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Briefings & Discussions

Event

Arts Education Forum: Achieving Equity Goals through Creative Youth Development

Thursday, June 3, 2021
10:00am - 12:00pm

Join SCG and the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective Funders Council to learn about the valuable role that arts-based strategies are playing to advance equitable outcomes for youth across Los Angeles County.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

Building A Sustainable Climate Future in Inland CA

Thursday, May 27, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am

Governor Gavin Newsom and his administration have taken significant steps to put California on the path towards a greener, more sustainable climate future. So far, Governor Newsom has pledged to conserve 30 percent of the state's land and coastal water by 2030, announced a phase-out of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, and proposed a comprehensive job and climate action plan. The state is enacting bold strategies to combat climate change, all while seeking to reduce the state's carbon footprint and bolster long-term economic growth. In September 2020, the Governor also directed the Office of Planning and Research to partner with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to design and deliver the state's first High Road Transition by July 2021.

In order to turn this vision into reality, the state recognizes that these solutions will be hard-fought, center racial equity at their core, and actively bring all partners to the table, including philanthropy, nonprofits, civil society, corporations, and other stakeholders. Regional equity is another imperative: climate change disproportionately impacts the state's most vulnerable regions, including inland California. State government and philanthropy must make intentional investments to support the sustainability of inland California's climate and economy and ensure inland California is a central component of the state's vision to achieve a High Road Transition.

As the state looks to build a sustainable climate future in 2021 and beyond, both government and philanthropy must continue to explore new, innovative ways to collaborate and ensure community voices and needs are central in every conversation.

Join us for the second installment of the Inland California Webinar Series to:

  • Learn more about the state's comprehensive jobs and climate action plan for 2030, additional opportunities under the new Biden Administration, and how philanthropy fits into this vision.
  • Consider how the state and philanthropy can make strategic investments to better address current and future climate challenges.
  • Hear from inland funders on the roles they have played in helping to implement sustainable climate policy from the state and where additional support is needed.
  • Discuss the public-private partnership opportunities available to help promote an inclusive "High Road Transition" in inland California.
  • Elevate local leaders and community organizations' voices better to understand climate change's real-world impact in inland California.

 

Moderator

Kathleen Kelly Janus

Senior Advisor on Social Innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the Senior Advisor on Social Innovation to Governor Gavin Newsom. As a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, she is an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early stage organizations. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Quartz, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Tech Crunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her book – Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference – is a playbook for nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social innovators.

An attorney, Kathleen has spearheaded numerous social justice initiatives. Kathleen is a co-founder of Spark – a network of over 10,000 millennial donors – which seeks to advance gender equality by engaging the next generation in accessible forms of philanthropy. As a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School, Kathleen helped launch and direct Stanford Law School’s international human rights clinics in Namibia and South Africa. She has also served as pro bono counsel at Covington and Burling and a litigation associate at Thelen Reid & Priest.

A graduate of Berkeley Law School, Kathleen also graduated with highest honors from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Ted. Kathleen is a certified yoga instructor, which comes in handy when juggling their three young children.

 

Speakers

Kate Gordon 

Director, State of California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Kate Gordon has spent the past two decades working at the intersection of climate change, energy policy, and economic development. Gordon was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Senior Advisor to the Governor on Climate by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7, 2019. Trained as a community organizer, and later in law and regional economic development, her focus has long been on bringing diverse groups together to work toward a more sustainable, inclusive economy. Prior to being appointed OPR Director, Gordon was the founding director of the Risky Business Project, which focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change on U.S. energy demand, crop yields, and coastal infrastructure as well as on human health and mortality. As part of this work, Gordon consulted numerous investors and corporations on strategies to reduce climate risks across investments and assets, and also served as a co-author on the Fourth National Climate Assessment's chapter on “Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions.”

Prior to her work on Risky Business, Gordon served in senior leadership positions at several nonpartisan think tanks including the Henry M. Paulson Institute, the Center for the Next Generation, the Center for American Progress, and as a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Gordon got her start on energy and climate issues working to craft progressive policies at the intersection of labor, business, community, and environmental interests at the national Apollo Alliance, where she ultimately served as co-Executive Director until the merger with the Blue-Green Alliance in 2011. Under her leadership, the Apollo Alliance drafted key parts of the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) including the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit and a competitive grant program for green jobs training, and also partnered with the AFL-CIO to draft the "high road transition" portions of the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act (aka the "Waxman-Markey bill").

Gordon earned a J.D. and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. Along with her role in state government, Gordon regularly co-teaches a course at Stanford Law School entitled "Climate: Politics, Finance, and Infrastructure."

Kristen A. Beall Watson, Ed.D.

