How can we as philanthropists “be the change” we wish to see in the world? By acting locally and having a global impact on the issues we care about most passionately.
As a sector, region, and global community, we are facing major inequities around People (health, gender, social, racial inequities), Planet (climate change and the environment), and Prosperity (economics and education).
SCG members are eager to take the next step toward solving these complex challenges, many of which, until recently, have been considered “too big” to take on by any one sector. We know that these interconnected issues require a combination of deep community knowledge and engagement. They also require an understanding of global context and impact, such as the framework provided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
At this year’s Annual Conference, join hundreds of SCG members who are committed and energized, eager to create positive change in communities here in Southern California and far beyond our borders.
Interactive Breakout Sessions on taking local action with global impacts
Special Spoken Word/Musical Performance by Bryonn Bain, Artist and Activist, UCLA Department of African American Studies
Sneak preview of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA presented by the Getty Foundation
2015 Conference Highlights
the conference is sold out!
Monday, September 19, 2016
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Loews Hollywood Hotel
1755 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
8:30 – 9:45
Breakfast Breakout Sessions
Social Innovation to Catalyze Impact
How Data Can Influence Your Grantmaking
The Millennials Are Here: Engaging a New Generation
Placing Equity at the Center of Education Reform
Real Costs + Real Relationships: Learnings from the Full Cost Pilot
9:45 – 10:00
10:00 – 10:15
Christine Essel, President and CEO, SCG and
Wendy Garen, Chair, SCG Board of Directors and President and CEO, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
10:15 – 11:30
Morning Plenary: Champions of Change
Morning Keynote: Building Bridges to Prosperity in Southern California
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 1:45
Lunchtime Breakout Sessions
Please eat lunch in the room of the breakout you plan to attend. Presentations begin promptly at 12:30.
From Transactional to Transformational: Prioritizing Grantee Inclusion
Grantmaking with an Equity Lens: The Nuts and Bolts
Health, Social Equity, and Climate Change
The Impact of Building Grassroots Movements
Outcomes-Oriented Funding: Breaking Down the Myths and Opportunities
1:45 – 2:00
2:00 – 2:30
State of SCG and Members Meeting
Christine Essel, President and CEO, SCG and
Wendy Garen, Chair, SCG Board of Directors and President and CEO, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
2:30 – 3:00
Afternoon Keynote: Peace, Justice, and Inclusive Societies
Forest Whitaker, Artist, Social Activist, Philanthropist, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
3:00 – 3:45
Afternoon Plenary: Improving Prosperity for Our Families: The Case for Gender Equity
3:45 – 4:00
Sneak Preview of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA presented by the Getty Foundation
4:00 – 5:00
Champions of Change
Enjoy a dynamic exchange between some of the country’s foremost social change-makers, who are advancing movements for social, gender and racial equity. These champions of change will take us on a journey by sharing the experiences that catapulted them into action and offer insights about the efforts they’ve led—from criminal justice reform and interfaith collaboration to the advancement of women and girls. After sharing their personal stories, the speakers will be joined by Dr. Robert Ross from The California Endowment to explore the role that funders can play in fostering and sustaining authentic and transformational social change. This session will also feature a special spoken word/musical performance by artist and activist Bryonn Bain.
Morning Keynote Address with Mayor Eric Garcetti:
Building Bridges to Prosperity in Southern California
While emerging as an economic, creative, and social leader recognized around the world, Southern California continues to face persistent challenges regarding issues such as economic justice, affordable housing, and even gridlock. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has committed himself to leading the region in building thriving communities by pushing policy positions like raising the minimum wage and revitalizing the Los Angeles River. In a candid and unscripted conversation with Weingart Foundation President and CEO Fred Ali, Mayor Garcetti will directly address the challenges of cross sector collaboration around our toughest regional issues and the direct role philanthropy can play to partner with government to build a stronger civic structure.
Afternoon Keynote Address with Forest Whitaker:
Peace, Justice, and Inclusive Societies
In his keynote address, Mr. Whitaker will emphasize that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals—both at home and abroad—requires the participation of ordinary citizens, as well as engaging the philanthropy leaders who already play a vital role in this global movement through their local grantmaking. After his remarks, Mr. Whitaker will be joined by Berit Ashla, Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, for an in-depth conversation about the SDGs. They will discuss how this inclusive movement—which leaves no one behind—requires innovative and groundbreaking approaches to address the economic, environmental, and social challenges facing our interconnected world. Join us for this critical opportunity to learn how the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) collaborates with UNESCO, the social sector, and grassroots organizations to promote youth empowerment, cultural diversity, and inclusive societies.
Creating Prosperity for Families: The Case for Gender Equity
Women are often the agents of change in their communities, homes, and schools. But most low-income women who balance jobs and families face many obstacles that restrict their path to prosperity: limited education and job training opportunities, minimal access to well-paid, stable employment with benefits, and a lack of affordable, quality child care. The case for change is clear and momentum is building to address these issues through a gender equity lens. For example, in 2015, California instituted the California Fair Pay Act, mandating that employees cannot be paid less than those of the opposite sex for “substantially similar work,” even if their titles are different or they work at different sites. In this session, panelists will share the latest on cross-sector collaborations and opportunities, research, and the possibilities for foundations, government agencies, and corporations to lift up women and girls, and in turn, their entire communities.
PLACING EQUITY AT THE CENTER OF EDUCATION REFORM
Join us to explore what’s missing from much of the current policy debate on student achievement: how can we place equity at the center of education reform, and how can we support and cultivate effective teaching in schools? While the movement for standards and accountability has largely succeeded in bringing greater attention to disparities in student achievement, less attention has been given to creating school conditions that improve achievement for all students. In this session, participants will learn proven, effective principles and practices that meet the needs of a wide variety of learners. We’ll also explore how grantmakers in education can have an even greater impact by investing in marginalized populations.
