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Equitable and Sustainable Recovery and Growth for Inland California: Next Steps for Philanthropy

Equitable and Sustainable Recovery and Growth for Inland California

Thursday, July 2, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm

Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic and recent events surrounding the murder of George Floyd have only further exposed the large and pre-existing health, racial, economic, and regional disparities across our state.

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Steve Barton

Acting Co-CEO, Philanthropy CA

Steve has a long history with NCG including stints on various committees as well as the NCG and Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers boards. Over the last several years he’s been a consultant on special projects, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility and briefings. As Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, he’s focused on programs, initiatives and projects that address the issues affecting our region from displacement and gentrification to income inequality to the arts, climate change and disaster resiliency. 

In addition to his consulting practice, Steve has been the Director for Foundation and Corporate Giving at Gap Inc., a program officer at the Marin Community Foundation, and served in Mayoral administrations in both San Francisco and Oakland. When he’s not working you can often find him at Amoeba Music, traveling abroad, binge watching an amazing series, exploring the Bay Area or at some wine bar.

Dillon Delvo

Executive Director, Little Manila Rising

Dillon Delvo is the Executive Director of LMR where he has expanded the organization's focus from historical preservation of the Little Manila Historic Site to seeking equitable solutions from the effects of marginalization in issues such as education, environment, redevelopment, and others.
For 21 years, Dillon served as the volunteer youth minister of social justice centered St. George’s Youth Group in South Stockton. He worked as the Senior Field Representative for Senator Lois Wolk and Director of TEAM Charter School. He has served on the Stockton Unified School District board of trustees, the Filipino American Democratic Caucus of California, and Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton.

Luke Freedman

Democracy Fellow, Freedman Consulting, LLC

Luke Freedman is a Democracy Fellow with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he assists with research and writing needs for the firm’s clients. Previously, Mr. Freedman worked as a U.S. Elections Analyst with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, where he covered the 2012 U.S. elections and wrote and conducted research on American politics and policy for an Australian audience. He also interned at Politico, Climate Solutions, and the ACLU of Washington State. Mr. Freedman’s writing has appeared in a range of print and online publications including Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Australian, The Canberra Times, The Drum, and The Conversation. He graduated magna cum laude from Carleton College.

Veronica Garibay

Co-founder and Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Veronica Garibay is the co-founder and director of Ledaership Counsel for Justice and Accountability (LCJA). She leads the LCJA team in advocating for sound policy to ensure equal access to opportunity for all Californians. Veronica immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico, at a young age with her family and she grew up in the small farmworker city of Parlier in Fresno County. After graduating with a double-major as a first-generation college student Veronica joined the California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.’s Community Equity Initiative as the program’s first Community Worker.   In this role, she led CRLA’s advocacy efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to ensure equitable land use planning in rural communities, access to basic services such as safe and affordable drinking water and waste water service, and access to public transit.  Veronica earned a Master of Public Administration from Fresno State.

Javier Hernandez

Director, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Jusitce

Javier Hernandez is an immigrant and queer leader fighting for immigrant rights in the Inland Empire (IE). Javier believes that justice for immigrant communities includes addressing all the intersections that are crucial to the undocumented identity such as health, poverty, criminalization, and other disparities that keep the undocumented marginalized. He has advocated and taken direct action against anti-immigrant policies and deportations throughout the country and has co-founded several grassroots groups. Since 2015, Javier has been the Director of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (IC4IJ), a coalition of over 40 organizations, unions, legal service providers, congregations, etc. that convene to collectively advocate for immigrant justice in the Inland Empire. Through his leadership the IC4IJ has broadened its reach in the Inland Empire, by diversifying its coalition membership and increasing participation in hard to reach areas of the region. Javier believes that through collective organizing and community power, the IE will be a region where justice abounds and the contributions of immigrants are acknowledged and respected.

Don Howard

President and CEO, James Irvine Foundation

Prior to joining Irvine in 2012, Don was a partner at The Bridgespan Group, where he served as a strategic advisor to nonprofit and foundation leaders. Earlier in his career, Don helped corporate leaders formulate strategy and improve the effectiveness of their organizations as a Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton and later as a Managing Director at the Scient Corporation. Don earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Stanford University, where he also obtained his M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business. As a volunteer, Don has been an activist around HIV and other health-related issues, serving in the past on advisory boards at the San Francisco Department of Public Health; University of California, San Francisco; and the National Institutes of Health. Don also serves on the Public Policy Institute of California’s Leadership Council and the California Community Colleges’ Chancellor’s External Leadership Advisory Council.