President and CEO, Kern Community Foundation

Kristen Beall is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, and President of Kern Real Estate Foundation. She has over 30 years of leadership experience in a unique combination of public and private accounting, education and philanthropy.

Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, a master’s degree in education from Point Loma Nazarene University, a clear California teaching credential and a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Kristen has spent a large portion of her adult life involved in Kern County philanthropy, serving as president of the Lori Brock Children’s Museum, treasurer of the Junior League of Bakersfield, board member for the Girl Scouts, Joshua Tree Council, steering committee member for the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference and American Cancer Society’s Oktoberfest, founding member of the Women’s and Girls’ Fund of Kern County Vision Committee and advisor to students in the Jim Burke Education Foundation Dreambuilder program. Kristen currently serves as a Trustee for California Health Science University and board member for Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, Valley PBS and Southern Sierra Council Boy Scouts of America.

While originally from Southern California, Kristen has proudly called Kern County her home for over 30 years. She has two adult children, Taylor and Morgan.

Sheheryar Y. Kaoosji

Executive Director, Warehouse Worker Resource Center (IE)

Sheheryar Kaoosji, Founding Co-Executive Director, has been leading the research and organizing in the warehouse industry of the Inland Valley since 2008.  Sheheryar leads the research and policy analysis for the organization, as well as the WWRC's civic engagement and community organizing programs. He has over two decades of experience engaged in research in support of organizing in California. He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from UCLA and a BA from UC Santa Cruz.

Norma Rojas-Mora

Director of Communications and Community Relations, Bakersfield College

Norma Rojas-Mora is the Director of Communication and Community Relations for Bakersfield College, where she oversees the Marketing and Community Relations department serving over 33,000 students and the greater community. She is responsible for all communication efforts, both internally and externally, including media relations and community partnerships.

With over 23 years of professional experience in managing complex programs within the housing, social services and educational sectors, Norma is an effective leader in creating strategic alliances with a diverse range of organizations and industries. Her work is meaningful and focused on supporting her community while also advancing the mission, core values, and priorities of Bakersfield College. Since joining the college in 2019, Norma has led and developed a multi-county collaborative known as the Rural HEAL Initiative which is focused on raising public health awareness, rural wellness, and health equity for the central valley. Norma has also been leading the High Roads Training Partnership Coalition, recently awarded nearly $2 Million, that will result in a Kern County Strategic Workforce Development Plan. The workforce development plan will support Kern’s transformative economic development by ensuring a skilled and trained workforce to fill current and future jobs. The bottom-up planning process will develop a stronger, healthier, and more economically resilient community by focusing efforts on education, equity, and workforce development.

In addition to her professional-community based work, Norma serves on multiple community boards, including the Workforce Investment Board of Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties, Latina Leaders of Kern County, the Women and Girls’ Fund Advisory Board, and the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference. She holds a Master's degree in Administration from California State University, Bakersfield, a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from UCLA, and numerous leadership certifications.

Dina Walker

President & CEO, BLU Educational Foundation (IE)

Dina Walker, President/CEO of BLU Educational Foundation, has over 15 years of experience working with non-profit and governmental agencies in various capacities from developing and managing programs and services to convening groups around issues impacting a variety of populations. She has extensive experience serving communities of color, at-risk youth and parents of underserved populations. Her tenure has brought about partnerships with schools, colleges and universities to increase the access to higher education. Relative to this work, she designed the College Exodus Project, a collaborative initiative helping students in Inland Empire high schools gain admission and financial aid to four-year public and private universities throughout the country. 

She has held leadership roles in agencies such as Leadership Excellence, a multifaceted non-profit agency serving San Diego’s inner-city youth; DC-College Access Program, a private effort to increase the college matriculation rates of students in the underserved communities of the nation’s capital; and was a driving force in the creation of Hardy Brown College Prep, one of the Inland Empire’s highest-performing public schools.

Ms. Walker has raised over $1 million dollars in grant funding to support local schools and has provided over a half-million dollars in scholarships to local high school students. She says her greatest accomplishments have been personally helping students realize their dream of attending and graduating from college.

Ms. Walker was recognized as a Woman of Vision and Leadership by the California 62nd Assembly District as one of the many awards she has received for her community leadership, public service and educational advocacy. She is a member of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools- Alliance for Education; and currently serves on the San Bernardino City Unified School District African American Task Force and on the Multilingual Initiative Stakeholders group.

Sarah L. White

Senior Advisor, Jobs & The Economy, Office of Planning and Research

Sarah L. White is Senior Advisor for Jobs and the Economy at OPR, where she leads state efforts to map an equitable high road transition to carbon neutrality. She works at the intersection of labor, workforce, and climate policy across OPR concerns.