HEALTH, social equity, and climate change
Hear from grantmakers and community leaders who are changing the way their organizations and their communities rise to the challenge of climate change. Participants will get helpful advice from corporate, celebrity philanthropy, and traditional grantmaker perspectives about how to view climate change through a health lens, how to discuss climate-related challenges and opportunities with foundation trustees, and how to develop equitable, transformative strategies that help communities thrive. This session has been designed in partnership with the Health and Environmental Funders Network.
the impact of BUILDING GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS
People of color already make up the majority of California’s 39 million residents. Yet, voting rates among communities of color remain low, which means their interests as well as those of their families are not reflected in local and state policymaking. In this session, we’ll explore the impact of civic participation efforts on the current elections, and connect voting to issues of empowerment, including civic activities like contacting public officials and participating in public hearings and meetings. Speakers will discuss primary election results and lessons learned from the California Civic Participation Funders’ efforts to translate changing demographics into a changing electorate. This session has been designed in partnership with California Civic Participation Funders.
grantmaking with an Equity lens: the nuts and bolts
More and more funders are interested in “equity,” and for good reason: the world’s biggest problems have deep roots, and putting equity first gives funders the best chance to solve them. But what exactly does it mean to “adopt an equity lens”? And what practical steps can foundations of all stripes take to do it right? This action-oriented session will cover California philanthropy's latest equity report card, real life stories from peer funders and practitioners, and group brainstorming to demystify this process. Join the Liberty Hill Foundation, Weingart Foundation, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and Inland Congregations United for Change as we tackle the nuts and bolts of equity in the real world.
From Transactional to Transformational: Prioritizing Grantee Inclusion
Partnering with grantees to shape what we do and how we do it is the best way to achieve our shared goals of social change. In fact, research shows that grantmakers who are more connected to their grantees are more likely to provide the support that nonprofits need to be successful. But shifting the grantmaker-grantee relationship from transactional to transformational requires that grantmakers not only commit to grantee inclusion but also understand the seismic shift in practice that may be needed in order to develop strong relationships. Join this session to discuss what it really takes to prioritize grantee inclusion and learn some tools and frameworks that will help build a habit of reflective practice. This session has been designed in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.
Outcomes-Oriented Funding: Breaking Down the Myths and Opportunities
Social Impact Investing is a term we hear a lot these days. But what is it really? In this session, we’ll look at the various ways that the sector is exploring the funding and financing of social outcomes. Specifically—and with the help of funders who have made these investments—we’ll explore the utility and limitations of philanthropic investments beyond the grants, (namely PRIs), the trend toward (and challenges of!) government/philanthropic partnerships, the potential and challenges around pay for success and outcomes-based financing, and the drive toward creating data driven culture in the social sector. This session has been designed in partnership with Nonprofit Finance Fund.
Social Innovation to catalyze Impact
The Stanford Center for Social innovation defines social innovation as "a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals." While many corporate, nonprofit, and foundation leaders recognize the need to embrace social innovation, it is not always clear how to identify new and breakthrough solutions to our world’s toughest challenges. In this session, leaders from different sectors will discuss the ways in which using the social innovation lens has shaped their experiences. They will explain the differences between social innovation and corporate social responsibility, as well as how social innovation leverages collective impact, aligns limited resources, and addresses problems differently than traditional approaches. The session will include a Q & A lightening round to ignite new thinking and to inspire new connections.
The Millennials are Here: Engaging a New Generation
Millennials, typically defined as the generation of individuals born between 1980 and 2000, are now the largest generation in the American workforce. The ways that Millennials think about social issues, their careers, and their giving present opportunities for engagement that can bring about meaningful impact on local, regional, and national communities for decades to come. Millennials are already changing how nonprofits, corporations, and foundations recruit and retain employees, engage volunteers, and support donors, and they are influencing the expectations and process of philanthropy to better leverage technology, collaborate, and value transparency. So how do we authentically engage millennials into our organizations, our philanthropy, and our sector? This session will focus on how we can evolve our practices to best connect with—and benefit from—this generation.
Real Costs + Real Relationships: Learnings from the Full Cost Pilot
In 2016, Weingart Foundation, California Community Foundation, and Nonprofit Finance Fund partnered with 12 grantees to run The Full Cost Community of Practice, a pilot initiative designed to put the beliefs of The Real Cost Project into action. The six month pilot revealed that shared language and concepts are important, but relationships and trust matter even more. The partners learned that in order to engage in a real and productive full-cost conversation, both funder and nonprofit need to create an environment based on mutual respect, openness, and trust. In this session, hear from both funders and grantees about how to chip away at common power dynamics and how you might begin to structure your own conversations about full costs with your grantees.
How Data Can Influence Your Grantmaking
Join us for an interactive session to learn how your peers are using fresh, detailed demographic and grantmaking data to inform their work, shape decisions and strategies, and build effective relationships in the region. During our time together you will have the opportunity to hear case studies, connect with your peers on their own experiences, and learn additional tips and tricks for getting the most out of the data and research!
The Conference is sold out!
$400 for SCG members registered by August 12
$475 for SCG members registered after August 13
$900 for non-members who meet SCG’s eligibility criteria: socalgrantmakers.org/join
Members of Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers can register at the SCG member rate.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Weingart Foundation
Fred Ali began his career in 1972 as a volunteer teacher and counselor in a small western Alaska village. Over the next 19 years, he held a number of key positions in Alaska including deputy director of the State Employment and Training Agency; president of Kuskokwim Community College; and vice chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage. In 1991, Ali became the executive director of Covenant House multi-service program working with homeless and at-risk youth in Los Angeles. He has more than 35 years of senior management experience with nonprofits, educational institutions, and government. He received his undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University, and his graduate degree in education from the University of Michigan. Ali was elected President of Weingart Foundation in 1999 and named CEO of the Foundation in 2006. He serves on the Boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles and previously served as Board Chair of Southern California Grantmakers. Ali also serves as Chair of the Board of Advisors for The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at USC and as a Senior Fellow for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He speaks regularly on issues pertaining to the nonprofit sector including sustainability, organizational effectiveness, capacity building, and the impact of the recent economic downturn.