Chet Hewett

President and CEO, Sierra Health Foundation

Chet P. Hewitt has served as the President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation since September 2007. Prior to joining the foundation, Chet spent five years as the Agency Director for the Alameda County Social Services Agency, where he was credited with transforming its child welfare system into a national model. He also worked as Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, and established and managed the West Coast office in San Francisco. Chet has received several national awards, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation Child and Family Leaders Fellowship and the 2009 Black Child Welfare Administrator of the Year. Chet serves on several boards, including Grantmakers in Health, Social Interest Solutions, Public Policy Institute of California’s Advisory Board, United Way of the California Capital Region, Sacramento Metro Chamber and Valley Vision.


Kathleen Kelly Janus

Senior Advisor on Social Innovation, Governor Gavin Newsom

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the newly appointed senior advisor on social innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom. This new position elevates the role of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations as innovators. Janus was a lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship from 2013 to 2019 and was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School from 2007 to 2012. She worked as pro bono counsel at Covington & Burling from 2009 to 2013 and was an associate at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP from 2003 to 2007. She co-founded Spark in 2005. Janus earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.


Marian Kaanon

CEO, Stanislaus Community Foundation

Marian Kaanon grew up in Modesto and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Communication Studies. She began her career in broadcast journalism before working for a number of years in public relations, marketing, and lobbying/legislative affairs. She served as Vice President of Marketing for Community Hospice for 8 years, developing and executing a holistic brand strategy that grew the organization triple-fold prior to her departure. Marian joined Stanislaus Community Foundation as their CEO in 2012. In 2006, Marian was named by The Modesto Bee as one of “20 Under 40” young civic leaders to watch, and in 2015 she was named an Outstanding Woman for Stanislaus County. She is an active Rotarian as well as a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum.

Margarita Luna

Program Manager, The California Endowment

Margarita Luna joined The California Endowment in June 2007. As Senior Program Manager for the Eastern Coachella Valley under TCE’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative, Luna manages a grant portfolio focused on improving community health through community engagement in policy/advocacy and systems change.

Prior to joining The Endowment, Luna served as a Pedro Zamora Fellow with AIDS United (formerly AIDS Action), Keck-Vivian Weinstein Child Advocacy Fellow and later Senior Social Worker for Public Counsel among many other positions advancing the health and well-being of the most underserved.  

Luna earned her B.A., M.P.H. and M.S.W. from UCLA.  She is also a Certified Professional Coach and lives in San Dimas with her husband and two young sons.

Conor McKay

Project Director, Freedman Consulting, LLC

Conor McKay is a Project Director with Freedman Consulting, LLC, where he leads projects focused on research, policy development, strategic planning, and issue advocacy.
Mr. McKay has worked as a political and policy advisor in and out of government, in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, at both the federal and local levels. Before joining the firm in 2019, he was an Aspen Institute Fellow and inaugural director of the Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, investigating the ways in which technology and globalization are reshaping work in the 21st century, and developing bipartisan policy solutions to protect and restore economic opportunity. Mr. McKay led and authored policy white papers on reimagining capitalism, reinventing workplace benefits and protections, reforming the social safety net, and preparing the workforce for automation. Prior to his work at Aspen, he was a Special Assistant on Vice President Joe Biden’s staff at the White House. He served as Chief of Staff for the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles debt reduction commission. And he provided key policy development and data analysis for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s efforts to revitalize basic city services.
Mr. McKay holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors in English from the College of William and Mary.

Karthick Ramakrishnan

Founding Director, Center for Social Innovation, UC Riverside

Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside, and founding director of its Center for Social Innovation. He has published many articles and 6 books, including most recently, Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016) and The New Immigration Federalism (Cambridge, 2015), and has written dozens of opeds and appeared in over 1,000 news stories. He was recently named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently finishing a book entitled Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020). He holds a BA in international relations from Brown University and a PhD in politics from Princeton.

Ramakrishnan is also a Board Member of The California Endowment, Chair of the California Commission on APIA Affairs, and Director of the Inland Empire Census Complete Count Committee. Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and is founder of, which publishes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.   


Torie Weiston-Serdan

Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN)

Dr. Weiston-Serdan is a scholar and practitioner with over 13 years of teaching and youth programming experience. An emerging leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for culturally sustaining youth work in the discipline. Outside of teaching and research, Weiston-Serdan runs the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit dedicated to leveraging justice and equity mentoring. Through her community-based work, she mentors Inland Empire youth and works extensively with other community-based organizations in support of their youth advocacy efforts, specializing in training mentors to work with diverse youth populations: i.e. Black, Latinx, LGBTQQ, first-generation college students and low-income youth.