White served in the Brown Administration as the inaugural Director for Equity, Climate and Jobs at the California Workforce Development Board, where she designed the High Road Training Partnership Initiative and the equity + job quality agenda that now anchor the state’s jobs and climate vision. Before heading west, White spent a decade at COWS — a national policy center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — working on economic inequality, decarbonization, and social change. A national expert on jobs and training in the low-carbon economy, she holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

 

 

Presented by

 

 

 

 


Fee
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG Members: $0
Eligible Non-members: $50

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

My Life Is Not A Game: The Movement to Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am

Join us for a presentation and discussion about the movement to end California’s Three Strikes law. Since 1994, California’s Three Strikes law has exponentially increased the state’s prison population and devastated communities of color and poor people. This brutal law required a minimum sentence of 25 years to life for people with prior felony convictions, even if the third conviction was neither serious nor violent. In 2012, this law was amended stating that for three strikes to be warranted, the third strike had to be serious or violent. However, this amendment did not change the realities of the thousands of people serving lengthy life sentences under the law’s original intent.

During this event, we will hear from the Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition, a new coalition organized by people directly impacted by the Three Strikes Law, including currently and formerly incarcerated people and loved ones of people serving these draconian sentences. The Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition will share their bold and necessary vision to remove the three strikes law entirely, reinvest cost savings into impacted communities through education, reentry, victim services, housing, mental health, and workforce development, as well the role funders can play in supporting this movement.

 

Speakers

Anne Irwin

Founder, and Director, Smart Justice California

Anne works to elect and educate policymakers who support meaningful criminal justice reform that promotes safety, fairness, and healthy communities. Anne spearheads Smart Justice’s blended 501c3, 501c4, and electoral engagement strategy for persuading and inspiring California’s elected officials to adopt new approaches to criminalization and incarceration. Anne recently led committees to elect Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. Anne is also Vice President of the JK Irwin Foundation, a family foundation focused on ending mass incarceration and criminalization. Prior to founding SJCA, Anne was a trial attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office for many years. Anne is a graduate of Stanford Law School and New York University. She has served on the American Constitution Society, Prison University Project, and Threshold Foundation boards. Anne currently serves on the Board of The Justice Collaborative/The Appeal. Anne was born and raised in San Francisco and is raising her two young daughters there.

John Yahya Johnson

Co-producer, Ear Hustle Podcast

John Yahya Johnson is a co-producer on the Ear Hustle Podcast, a podcast that has largely contributed to advancing the voice of incarcerated people through the power of storytelling, thus helping to broaden the narrative on how incarcerated people are perceived. After being convicted and sentenced to a prison term of 30 years to life under the California three strikes law, he dedicated himself to carceral justice reform, and joined a policy group to confront and change systemic abuses of power through both the legislative and initiative process. Since his release in April 2020, he has continued to be an integral part of the carceral and social justice reform movement by joining the Repeal California Three Strikes Coalition as a campaign consultant to repeal the three-strikes law, and the Stop San Quentin Outbreak Coalition to address the systemic failures of government to effectively preserve the sanctity of life of those incarcerated people impacted by the Covid-19 virus in California’s prisons. John is passionate about carceral and social justice reform because he has firsthand experience having been directly impacted by both.

Zakiya Prince

Campaign Lead, Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition 

She was born and raised in the Bay Area, CA and is a graduate of California State University, Northridge. Zakiya spent several years working as an educator and social worker but her fierce advocacy for her husband, who was sentenced to 35 years to life under California’s Three Strikes law, led her to the fight to end mass incarceration. As someone impacted by the carceral system, she has dedicated her life to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, fighting to end mass incarceration, and empowering people who have been oppressed to fight for the freedoms they deserve. She is currently the Campaign Lead for the Repeal California’s Three Strikes Law Coalition and a Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) Fellow.

Jayda Rasberry

Statewide Membership Coordinator, CURB

Jayda Rasberry is a public figure and organizer from Los Angeles. After being arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison for 6 years at the age of 18, she knew that her life would be changed forever. In 2014, Jayda’s experiences led her to become an organizer with Dignity and Power Now (DPN), where she learned the importance of base building, accountability, and healing. In 2015, Jayda graduated from Liberty Hill County Commissions Training and studied advocacy within local government structures, including how to serve on city boards and commissions. She flourished at DPN and was promoted to Organizing Director and Deputy Director Of External Relations. She is well known for “Grassroots With Jayda,” a media series created by and for formerly incarcerated people, and beyond. Jayda is a graduate of Women’s Policy Institute and became CURB’s Statewide Membership Coordinator in 2021.