Executive Director, CARECEN (Central American Resource Center)
Martha Arévalo is Executive Director for the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), responsible for operations, fundraising, program development, and strategic communications. Prior to her appointment, Arévalo was the Chair of the Board of Directors for the organization. She specializes in immigrant advocacy work, community outreach, and Latino strategic communications. Prior to her CARECEN appointment, Arévalo was the Co-founder of Arévalo-Sánchez, Inc., a boutique public relations and advertising firm. In 2004, she was the Communications Manager for Univision 34 and TeleFutura 46 TV in Los Angeles. Before joining Univision, Arévalo worked at Rogers & Associates (The Rogers Group) for six years and was part of the leadership team that developed its internal Latino practice. She graduated from the School of Public Policy at UCLA with a master’s degree in urban planning, and received her bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
Berit Ashla is a Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors leading West Coast advisory work with individual donors, family foundations and corporate grantmakers. She has a wealth of experience in foundation governance and grantmaking programs focused on education, arts, social justice, and sustainability. She is a frequent contributor to global and national philanthropic conferences and events. Berit’s nonprofit career spans over two decades. As Program Officer and Senior Director at Tides Foundation, she developed grantmaking initiatives and managed institutional clients including the Threshold Foundation. Berit served as Executive Director of the David Brower Center, an innovative arts and sustainability center, and earlier in her career, she worked at the Marin Community Foundation, KQED Public Television and the United Nations Environment Program in Paris, France. Berit has a B.A. from Amherst College and serves on the boards of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Abundance Foundation, Nia Community Fund, and the Institute for the Future.
Artist, Activist, and Author
Bryonn Bain is a prison activist, actor, author, hip hop theater innovator, and spoken word poetry champion. His internationally acclaimed, multimedia production Lyrics From Lockdown is a one-man show weaving together hip hop theater, spoken word poetry, blues, comedy, calypso, and classical music to tell his unbelievable story of racial profiling and unjustified imprisonment. Wrongfully incarcerated during his second year at Harvard Law School, Bain was featured on 60 Minutes after writing Walking While Black: The Bill of Rights for Black Men, which received the largest reader response in the history of The Village Voice. Bain's work as a BET host won awards for the critically acclaimed talk show My Two Cents. He is the author of The Prophet Returns: A Hip Hop Generation Remix of a Classic and The Ugly Side of Beautiful: Rethinking Race and Prisons in America. Bain's newest book, Fish & Bread/Pescado y Pan, is a bilingual hip hop-inspired children's book. After developing courses linking Rikers Island correctional facility with Columbia University, and teaching the first hip hop and spoken word course at Harvard University, Bain launched the Prison Education Program at NYU to offer college in New York prisons. He is currently developing a prison education program with UCLA at a California women's prison.
Associate Director, Inland Congregations United for Change
Karen Borja is the Associate Director of Inland Congregations United for Change, a PICO National Network affiliate located in the Inland Empire region of California. Based out of Coachella, she has been organizing in various capacities such as community leader, intern, community organizer, and now manager with ICUC for the past 11 years. Most recently, Borja organized with faith institutions for the opening of the first park in the unincorporated communities located in the Eastern Coachella Valley, extended public transportation, and brought a mobile clinic—resources that will serve over 20,000 socially vulnerable families. She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana and in 2015 she completed the Nonprofit Management Certification Program through the University of Riverside.
Deputy Executive Director, White House Council on Women and Girls
Jordan Brooks is the Deputy Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. The Council works every day to coordinate policy and outreach from the Federal government to advance the lives of women and girls. Prior to her position with the Council, Brooks worked in both the Office of the First Lady and the Office of the Vice President, beginning in 2009. She also worked on the Obama Biden campaign in 2008 in Virginia and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in political science and gender studies.
Executive Director, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Tamika Butler joined the LA County Bicycle Coalition as the Executive Director in 2014. Prior to that she served as Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation, where she oversaw the Foundation’s boys and men of color program and the LGBTQ grant strategy. Before Liberty Hill, Butler worked at Young Invincibles as the California Director, where she was responsible for the development of all California programs and building out operations on the West Coast. She transitioned to policy work after litigating for three years as an employment lawyer at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center. Butler currently serves as the Co-Chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights Board of Directors, serves as the Institute Co-Director of the New Leaders Council - Los Angeles, and is an Advisory Board Member for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports program. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, and in 2006 received her B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Sociology in Omaha, Nebraska.
Knowledge Services Manager, Foundation Center (Moderator)
Amanda Dillon coordinates the development, implementation, and communication of knowledge services projects at Foundation Center for grantmakers, including research analyses and data visualization tools. She has worked on a number of large data and story-telling initiatives on topics including education, women’s development in Africa, and youth philanthropy. Prior to her work at the Center, Dillon consulted with Berkley Research Group, held leadership positions organizing the Global Young Leaders Conference in New York and Washington, DC, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania and Mozambique; and taught art education to inner-city youth in Southern California through Arts Bridge. She also served on The New York Women’s Foundation Grants Advising Committee. Dillon received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine.
Director, Grant Operations, The California Endowment
Dolores Estrada joined The Endowment in 1999 and is currently the Director Grants Operations. In her current capacity, she oversees the administrative functions and policies of the TCE’s online grantmaking and monitoring processes, and provides guidance on issues of tax and legal compliance review. Estrada works on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and currently manages The Endowment’s grantee diversity data collection process and shares lessons learned with the field. She serves on various boards of directors, membership organizations, and community service projects, including her membership with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (Los Angeles Chapter) and her former role as a Board Member of the Grants Managers Network. Estrada is the recipient of the 2009 Emerging Leader Award from the Joint Affinity Group. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Cal State, Northridge, and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.
Mayor, City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is focused on equipping Los Angeles to be a more resilient city, one better prepared to withstand and recover from shocks and stresses of all shapes and sizes. Capitalizing on L.A.’s designation as one of the inaugural Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, Mayor Garcetti will share his vision for building resilience across LA communities and how the philanthropic and business communities can help. Garcetti is the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. His "back to basics" agenda is focused on job creation and solving everyday problems for L.A. residents. He was elected four times by his peers to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 until taking office as Mayor, Garcetti served as the Councilmember representing the 13th District, which includes Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Atwater Village. Garcetti has taught at Occidental College and the University of Southern California.
Shane Murphy Goldsmith
President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Hill Foundation
Shane Murphy Goldsmith is the President and CEO of Liberty Hill Foundation. Previously, she served as Vice President and Chief Program Officer. She was responsible for oversight of Liberty Hill's programs including training, grantmaking and campaigns as well as the operations and finance departments. Prior to that Goldsmith was the Executive Director of PATH Ventures, an affordable housing development agency. She has also served as a Senior Advisor to then-City Council President Eric Garcetti for four years, overseeing a variety of field and legislative projects, including housing, economic development, the city budget, public safety, and LGBTQ issues. Before that, Goldsmith was a community organizer focusing on economic justice in low-income communities of color in LA. A graduate of Kenyon College, she spent a year as a National Hunger Fellow managing a homeless shelter in Indiana and then conducting federal policy research in Washington, D.C. on welfare reform. Goldsmith holds a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration. She is Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Board of Commissioners, and the co-chair of the California Executive Alliance for Boys and Men of Color So-Cal Region. She sits on the national Board of the Neighborhood Funders Group, the Los Angeles Steering Committee of the Funders Network for Smart and Equitable Growth, and the Board of People Assisting the Homeless (PATH).
