ll hear from thought leaders, inspired innovators, and powerful creators through a series of Main Stages, workshops, and small-group networking events. Scheduled one week after the mid-term elections, we’ll amplify the learnings and reflections from the previous Upswell events, tackle what the political landscape means for our communities, and look ahead to 2023. Keep an eye out, registration opens this summer.

Registration opens this summer. Learn more