Earlonne Woods 

Co-producer, Co-host, Co-creator of Ear Hustle Podcast

Earlonne born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. In 1997, he was sentenced to 31-years-to-life in prison. While incarcerated, he received his GED, attended Coastline Community College, and completed many vocational trade programs. In November 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown commuted Earlonne’s sentence after 21 years of incarceration. Upon his release, Earlonne was hired by PRX as a full-time producer for Ear Hustle, and he continues to work with Nigel, contributing stories about re-entry.

Presented in partnership with:

 

 

 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current CCJFG, SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
CCJFG, NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

Equitable Vaccine Distribution with Blue Shield and the State of California

Friday, March 26, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am

March 1st marked the beginning of California’s transition to a Third Party Administrator (TPA), Blue Shield of California, to manage vaccine administration statewide. As this transition occurs, public-private partnership will become more crucial than ever. Join us to hear from Blue Shield directly about their work, and to hear from state leaders on how they plan to coordinate with the TPA and continue to center equity in this next phase of vaccine distribution. Speakers will highlight key opportunities for philanthropy, and investments that are needed now to shore up our communities in ways that will engender long-term sustainability well beyond the current crisis.

  

Speakers

Aliza Arjoyan

Senior Vice President of Provider Partnership and Network Management, Blue Shield of California

Aliza Arjoyan is Senior Vice President of Provider Partnership and Network Management at Blue Shield of California, a tax-paying nonprofit health plan with over $20B in annual revenue serving more than 4M members in the state’s commercial, individual and government markets. Arjoyan leads provider engagement strategies and oversees provider partnerships and relations along with network contracting, compliance and analytics. She is also responsible for Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), Medicare and Medi-Cal network expansion.

As an accomplished executive within these disciplines, much of her success can be attributed to a passion for team development, strategic planning, and optimization of managed care operations. Arjoyan’s exceptional leadership acumen results in high performance teams which embrace a posture of listening, learning and nurturing ability influence across organizational levels. These skills extend to provider relationships that promote integration, effective population health management and shared rewards for quality care and affordability.

Arjoyan joined Blue Shield in 2017 expanding her impressive career with over 25 years of California-based healthcare management experience. She led Humana’s network team for the California and Hawaii markets helping expand the organization’s footprint from five to 21 counties through strategic provider partnerships and innovative value-based structures. Prior to that she focused on Medicare and Medi-Cal network strategy and provider engagement at SCAN Health Plan, preceded by Director of Network Management for ValueOptions where she pioneered behavioral health managed care for the state of California.

Arjoyan earned her Master of Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix and holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from California State University at Northridge.

Debbie Chang, MPH

President & CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation

Debbie Chang is president & chief executive officer at Blue Shield of California Foundation. In this role, Ms. Chang leads the Foundation’s work to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence as well as oversees more than $30 million in annual grantmaking. Throughout her career she has championed equity and inclusion in health and health care, drawing on a deep personal commitment to building a more just and equitable world.

Ms. Chang is a nationally recognized public health, health care financing, and policy expert. For over 30 years she has demonstrated a proven track record of establishing innovative programs and national and regional partnerships — including spearheading a national partnership with Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative to combat childhood obesity in child care centers. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, she served as senior vice president and chief policy and prevention officer for Nemours Children’s Health System where she led transformative efforts to focus on value-based care and health outcomes, working with communities to address the social determinants of health. Ms. Chang also leveraged Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread and scale what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health of children nationwide.

She has held key positions in government, including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with oversight for Maryland’s Medicaid program, and was the first federal director of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Ms. Chang is actively engaged in professional appointments with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on population health improvement and obesity solutions and is chair of their Early Care and Education Innovation Collaborative. Her numerous honors, awards, speeches, and publications - especially in the areas of social determinants of health, systems transformation, Medicaid, CHIP, and prevention — are a testament to her vast achievements and career-long commitment to support the wellbeing of all people.

Ms. Chang holds a Master of Public Health in policy and administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kathleen Kelly Janus 

Senior Advisor, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the Senior Advisor on Social Innovation to Governor Gavin Newsom. As a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, she is an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early stage organizations. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Quartz, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Tech Crunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her book – Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference – is a playbook for nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social innovators.

An attorney, Kathleen has spearheaded numerous social justice initiatives. Kathleen is a co-founder of Spark – a network of over 10,000 millennial donors – which seeks to advance gender equality by engaging the next generation in accessible forms of philanthropy. As a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School, Kathleen helped launch and direct Stanford Law School’s international human rights clinics in Namibia and South Africa. She has also served as pro bono counsel at Covington and Burling and a litigation associate at Thelen Reid & Priest.

A graduate of Berkeley Law School, Kathleen also graduated with highest honors from U.C. Berkeley. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Ted. Kathleen is a certified yoga instructor, which comes in handy when juggling their three young children.