Kristen Scott Kennedy
Senior Manager, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Kristen Scott Kennedy is a Senior Manager at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, where she works closely with Kathleen Enright, President and CEO, on GEO’s emerging priorities. Prior to joining GEO, Kennedy worked in international development for the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council, and was founding Managing Director at The Bhutan Canada Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to improving education in the Kingdom of Bhutan. She began her career in communications and operations at The Unusual Suspects Theater Company in Los Angeles before working in fundraising at The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto and Macmillan Cancer Support in London, UK. Kennedy received her MPA from American University, where she focused on nonprofit management. She is an alumna of the University of Southern California and a recipient of the Nonprofit Executive Scholarship at the Richard Ivey School of Business. She currently serves as volunteer Managing Director for Lean & Hungry Theater, a Washington, DC based audio theater company.
Chief Executive Officer, Women’s Foundation of California
Surina Khan is the CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California. For more than two decades, she has been a leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit social justice sector, working on an array of social justice issues including women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and more. Before being appointed CEO in 2014, Khan served as a Director in the Democracy Rights and Justice Program at the Ford Foundation, where she shaped grantmaking to expand rights for women, LGBT people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen democratic participation and governance. Before that, she spent six years at the Women’s Foundation of California, serving as Vice President of Programs and providing strategic direction for grantmaking, strengthening organizational effectiveness of social justice organizations, and overseeing the Women’s Policy Institute. Khan previously served as Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, where she advanced the human rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. She currently serves on the Boards of Alliance for Justice, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and OutRight Action International. Khan is a member of the Advisory Board of the Campaign for College Opportunity, the Ambassador Council for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and a Public Policy Committee member for Southern California Grantmakers. Her writing and research have been published widely in print and online.
Director, Advisory Services, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Claire Knowlton is a Director in Advisory Services, based in Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Los Angeles office. Claire oversees NFF’s work in Southern California with nonprofits, funders and other partners to build the financial health of the region’s social sector. Prior to joining NFF, she was Executive Director of a community-based art center in Los Angeles for eight years, where she brought the organization from financial distress to a model of excellence in programming and organizational management. Knowlton also worked as an independent auditor for nonprofit organizations. She is co-founder and Board President of The Life You Can Save, a nonprofit committed to ending extreme poverty by directing philanthropic dollars to the most effective solutions.
Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Jessica LaBarbera serves as Vice President, Strategic Innovation at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she facilitates evolutions in the social impact investing space, develops and oversees special initiatives and leads strategic consulting work with nonprofit, foundation and government clients. She has overseen NFF’s work in the Pay for Success (PFS) arena since 2010, including the Social Innovation Fund PFS Initiatives to develop PFS projects across California and the nation. LaBarbera has spoken prolifically on PFS in the United States including testimony to the California State Legislature and facilitation of five convenings presented in partnership with the White House Office of Social Innovation. Previously, she was a Vice President at Citi Community Capital, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. LaBarbera has also served as a consultant to municipal government social service agencies, nonprofit advocacy organizations and direct service providers. She holds an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Virginia.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Give2Get; Chair, IMPACT 2030
Grady Lee has spent the past decade creating opportunities and experiences for people to engage with each other and help change the world. In 2015, he co-founded and became the Chair of Impact 2030, a private-sector led initiative with the United Nations aligning global corporate volunteer programs to help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to that, as Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of RockCorps, Lee built out the global operation that engaged more than 160,000 volunteers in ten countries through thousands of volunteer events with thousands of NGOs. He further leveraged the model by co-founding CorpsGiving, a leader in corporate volunteer event production, connecting with thousands of employees in communities throughout the US. Lee has also worked in feature film development, marketing, and production on multiple films domestically and internationally. He earned his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and his BA from Princeton University.
Portfolio Director, The James Irvine Foundation
Connie Malloy was appointed portfolio director at The James Irvine Foundation in 2016, after serving as Program Director and Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program. She oversees the Foundation’s statewide grantmaking initiatives in voter and civic engagement, elections policies and practices, and immigrant integration, and leads emerging efforts to expand the voice and influence of low-wage workers. Malloy serves as a Commissioner for the first-ever California Citizens Redistricting Commission. In 2011, the Commission implemented Propositions 11 and 20 resulting in Assembly, Senate, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts to guide elections for 10 years. She also was recently appointed to the national Funders Committee for Civic Participation. Before joining Irvine, Malloy was Senior Director of Programs for Urban Habitat and oversaw the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Earlier in her career she worked at a local United Way, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, and as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow.
Sandra J. Martínez
Director of Public Policy, The California Wellness Foundation
Sandra J. Martínez is Director of Public Policy at The California Wellness Foundation, where she is responsible for grantmaking related to advancing public policy to address systemic health issues and supporting efforts to improve policies or conditions using activities such as education, advocacy, civic engagement, and policy analysis. Previously, Martínez directed the Progressive Los Angeles Network and other community-organizing efforts at the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the California Health Interview Survey and on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Trade Tech College Foundation. Martínez received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Program Associate, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Justin McAuliffe helps to manage the special programs activities of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, including the inter-generational family philanthropy, department-wide projects, and Program-Related Investments. He is responsible for monitoring current grants and supporting the development, review, and presentation of grant proposals for consideration by the Foundation Board of Directors. Outside of work, McAuliffe manages a personal impact investing portfolio and is working towards a 100% impact allocation.
