By Cecelia Waterman-Santiago
Culture Shifting Foundation is a new nonprofit (501c3) organization whose mission is to narrow inequality gaps under three pillars: Healthcare, Entrepreneurship, and Venture Capital.
Culture Shifting Foundation is an offshoot of Culture Shift Labs (CSL), a professional service firm which has pioneered new ways of accelerating access and opportunity for Black businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists, and has been working at the intersection of racial equity and addressing the racial wealth gap since 2006. The Foundation was incubated during our annual Culture Shifting Weekend Conference which has been in existence for 13 years and takes place in New York, Silicon Valley, Miami and London (2022). Culture Shifting Weekends have enabled over $1 billion to be placed into the hands of black entrepreneurs, fund managers and non-profits, and has provided our community of over 11K Black professionals with high level career and board member opportunities.
Our Foundation was created by CSL’s CEO Andrea Hoffman with 23 years of first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that accompany the process of generating new Black Wealth. The CEO of Culture Shifting Foundation is Cecelia Waterman-Santiago with over 20 years in Finance, Marketing and corporate leadership. Our intent is to become a national source of solution for the economic prosperity of the Black American Community.
Racial (and racial wealth) inequality in the US goes back to the country’s formation; they are the very foundation of American society and what the country was built on. Slaves were the free labor used to build America and when slavery was abolished, policies were put in place to keep African Americans subjugated and prevented from fully participating in American wealth. Without significant change to a system designed to deny people of color the right to become wholly participating members of American society, the racial wealth inequality in the US will continue in perpetuity to America’s disadvantage and dis-ease.
We will accelerate the process of narrowing racial inequality gaps with three pillars: Entrepreneurship,
Venture Capital and Healthcare.
Program 1: Building the nation’s largest library of case studies on successful black entrepreneurs (to inspire and
provide examples for current and future generations). We are scaling the idea of “if you can see it, you can be
it!” We are creating a library containing a new generation of successful entrepreneurs in tech, real estate, media,
etc. These are individuals who have generated considerable wealth, and serve as role models and inspirations to
others. Many are living legends whose stories go beyond sports and music; their stories provide current and
future generations with information about how they too can achieve success and overcome challenges.
Launched January 2022 with seed funding from PayPal.
Program 2: We will narrow the wealth gap by increasing the flow of capital and opportunity to black
businesses and leaders. We will identify 50 Black high potential individuals (25 men|25 women) to accelerate
their wealth over the next 5 years and make them high profile “change agents” for the black community. We
will align this group with the best wealth-creation opportunity sources to create new, real-time success stories.
Our plan is to scale up once the pilot program is perfected. This work addresses the wealth gap and the need for
financial inclusion. If we are not deliberate about this, it may take 100 years to achieve this if at all. Launched
June 2022 with seed funding from Winklevoss Capital.
Frederick Douglass, the great American social reformer, understood that economic liberty was a crucial
component of liberty more generally. He believed that private property ownership and the accumulation of
wealth are the keys to freedom.
Program 3: We will host Black Investor and Fund Manager Forums to enable & improve outcomes for
entrepreneurs and venture investors. Building off the decade of success with the annual Culture Shifting
Weekends (which have enabled $1 billion of deals and collaborations with entrepreneurs, executives, healthcare
startup founders and black lead venture fund general partners), we will produce a series of regular engagements
that put investors together with black fund managers. We plan to launch this program in London in November
2022 with support from Accenture.
Program 4: The economic health of cities and communities depends on the financial health and stability of
their residents. The financial health and stability of residents depends on physical health. We will work with the
nation’s most prominent health equity leaders to address the social determinants of health that adversely affect
the black community. We are in discussion with experts at Pfizer, CommonSpirit Health and Walmart, as well
as corporate executive officers in the areas of healthcare and technology, to devise a program that addresses the
issue of racial health inequality.
Culture Shifting Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that relies on charitable contributions to
ensure our ability to operate. Your generous financial investment supports our programs, operating expenses,
and our ability to continue our work toward racial equality and wealth creation. You can support Culture
Shifting Foundation by visiting our website at cultureshifting.foundation/#donate and making a tax-deductible
Cecelia Waterman-Santiago, CEO
Phone: 845-770-4216 (office)