Dr. Erica Pan

State Epidemiologist, CA Department of Public Health

Dr. Erica Pan is the California State Epidemiologist and Deputy Director for the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health. Pan served as interim health officer with the Alameda County health department since July 2018. Prior to that, she served for more than eight years as a director for Alameda County health department’s communicable disease control and prevention department.

She also worked as an attending physician in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland since 2012, and as a clinical professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco since 2015.

Pan served as director of public health emergency preparedness and response at the San Francisco health department in 2011, and from 2004 to 2010, was chosen as director of the Bioterrorism and Infectious Disease Emergencies Unit. Pan trained as a medical epidemiologist at the San Francisco Department of Public Health from 2003 to 2004.

She earned a doctor of medicine and a master of public health from the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Maricela Rodriguez

Director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Maricela Rodriguez serves as Director of Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships for the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom where she oversees priority community engagement campaigns, including the State’s COVID-19 Your Actions Saves Lives campaign and the recently completed 2020 Census. She also provides strategic communication support on issues impacting underserved populations and integrates innovative ways of engaging hard-to-reach Californians. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Rodriguez served as Program Director at The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation in California. There she led the communications strategies for two major health care education and outreach campaigns including Asegúrate, which supported the enrollment of newly eligible Californians into Medi-Cal, and #Health4All, which advocated for the expansion of health coverage for undocumented Californians. Overseeing these efforts, Maricela spearheaded the development of a first of its kind Spanish language media partnership and a broader collaboration with ethnic media. In addition, she led communication and community-based efforts to increase civic engagement among youth. She previously served as the Director of Program Development and Policy Liaison at the Office of the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. She assisted Ms. Shriver in developing her anti-poverty initiatives, which culminated in the groundbreaking WE Connect campaign. She earned a BA in Political Science and BA in Spanish Language from the University of California, Riverside and an MPA from the University of Southern California.

Marcela Ruiz 

Director, Office of Equity, California Department of Social Services

Prior to joining CDSS, Marcela Ruiz served as Deputy Director for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. Ms. Ruiz was previously a CRLA Regional Director, overseeing the Modesto and Stockton offices. She joined CRLA in 2006 as a Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow and launched the Low-Wage Workers’ Project in CRLA’s Stockton office. Through this project, Ms. Ruiz established wage and hour clinics for low-wage workers in San Joaquin County and expanded basic services and representation of non-agricultural workers. The Stockton, California native received her law degree from Berkeley Law School and her undergraduate degree from Columbia University.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Ruiz was a union organizer with HERE, Local 6 in New York where she organized hundreds of hotel workers. Ms. Ruiz also co-founded Casa México in New York, a non-profit community center that provides services and leads advocacy efforts for undocumented Mexican workers.

Presented in partnership with:

 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Funding Area 
Event

Funders' Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccine

Monday, March 1, 2021
11:00am - 12:00pm

California has recently accelerated its vaccine distribution plan. While the vaccine rollout is in full swing, new challenges and inequities have surfaced in its community outreach, engagement, and rollout process. How should philanthropy use its collective power to respond to this crisis and provide support to public and community partners? What can we expect in 2021 as communities of color continue to face disproportionate health disparities and economic consequences? We invite you to join this briefing on Monday (03/01) at 11:00am PST to hear from leading experts on what you and your foundations can do during this critical stage in our history to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Follow up program: A Conversation on Equitable Vaccine Distribution

Following SCG’s March 1st Funders’ Briefing on the Covid-19 Vaccine, join SCG’s Health Funders on March 9th for an interactive follow-up conversation. We will hear updates from several local leaders and partners and then provide space for attendees to update one another on their work related to the vaccine, ask questions, and share identified needs and gaps. Learn more

 

Speakers

Isabel Becerra

CEO, Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers  

Isabel Becerra is CEO of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers. She has more than 30 years of experience working in public health. As CEO, she provides administrative leadership, financial direction and oversight of advocacy matters on behalf of Orange County community health centers. She also maintains effective relationships with elected officials, funders and other stakeholders. Prior to the Coalition, she worked at North County Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center in San Marcos, California. She was prepared for these roles through a MATCH Fellowship, a comprehensive program that educates leaders on all aspects of operating community health organizations sponsored by the National Association of Community Health Centers, Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Becerra currently serves on multiple boards, including the California Wellness Foundation and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College. Becerra was appointed a CalOptima director in August 2020.

 

Oliver T. Brooks, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Watts HealthCare Corporation & Co-Chair, California Covid-19 Drafting Guidelines Workgroup

Dr. Oliver Brooks has been with Watts Healthcare since 1989.  He was appointed Medical Director on October 16, 2016, and previously served as Associate Medical Director, Chief of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and is the Medical Director for the Jordan and Locke School-based Wellness Centers.  He is also chairman of the quality management committee.