Senior Program Officer, The James Irvine Foundation
Virginia Mosqueda was appointed Senior Program Officer in the California Democracy program at the James Irvine Foundation in August 2015. She brings more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit, public policy, and advocacy arenas, holding senior positions within philanthropy and government. Most recently, Mosqueda was Program Manager of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities - Central Santa Ana program. Prior to joining The Endowment, she was Director of Civic Engagement for California Community Foundation, where she launched the Immigrant Integration Initiative, among other civic engagement efforts. Before that, Mosqueda completed a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellowship in Washington, DC in 2003, and then served as legislative assistant and legislative director for U.S. Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. She also served as Youth Enrichment Director at Santa Ana’s Delhi Center, where she designed, implemented, and managed five youth enrichment and education programs. Mosqueda holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Irvine and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Fundamental
Shauna Nep is a bioethicist with a passion for social impact, urban innovation, and creating connected, vibrant communities. She is currently the Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Fundamental, a boutique philanthropic consulting firm which helps families, individuals, and institutions create impact on the issues they care about most. Nep was previously the Director of Innovation and Community at the Goldhirsh Foundation, where she helped launch and grow LA2050, an initiative driving and tracking progress toward a shared vision for the future of Los Angeles. She serves as Board President of LA-Más, a nonprofit urban planning and design firm in Los Angeles, and sits on the Regional Board of Opportunity Fund. Nep is also the Curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers' Los Angeles Chapter and an Associate Board Member of BUILD Los Angeles. She is also a columnist at Los Angeles Magazine.
Director of Investments and State Strategy, The Solutions Project
Tyler Nickerson has nearly a decade of respected leadership on the frontier of social change by integrating expertise in philanthropy, strategic communications, and public policy. He serves as the Director of Investments and State Strategy at The Solutions Project – a cultural campaign and grantmaking initiative accelerating the transition towards 100% clean energy for all people. Previously, Nickerson served as a Program Manager at the Dyer-Ives Foundation, and Founder & CEO of Motu Communications, which served clients in strategic communications, public affairs, program design, and evaluation. He has also led a community-based organization responding to the Foreclosure Crisis, advocated statewide for stronger housing policies, and consulted on more than 20 electoral campaigns. Nickerson holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Grand Valley State University and is completing graduate studies in Public Administration at Penn State. He serves on the Boards of the Michigan Environmental Council and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy - Washington, DC Chapter.
Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA
Pedro Noguera, PhD, is the distinguished Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences at UCLA. His research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, Noguera served at New York University, the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the University of California, Berkeley. From 2009 to 2012, he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY), and in 2014, Noguera was elected to the National Academy of Education. He has recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty. Noguera has published over 200 research articles, and research reports, and is the author of several books. His most recent book is Excellence Through Equity with Alan Blankstein.
Senior Director, Skoll Awards and Community, Skoll Foundation
As Senior Director for Social Entrepreneurship at the Skoll Foundation, Jude O'Reilley is responsible for the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship and building the community of Skoll Awardees. He has more than 18 years of experience in technology, management, and entrepreneurship in the private sector. From working with Fortune 500 companies to being the first employee of a health-focused startup, O'Reilly has launched more than 100 consumer and enterprise products. His professional background includes more than four years at Amazon.com, where he was responsible for product management. Prior to joining Amazon.com, O'Reilley spent the majority of his high-tech career in startups, including Trusera, a place on the web for people to share their personal medical experiences. He began his product career at Aventail, a tech company that was later sold to Dell Inc. O'Reilley earned a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College.
Senior Fellow, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Dan Petegorsky is a Senior Fellow at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), where he leads the organization's work to support foundations and practitioners seeking to protect and expand nonpartisan democratic and civic participation for historically marginalized communities. He has more than 30 years of experience promoting social change. Petegorsky is best known for his 14 years as Executive Director of Western States Center, a regional training and support center for nonprofit advocacy and community organizing in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, and Great Basin. He has also worked as Western Regional Director of the Peace Development Fund and consultant to organizations such as The Atlantic Philanthropies, Leadership Center for the Common Good, Campaign for a Fair Settlement, Proteus Fund and Funders' Committee for Civic Participation. Petegorsky helped found the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and serves on the Boards of Communities United for People and Every Voice Center (formerly Public Campaign). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A from Brandeis University.
Director, Strategic Partnerships, First 5 Los Angeles
Jennifer Pippard, M.S.W., is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at First 5 LA. She helps to develop organization-wide partnerships that contribute to the advancement of First 5 LA’s strategic plan outcomes, and develops First 5 LA’s relationships with philanthropy, business, and educational institutions to advance First 5 LA’s policy and systems change agenda. Pippard has been at First 5 LA since 2003, first in the Program & Planning Department followed by the Community Investments Departments. Immediately before arriving at First 5 LA she was the Program Director of Neighborhood Networks4Kids (NN4K), and the Los Angeles Youth Council under the City of Los Angeles' Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families. After receiving her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Western Washington University, Pippard served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, South America. After returning from the Peace Corps she moved to Los Angeles to earn her M.S.W. from the University of Southern California. Her social work experience in Los Angeles includes foster care social work, Healthy Start Programs, school social work, and family day care programs.
Director, Domestic Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Bill Pitkin oversees the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s domestic priority areas. Prior to joining the Foundation, Pitkin was Director of Research and Planning at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he oversaw the publication of research reports and led a strategic planning process resulting in a 10-year action plan to fight poverty in Los Angeles. He has also served as Executive Director at the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation and Research Director at the Advanced Policy Institute in the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Affairs. Pitkin has published research and reports on such topics as community and nonprofit technology, education, homelessness, housing affordability, mortgage lending discrimination, and urban planning history. He has taught in the UCLA Urban Planning Department and the Urban Studies and Planning Program at California State University, Northridge. He received his doctorate and master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.
Professor of Public Policy and Political Science/Associate Dean, University of California, Riverside
Karthick Ramakrishnan is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of California, Riverside, where he also serves as Associate Dean of the School of Public Policy. His research focuses on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and is the founder of AAPIdata.com, which seeks to make policy-relevant data on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders more accessible to a variety of audiences. He is the author of The New Immigration Federalism and the founding editor of the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (JREP), an official section journal of the American Political Science Association. Ramakrishnan received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). He is Director of the UC-wide program on AAPI Policy, an appointee to the California Commission on APIA Affairs (2014-2017), an Adjunct Fellow at PPIC, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Pay for Success Consultant; Director of Development & Education, The Pasadena Playhouse - State Theater of California
Annette Ricchiazzi is the Director of Institutional Advancement for The Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, and the second oldest professional regional theater in the nation. She is also currently the lead project consultant on the Pomona Unified School District Pay For Success Project working on behalf of the district and partners to secure funding and investments for a high-quality preschool build-out in Pomona. Ricchiazzi has close to 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector focused on development, communications, strategic planning, and corporate, government, community, and alumni relations. Most recently she was Director of Advancement and Strategic Partnerships at LAUP, a large early education nonprofit service provider and policy/advocacy organization in Los Angeles. Annette has led and managed high profile projects including developing an early education Pay For Success initiative, a Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment, and a White House Initiative Commitment, among others.
Mee Heh Risdon
Senior Loan Officer, Corporation for Supportive Housing
Mee Heh Risdon has over 17 years of experience in affordable and supportive housing development. As a Senior Loan Officer with the Community Investment team at CSH, Risdon is responsible for identifying, originating, and closing loans that support CSH’s local priorities and goals in CSH’s Western Region. She works with nonprofits to evaluate financial health, determine financing needs, verify credit-readiness, and assess project feasibility. Prior to joining CSH, Risdon was a Senior Project Manager with Mercy Housing California, performing community outreach and developing relationships with key stakeholders including government officials, lenders, investors, community members, and local service providers. She was also a Project Manager for Beyond Shelter Housing Development Corporation, Program Manager for Community Opportunities Group, and Project Manager for Mid-Peninsula Housing Corporation. Risdon has a Master of City Planning with a concentration in housing, community and economic development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.
Senior Program Officer, Education, California Community Foundation
Peter Rivera is the Senior Program Officer for Education at California Community Foundation and managing the education program of CCF, the FEDCO teacher grant program. He also assists the Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow program and manages a partnership supporting the Ford Foundation’s Extended Learning Time strategy. Before joining CCF in 2010, Rivera was a Program Manager in the San Diego Unified School District, and previously worked at the Hechinger Institute for Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University. He received a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California. Rivera is currently a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Chief Executive Officer, The Workers Lab
Carmen Rojas is the CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and technologists to develop new ways to build power for working people in the US. The Workers Lab invests capital, offers business development training, and connects ventures to a broad network of supporters. Prior to this, she was the Acting Director of Collective Impact at Living Cities, where her work focused on improving economic opportunity for low-income people. She played a pivotal role supporting the work of Living Cities’ member institutions, which represented 22 of the largest foundations and financial institutions in the world. Previously, she was the Director of Strategic Programs at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, where she oversaw the Foundation’s Green Access and Civic Engagement programs. Her experience also includes serving as the Coordinator of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s Taskforce on African American Out-Migration, and as the Coordinator of the Social Equity Caucus, a program of Urban Habitat, a regional nonprofit organization in the Bay Area. Carmen holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar.
Director, Health Programs and Policy, Children and Families Commission of Orange County
Ilia Rolon provides leadership and management of the Children and Families Commission of Orange County’s healthy children portfolio, and directs the development and implementation of program and policy strategies to improve health outcomes for children. She has more than 25 years of experience in public health. Prior to her work with the Commission, Rolon served as Director of Strategic Development at CalOptima (Orange County’s Medicaid Managed Care Program). As a former consultant to the Commission she was instrumental in the development of the Bridges Maternal Child Health Network and programs to increase access to pediatric primary and specialty care through community clinics. Rolon has a Master of Public Health from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach.
Dr. Robert Ross
President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment
Robert Ross, M.D., is President and CEO of The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in 2000, Dr. Ross served as Director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego. He has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health administrator, and as a clinician. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; Medical Director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; and Instructor of Clinical Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Co-Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition, and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. Dr. Ross is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future, and served as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. He received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration, and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
President, Goldhirsh Foundation
Tara Roth is President of the Goldhirsh Foundation. Prior to this role, she bridged the worlds of marketing, media, and philanthropy as the founding Chief Operating Officer of GOOD and as a social strategy advisor. Roth began her career in marketing and business development for NBCinternet and Infoseek. She has worked with organizations such as Participant Media, Fifteen Foundation, and the New Schools Venture Fund. As a Senior Advisor to GOOD, Roth helped launch the Pepsi Refresh Project. She serves on the Board of Southern California Grantmakers and on the regional advisory boards of Opportunity Fund, FUSE Corps, Innovate LA (InLA), LA n Sync, and 826LA. Roth is a Senior Fellow at USC's Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. She received a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and an MBA from Oxford University, where she was awarded a Skoll scholarship in social entrepreneurship.
Director, Institute on Inequality and Democracy, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin, and holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy. Previously, she was on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. Roy’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality across four domains: how the urban poor in cities face and fight eviction, foreclosure, and displacement; how global financialization creates new markets in debt and risk; how the efforts to manage and govern the problem of poverty reveal the contradictions and limits of liberal democracy; and how economic prosperity and aspiration in the global South is creating new potentialities for programs of human development and social welfare. Roy is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff book award for Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010); the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching recognition that the University of California, Berkeley bestows on its faculty; and the Excellence in Achievement award of the Cal Alumni Association.
Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York
Linda Sarsour is a racial justice and civil rights activist. A Palestinian Muslim American born and raised in Brooklyn, she is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPOWER Change. Sarsour has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending police policies like stop and frisk. She co-founded Muslims for Ferguson to build solidarity amongst American Muslim communities and encourage work against police brutality. She is a member of the Justice League NYC, a force of activists, formerly incarcerated individuals, and artists working to reform the police department and the criminal justice system. Sarsour co-chaired the March2Justice, a 250-mile journey on foot to deliver a justice package to end racial profiling, demilitarize police, and demand the government invest in young people and communities. This year, she joined leading social justice faith leaders as a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Sarsour has received numerous awards including “Champion of Change” by the White House. She has written for and been featured in local, national, and international media, and is most known for her intersectional coalition work and building bridges across issues, racial, ethnic, and faith communities.
Director, Program Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente
Pamela Schwartz joined Kaiser Permanente in 2001 and became part of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program in 2007 as Director, Program Evaluation. She directs cross-site evaluations of Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit efforts, including the Community Health Initiative, a national effort to improve health in Kaiser Permanente communities through multi-sectoral, place-based efforts focusing on environmental and policy change. This effort is a critical element of Kaiser Permanente’s approach to preventing obesity-related diseases. Schwartz also directs evaluation of Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools initiative, intended to improve the health of students, teachers, and staff through improvements to the school environment within communities served by Kaiser Permanente. She also leads a program-wide approach aimed at refining Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Needs Assessment processes, including in Community Benefit strategy and driving community health improvement by supporting strong investments and leveraging the assets and partnerships of the broader health system. Schwartz holds a Master’s in Public Health and has over 20 years’ experience in public health and evaluation. She is a graduate of Kaiser Permanente’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.