Appointments have included serving on the Executive Committee of Centinela Hospital where he was Chairman of their Peer Review Committee and on the Physician Quality Committee for LA Care Health Plan.  Dr. Brooks is past president of the Golden State (CA) Medical Association and past president of the Miller-Lawrence Medical and Dental Society. In 2019, he was elected to the office of the President of the National Medical Association.

Dr. Brooks holds a degree in chemistry from Morehouse College and a medical degree from Howard University.

 

Rose Veniegas

Senior Program Officer, Health, California Community Foundation  

With 23 years of experience in health promotion, Rosemary Veniegas currently serves as Senior Program Officer for Health at the California Community Foundation (CCF). CCF is the third oldest community foundation in the U.S., after Cleveland Community Foundation and Chicago Community Trust, with a mission to lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles (LA) County. Dr. Veniegas serves as the Chair of the LA County Commission on Hospitals and Healthcare Delivery as well as co-chair of the LA COVID-19 Vaccine Work Group Aligning Resources Committee. Previously, Dr. Veniegas was an implementation scientist and researcher in academic departments of family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychology, and psychiatry. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from UCLA. She was a 2017 recipient of the Victory Institute Bohnett Leaders Fellowship to participate in the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.

 

Aquilina Soriano Versoza

Executive Director, Pilipino Workers Center

Aquilina Soriano Versoza is Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, a nonprofit serving and organizing Pilipino immigrant workers in Los Angeles. Aquilina is also serving as the current President of the Board of Directors of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and a general Board Member of Mission Assets. She was a recipient of the 2018 Frederick Douglass 200 Abolitionist award. She studied her BA in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Presented in partnership with:



Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current EPIP, SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
EPIP, NCG, & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

Philanthropy’s Role in Addressing Inequity in South LA and Advancing Policy and Systems Change

Thursday, February 25, 2021
10:00am - 11:30am

In South LA and elsewhere, Black and Brown communities remain vulnerable to disparities in all facets of life and multiple forms of displacement and erasure. This virtual presentation will be an opportunity to learn about how complex and deep structural and systemic racial injustice continues to serve as a destructive force in driving inequities in health, housing, employment, incarceration, and deportation, and the environment. A centerpiece of the webinar will be “South Central Rooted,” the timely report recently released by South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities Collaborative to uplift an intersectional health equity lens that centers the narrative of those with lived experience. With the report as a backdrop, movement leaders will address emerging issues, including impacts from COVID19; and shine a light on the organizing frameworks and the strategies they have been using for years to break the cycles of injustice. Gain an understanding of how they are cultivating Brown and Black power to advance policy and systems change and how philanthropy can contribute to long-term solutions that move beyond simply responding to the current crises.

 

Background

Since the inception of the South LA Building Healthy Communities Collaborative, South LA partners have strived to champion policy initiatives and grassroots efforts to close the racial equity gap. Through deep community partnerships, research and advocacy, they are working to shift the dominant narrative that criminalizes, dehumanizes, and erases low-income Black and Brown communities.

South Los Angeles Building Healthy Communities Collaborative recently released a report: South Central Rooted. Developed with input from over 30 South LA community organizations and 125 resident leaders, South Central Rooted sheds light upon the systemic inequity that still impacts our community over 25 years after the LA Uprising. Given its particular history of oppression and resistance, the South Central community is poised to explore the question: what will it actually take to ensure low-income communities of color can thrive in Los Angeles over the next 50 years? Drawing from existing academic and community-based research, focus group conversations with South Central residents, policy reports, and media coverage, this report hopes to demonstrate that the answer lies with intersectional systems change approaches led by grassroots leaders.

As we begin to see more narratives around COVID19, we will also see policies, practices, and narratives that disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities. The call to prioritize equity and the power of narrative are more important than ever.

 

Moderator

Manuel Pastor

Director, USC Program in Environmental and Regional Equity

Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). He currently directs the USC Equity Research Institute (formerly known as Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Pastor is the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC, and holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. Pastor’s most recent books covering those topics include State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future (New Press 2018), and Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America's Metro Areas, co-authored with Chris Benner (UC Press 2015).

Pastor currently serves on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Council of Economic Advisors and on the California Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force. He previously served on the California Strategic Growth Council, the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board.  In 2012, he received the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year award for social justice research partnership, and in 2017, he was awarded the Champion for Equity award from Advancement Project, California.