Director, Social Finance
Jake Segal is a Director on the Advisory Services team at Social Finance. In this role, he works with nonprofit, financial, and government clients to identify and assess potential Pay for Success projects, prioritizing among interventions, performing diligence on providers, and analyzing the economics of potential deals. His work at Social Finance focuses on public health, criminal justice, and workforce development. Prior to Social Finance, he was a Case Team Leader with The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm, where he worked with a variety of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations focusing on health care and impact investing. Earlier in his career, Segal worked with public, private, and nonprofit clients at the Boston Consulting Group, where much of his work centered on global health investment and planning. He is a graduate of Harvard College.
Director, Health and Environmental Funders Network
Kathy Sessions is one of HEFN’s two Directors. In 1999 she helped funders create HEFN, and has worked to build HEFN and environmental health philanthropy ever since. She oversees HEFN’s external relations and collaborative relationships with philanthropic partners. Her HEFN work began as part-time consulting for the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, HEFN's first home base. In 2002 she joined CGBD’s staff where for two years she coordinated both HEFN and the Climate & Energy Funders. Sessions has worked with nonprofits and international organizations including the United Nations Association of the USA, ACCESS, the United Nations Development Programme, the Aspen Institute, and Leaders in Environment and Development. She represents HEFN on the National Environmental Health Partnership Council and the MomentUs Climate for Health Leadership Circle. Her past board service includes stints with the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the National Research Council and the Barbara Smith Fund. Sessions holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton, and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Harvard.
Co-Founder and Founding Chief Executive Officer, Malala Fund
Shiza Shahid is a social entrepreneur, television personality, and women’s rights advocate. She is passionate about leveraging philanthropy, venture capital, technology and the media to drive scalable social impact and women’s empowerment. Shahid co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She is now focused on supporting startups, innovators, and entrepreneurs, particularly women, who are creating positive global impact. She is an advocate for women entrepreneurs, and hosts Women’s Story-telling Salons bringing together entrepreneurs to collaborate. She is the host of the new show ASPIREist, which will air on Flipboard, Facebook, and Youtube. Shahid grew up in Pakistan as a vocal advocate for social change. She graduated from Stanford University and worked as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company. She is also a graduate of Singularity University, where she studied how to apply technology towards the goal of solving gender inequities. Shahid has received many awards for her work including TIME’s “30 under 30 World Changer” and Forbes “30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur.” She is a prominent speaker on millennial and women’s entrepreneurship. Shahid speaks frequently at international convenings including Milken Global Institute, Fortune Most Powerful Women, Women Moving Millions, and the World Economic Forum.
Head of Talent and Culture, Omaze
Anna Silverman is the Head of Talent and Culture at Omaze, a fundraising platform that leverages the power of storytelling and technology to radically change charitable giving, where she oversees recruiting and employee engagement. Prior to joining Omaze, Silverman was a Social Innovation Manager at the Goldhirsh Foundation and LA2050, and managed collaborative grant-making projects with GOOD and the Pepsi Refresh Project. She serves on the Advisory Board for USC's Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and LIFT-LA's NextGen board. Silverman received a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.
Erica Williams Simon
Erica Williams Simon is an award winning political strategist and advocate turned digital media maker, speaker, coach and writer. A World Economic Forum Global Shaper and the youngest appointed member of the Global Agenda Council on Social Media, her work focuses on sharing the ideas and practices that can lead to personal fulfillment and social change in today's youthful, diverse, digital world. As Deputy Editor at Upworthy.com, Simon uses uplifting storytelling and data analysis to reach an audience of up to 30 million each month. She is also a contributor to TIME magazine. Simon spent nearly a decade in Washington, D.C. building Millennial policy, communications, and political engagement programs at the think tank, Center for American Progress. Called one of Politico’s Top 50 Politicos to Watch, she has worked closely with the White House on under-30 focused initiatives and was an architect of the youth engagement strategy around President Obama’s campaign for health care reform. In 2012 Simon shifted to a more holistic approach to social change: using media and storytelling to help support the next generation of game changers. She currently advises on a variety of social cause initiatives and sits on the Boards of several organizations including the NPR’s Generation Listen.
Maya Enista Smith
Executive Director, Born This Way Foundation
Maya Enista Smith has over a decade of experience in civic engagement, leadership, youth development, and community engagement. She currently serves as the first Executive Director of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which is committed to building a kinder and braver world. Previously, Smith served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Mobilize.org, an innovative Millennial organization whose mission is to empower and invest in young people to create solutions to social problems. She serves on the Boards of Learning To Give and Give Together, and has been awarded a Youth Action Net Fellowship, the Independent Sector NGEN American Express Fellowship, Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Changing Your World Award,” and WIN’s “Young Women of Achievement Award,” among others. Smith was also awarded the competitive Prime Movers Fellowship of the Hunt Alternatives Fund, a multi-year fellowship program for emerging and established social movement leaders working at the national level. She is an alumnus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Deputy Director, Grand Performances
Nurit Smith has two decades involvement in the arts and entertainment social sector as an artist and executive. A UC Berkeley grad, her work as a performer and creator has been seen on TV and film and on stages across the country. Smith has managed positions within varied organizations including Blue Man Group, Highways Performance Space, and has spent over a decade at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Born in Israel and raised in Los Angeles, she currently serves as the Deputy Director of Grand Performances, an internal leader and senior-level thought partner for the 30 year-old free performing arts presenter with one of the most eclectic programs in the country. Smith is a member of the first cohort of USC/Association of Performing Arts Presenters' Leadership Fellows.
Ryan J. Smith
Executive Director, The Education Trust–West
Ryan J. Smith is currently the Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a research and advocacy organization focused on educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in poverty. Under his leadership, the organization continues to expand its work with a specific focus on producing actionable, accessible research and advocacy tools, most notably publishing 2015’s Black Minds Matter: Supporting the Educational Success of Black Children in California and launching an inaugural Southern California Community Data and Research Hub. Prior to his work with Ed Trust–West, Smith directed Education Programs and Policy for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he launched Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS), a Los Angeles-based coalition of civil rights, education, and community advocacy groups. He also led Family and Community Engagement for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Partnership for LA Schools. A past Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow, Smith has authored more than a dozen editorials and opinion pieces published in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, Education Week, US News and World Report, and others.
National Manager, Philanthropy & Community Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
As national manager of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.’s philanthropy and community affairs, Tracy Underwood is responsible for the administration of many of Toyota’s local and national philanthropic efforts as well as corporate volunteer activities. She manages national community safety programming, including the company’s signature defensive driving course for teens and their parents, Toyota Driving Expectations (TDE). Most recently Underwood has facilitated the company’s first-ever philanthropic social media campaign, Toyota 100 Cars for Good. She has held a number of positions at Toyota, including management of the award-winning, multi-million dollar Video Production Center. Other positions include National Manager of Corporate Contributions, Media Relations Manager, and Community Relations Administrator and Supervisor. Underwood graduated from Cal State Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in business management. She is a member of the Switzer Learning Center’s Board of Trustees, the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and a member of the Community Advisory Board of Pediatric Therapy Network.
Vice President, Programs, Weingart Foundation
Belen Vargas joined Weingart Foundation in 2000 as the Foundation’s first Program Associate, responsible for formalizing and managing the Foundation’s Small Grant Program. At the Foundation, she has also served as a Program Officer and Senior Program Officer as well as Associate Vice President, Grant Operations and Vice President, Grant Operations. In 2014 Vargas assumed the role of Vice President, Programs, where she oversees grant strategy and planning, communications, and overall program assessment. She began her professional career in nonprofit legal services in Los Angeles County focused on advocacy and policy matters related to women’s issues and school inclusion issues for children with disabilities. Vargas also worked at Public Counsel on the Childcare Law Project, providing outreach and education for child care providers. She is a graduate of the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways leadership program and serves on the Boards of Directors of Southern California Grantmakers and The Durfee Foundation. Vargas is a regular instructor for SCG’s Fundamentals of Grantmaking program. She holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Southern California and received her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.
Vera de Vera
Director, Community Building Initiative and Nonprofit Sustainability, California Community Foundation
Vera de Vera directs the Community Building Initiative in El Monte, a major partnership program of California Community Foundation with local residents and business, civic, community, and business leaders striving to improve educational and career opportunities for children. Before joining CCF in 2005, De Vera was Senior Director of the Western Region at Fannie Mae Foundation, a field representative for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Senior Policy Analyst for the California Association of REALTORS, and Staff Assistant to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. De Vera earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a law degree from Southwestern University. She is also an alumnus of Leadership Southern California.
Artist, Social Activist, Philanthropist, and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation
Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative
Forest Whitaker believes that, in order to attain peace and prosperity, communities and nations must heed the voices of their diverse and vibrant youth. He and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative are committed to providing educational tools and better living conditions to young women and men living in regions touched by violence, war, and poverty. Whitaker is the founder and CEO of WPDI, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group. He is also a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, as a senior research scholar at Rutgers University, and a visiting professor at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2013, he was made a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in recognition of his work serving those affected by conflicts and violence. In addition to his social activism, Whitaker is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished and versatile figures. He has produced award-winning documentaries and received many distinctions for his acting, including the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, a performance for which he also received a BAFTA Award, SAG Award, and Golden Globe.
Organizing Coordinator, California Calls
James Woodson has been an Organizing Coordinator for California Calls since 2016, working specifically on the African American Civic Engagement Project with groups around the state, civic engagement programs, and providing support and assistance to the founding cohort. He also assists coordination of the Million Voters Project. Previously, Woodson served as the Director of Clubhouse and Athletic Programs for the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, NJ, where he managed youth development programs. He is also a licensed attorney in the states of New Jersey and New York and a proud alumnus of the Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ. Prior to entering law school, Woodson served in a variety of capacities within the Democratic National Committee, the NJ Democratic State Committee, and Obama for America. He was a lead organizer for the NJ Health Care for America Now campaign and served as Co-Counsel for the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission in 2012. In addition, he was the Founding Director of the Woodson Friendship Development Corporation, where he led the effort to create an outreach center that provides food, clothing, and other services to low-income families in the Baltimore area.
Executive Director, Nonprofit and Philanthropy Institute, University of San Diego
Emily Young, PhD, joined the Nonprofit and Philanthropy Institute at the University of San Diego in August 2016. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation, where she worked with donors, nonprofits, volunteers, and other community partners to maximize the impact of social investments to advance a vibrant quality of life in the San Diego region with the collaborative framework of WELL – Work, Enjoy, Live and Learn. Young joined The Foundation in 2000, developing and overseeing its environmental initiatives. Before joining The Foundation, she was an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, where she taught courses on environment and society, geography, and Latin America. Young received a Bachelor’s in Ibero-American Studies/Spanish and a Master’s in Geography from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin. She was awarded the 2011 Nicholas P. Bollman Award, which recognizes Smart Growth Leaders Who Inspire through Values and Actions.
Presenting Sponsor - $25,000
- Recognition as Presenting Sponsor including on-stage plenary speaking opportunity
- 10 full-day conference passes
- All of the additional benefits below
Gold Sponsor - $15,000
- Recognition as presenter of a conference module including on-stage speaking opportunity
- 8 full-day conference passes
- Logo and recognition on conference program and signage
- Recognition in conference e-blasts to SCG’s mailing list (3,000+ recipients)
- Logo on conference webpage for one year (40,000+ unique website visitors/yr)
Silver Sponsor - $10,000
- 6 full-day conference passes
- Logo and recognition on conference program & signage
- Recognition in conference e-blasts to SCG’s mailing list (3,000+ recipients)
- Logo on conference webpage for one year (40,000+ unique website visitors/yr)
Bronze Sponsor - $5,000
- 4 full-day conference passes
- Recognition on conference program, signage, and conference e-blasts to SCG’s mailing list (3,000+ recipients)
- Logo on conference webpage for one year
Donor - $2,500
- 2 full-day conference passes
- Recognition on conference program,signage, and conference e-blasts to SCG’s mailing list (3,000+ recipients)
- Logo on conference webpage for one year
EVENT PARKING and transportation
Overnight Valet Parking at Loews Hollywood Hotel: $42.00 per day, plus taxes, maximum
Valet Rate at Loews Hollywood Hotel: $20.00 up to 10 hours
Hollywood and Highland Center (Self-parking structure)
With entrances on Highland Avenue and Orange Drive, Hollywood & Highland offers the best and cheapest parking in the heart of Hollywood. Daily maximum is $15.00. Valet Parking available for an additional $8.00 fee. The parking structure is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Public transportation is also available via the Metro Red Line, Hollywood/Highland station.