 

Speakers

Barbara Lott Holland

Associate Director, Labor Community Strategy Center

Recruited on the bus in 1998, Barbara has been a cornerstone of the organization since then. A resident of South LA and a transit-dependent bus rider for nearly four decades, Barbara has been elected by our members to the BRU’s leadership body, the Planning Committee, for twelve years running. She has acted as Co-Chair of the Planning Committee and of the Monthly Membership Meeting for ten years. During that time, she has served as spokesperson and representative of the BRU in the media, with public officials in LA and Washington, and in national and international social movement forums. Barbara also sits on the Steering Committee of the Community Rights Campaign and represents the CRC in its coalition work. She is the only recipient of the Strategy Center’s W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship (2009-2009).

Karen Mack

Founder, LA Commons

Twenty years ago, Karen Mack founded LA Commons, an organization that empowers Los Angeles' diverse communities by facilitating local engagement in arts and culture as well as in other important issues - health, transportation, and education, to name a few, giving residents and particularly young people, a voice and an onramp to making positive change.  Ms. Mack served as a Public Service Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, studying the role of culture in community building. She holds an MPA from this school as well as an MBA from UCLA. She is a mayoral appointee to LA City Planning Commission (equity chair) and a supervisorial appointee to the Advisory Board for LA County’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative.

Laura Muraida

Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE)

Laura Muraida is Director of Research and Communications at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a South Los Angeles community-based organization that builds grassroots power to achieve economic, environmental, and racial justice. Since 2014, Laura has led the organization’s research and communications strategy and has advanced campaigns for equitable public investment, environmental justice, and civic engagement. Prior to SCOPE, Laura helped launch a community-based redistricting program to ensure fair political representation in historically marginalized communities across Texas. For over a decade, Laura has worked to provide grassroots communities the data, tools, and information to build power. Laura was born and raised in San Antonio and has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from New York University. http://scopela.org/

Benjamin Torres

President/CEO, The Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech)

Benjamin Torres is the President/CEO of the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech), a nonprofit organization focused on addressing racial equity and economic justice in low-income areas of Los Angeles. CDTech empowers marginalized residents to lead the process of community development efforts. Through education, training, workforce, and community organizing strategies, CDTech supports people to fight for systems change and resource development opportunities while preparing those same communities to take advantage of the change and opportunities they generate. Benjamin’s entire career has been focused on placing the tools of democracy directly in the hands of our most marginalized residents through education, training, engagement, and multi-ethnic/racial community building.

For the last 23 years, his leadership has supported the South LA region’s Black/Brown residents to increase their political capital and economic opportunity. He has developed efforts to create inclusive, democratic, and power building strategies utilizing highly effective public, private, nonprofit, and community partnerships.

He is committed to progressive movement-building efforts and serves on the Board of Directors of several key local and national organizations. He also serves as President of the City of LA Commission on Community and Family Services, and he also serves on the LA County Public Health Equity Task Force Commission.

 

Presented by:


  

 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected].

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Event

CCJFG: Closing DJJ the Right Way | Part 2

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
3:00pm - 4:30pm

In September 2020, Governor Newsom signed SB 823, a historic bill that will lead to the closure of California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. The legislature is currently working on the development of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration is currently guiding each of California’s 58 counties to develop rehabilitative and healing programs that are alternatives to youth imprisonment, while also allocating grants to each county to fund these services.

We want an end to youth imprisonment, however, the implementation of SB 823 poses many complications. While activists, advocates, and directly impacted community members create plans for community-based services and the distribution of resources, the Chief Probation Officers Department and other state actors object to these shifts and are positioning themselves as the entity to control the resources. Meanwhile, prosecutors continue to transfer youth directly into the adult prison—a tactic that negates the intention of SB 823 and the years of organizing it took to get here.

Hear from youth justice organizers across the state currently developing implementation plans for their counties; we will discuss the challenges and needs of organizers, advocates, and people most directly impacted by this legislation.

 

Register for Part 1

Closing DJJ the Right Way: Register >

 

Speakers

We will announce speakers soon.

 

Presented in partnership with:
 

 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and CCJFG members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & CCJFG members: Register online (you must log into your account to register).
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

An Equitable and Resilient Future: Perspectives from Philanthropic Leaders

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Philanthropy and the nonprofits they support were engaged in incredible work at the start of 2020. But the world drastically changed in March of last year. As we battle with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's disproportionate effect on BIPOC communities, and witness a rise in insurgency to our democratic principles, we are reminded of our constant struggle with the historical and generational pandemics of anti-Black racism and white supremacy. It's as crucial as ever to ask, what does all of this mean for the work of philanthropy? How do we hold what we've experienced, shape a strategic agenda that takes on the issues we currently face (while remembering that many of these issues are historical), and advance or shift the work we deemed important prior to the pandemic?

We will talk with philanthropic leaders from across the state to hear how they're thinking about their institutions' future work, their plans for 2021, and what they're struggling with as they look to take on the myriad issues that face our communities and the nation.

 

Join us to hear about:

  • Funding strategies and approaches for 2021 and beyond
  • Perspectives on the current role of philanthropy
  • Philanthropic actions that responded to the pandemic that should become a regular practice
  • Opportunities for philanthropy to address anti-Blackness and racial justice
  • Long-term strategies for recovery and resiliency

 

Speakers

We will announce more speakers soon.

  • Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation
  • Sandra Hernandez, President & CEO, California Healthcare Foundation (moderator)
  • Miki Woodard, Head of Good Robot at Bad Robot Productions 

 

Presented by:



Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Event

CCJFG: Closing DJJ the Right Way | Part 1

Monday, February 8, 2021
1:00pm - 2:30pm

In September 2020, Governor Newsom signed SB 823, a historic bill that will lead to the closure of California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. Legislature is currently working on the development of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) which will be the agency responsible for overseeing local youth justice systems. OYCR will also be responsible for ensuring that each of California’s 58 counties develop rehabilitative and healing programs that keep youth in their communities while also allocating grants to each county to fund these services. 

We want an end to youth imprisonment, however, the implementation of SB 823 poses many challenges. In order to ensure effective implementation of this legislation, each County is required to convene a subcommittee of system stakeholders and at least three community representatives. In many counties these subcommittees are far from being developed and in some, community representatives are being handpicked. Furthermore, the Chief Probation Officers of California, who were opposed to SB 823, are positioning themselves to control the plans for facilities and placement and funding. Meanwhile, prosecutors continue to transfer youth directly into the adult prison—a tactic that negates the intention of SB 823 and the years of organizing it took to get here. 

Join us for a two-part series to learn more about SB 823 and what is happening right now to ensure that the community gains control of the transformation of California’s youth justice system and how philanthropy can support closing DJJ the right way.

 

Register for Part 2

Closing DJJ the Right Way Webinar Series: Register >

 

Speakers

Frankie Guzman 

Attorney, Director, Youth Justice Initiative

Attorney Francis (“Frankie”) V. Guzman is the Director of the California Youth Justice Initiative at the National Center for Youth Law. Frankie leads a team of attorneys, policy advocates, and community organizers working to eliminate the practice of prosecuting and incarcerating children in California’s adult criminal justice system, reduce incarceration and justice system involvement, and increase developmentally-appropriate services in communities for youth.

Raised in a poor, mostly immigrant community plagued by crime and drugs, Guzman experienced his parents’ divorce and his family’s subsequent homelessness at age 3, the life-imprisonment of his 16-year-old brother at age 5, and lost numerous childhood friends to violence. At age 15, he was arrested for armed robbery and, on his first offense, was sentenced to serve 15 years in the California Youth Authority. Released on parole after six years, Frankie attended law school and became an expert in juvenile law and policy with a focus on ending the prosecution of juveniles as adults.

Through partnerships with community organizations and advocacy groups, Guzman has helped lead California’s effort to reduce the number of youths prosecuted as adults and serving time in adult prisons by passing legislation that established Youth Offender Parole Hearings, reformed Juvenile Transfer Hearings, and eliminated prosecutors’ direct file authority. More recently, Frankie helped lead statewide efforts to eliminate California’s practice of prosecuting 14 and 15-year-olds as adults, prohibit the incarceration of children under age 12 in the juvenile system, and secure approximately $60 million dollars to expand pre-arrest diversion programs and developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant community-based services for youth in CA.

Abraham Medina

Convener and Coordinator, California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice

Abraham Medina (he/him) currently serves as the convener, coordinator, and process holder of the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice (CAYCJ). Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the National Youth Alliance on Boys and Men of Color (NYABMOC). Abraham left Mexico City when he was seven years old with his mother and younger brother as a result of domestic violence. Abraham and his brother were separated from their mother and crossed the U.S. border experiencing family separation and a form of child detention. Eventually, he reunited with his mother in the U.S. Abraham was undocumented until receiving DACA in 2013 and is in the process of becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident. Abraham grew up an undocumented person of color in the U.S., impacted by and working to transform the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline and the justice system as we know it, through Afro-Indigenous concepts, approaches, and models of justice. Due to being undocumented, Abraham was a day laborer and a roasted peanuts street vendor from age 13 to 14. His current focus as a convener is to cultivate transformative collective power for personal, community, and systems transformation.

Abraham earned his B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. In 2018, he also earned a master of Legal and Forensic Psychology from the University of California, Irvine studying under the guidance and direction of Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman and Dr. Ray Novaco.

Presented in partnership with:
 


Fee
No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and CCJFG members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & CCJFG members: Register online (you must log into your account to register).
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions

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