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2015 Annual Conference

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
8:30am - 7:00pm PDT
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Members: $450.00
Non-Members: $900.00
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>> Agenda

>> Session Descriptions

>> Speakers

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>> Make reservations at Hotel Angeleno (sorry, discount room block CLOSED as of 10/16/15)

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(Rooms are available to reserve at the discounted rate of $165.00 up until October 16th.)

In communities across the country, heartbreaking events like those in Ferguson, Baltimore, and beyond reflect complex and interrelated social disparities. Income inequality, a lack of affordable housing, and the criminal justice crisis, among other issues, all contribute to a lack of opportunity in disadvantaged communities. The opportunity gap cuts across multiple racial and ethnic lines—and our own diverse Southern California region is far from immune to its profound effects.

Now, in the face of these challenges, the philanthropic sector has a real opportunity to be a game-changer. That’s why SCG’s 2015 Annual Conference will focus on the theme, “Closing the Opportunity Gap.” Join us to explore how lasting impact on these issues can emerge from cross-sector collaboration, innovative funding practices, advocacy for systems change, and many other bold and proven strategies.

SCG’s membership has experienced tremendous growth in the past year, and the conference will bring together our diverse philanthropic community to learn, connect, and take action. We’ll also have plenty of opportunities for networking, including a special gathering for corporate funders. Ultimately, this conference is designed to inspire new conversations about what grantmakers of all stripes can do to give Southern California communities a renewed chance to thrive.

Please join us on Wednesday, October 28th for a day full of insight, information, and inspiration with local and national leaders, as well as 500 of your grantmaking peers.

#SCG2015 #CloseTheGap

DRAFT AGENDA (Times and sessions subject to change)

8:30 - 9:45Check-in and Early Bird Networking Reception
8:30 - 9:45

Breakfast Sessions (Advance registration required - no additional cost)

  • Leveraging Strategic Corporate Collaboration to Address the Drought
  • Inland Southern California: Regional Challenges, But Ripe for Investment
  • Life After Grants: Ensuring the Work Continues After the Last Check is Written
  • Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Framework for Addressing Poverty, Inequality, and the Environment

10:00 - 10:30

Opening Keynote: Unlock Your Personal and Professional Potential - Kute Blackson (@KuteBlackson)

10:30 - 12:00

Morning Plenary: Systemic Change to Improve the Lives of Disadvantaged Populations: A Life Course Approach - Arnold Chandler, Principal, Forward Change
12:00 - 2:00Luncheon, Members Meeting and Panel Discussion: Leaders Take on the Opportunity Gap in Southern California
2:00 – 2:20Break
2:20 - 3:45Super Sessions
  • The Education Continuum: Supporting Learners from Cradle to Career
  • Rethinking the Criminal Justice System
  • Beyond Traditional Grantmaking: New Ways to Invest in Communities
3:45 - 4:00Break
4:00 - 5:30Afternoon Plenary: Reclaiming the American Dream - Hedrick Smith, Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist (@HedrickSmith1) and John Hope Bryant (@JohnHopeBryant), Founder and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.
 Closing Remarks
5:30 – 7:00Evening Jazz Reception




Jump start your morning with an optional networking reception to meet new and veteran SCG members! You’ll connect with other funders who are addressing similar challenges and who are equally committed to our region. SCG continues to grow and now has more than 270 member organizations, so you have a whole new set of colleagues to get to know!


Get more bang for your buck at these optional pre-conference breakfast breakouts. Advance registration is required for pre-conference sessions - at no additional cost. Each of these sessions includes a complimentary hot breakfast.

Leveraging Strategic Collaboration to Address the Drought (For corporate grantmakers only)
Bringing a corporation’s full assets to bear on a problem, including expertise, knowledge, influence, and dollars, can lead to far greater impact on social issues than charitable giving alone. In this interactive session, we’ll explore the ways that Southern California corporate grantmakers can employ a range of corporate engagement strategies and collaborate with one another to address a critical issue facing the region: the drought. We’ll also explore the different motivations for corporate social engagement, including supporting the local community, engaging key stakeholders, growing sales, and collaborating for systems change. FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm, will draw on its experience working with businesses for more than a decade to increase the impact of corporate social engagement. Participants will leave the session with a clearer understanding of how each organization’s work – independently and collectively – could contribute to mitigating the drought. Note: This session is only open to attendees from corporate foundations, corporate giving programs, and related corporate departments.

  • Lalitha Vaidyanathan, Managing Director, FSG
  • Philippe Sion, Director, FSG


Inland Southern California: Regional Challenges, But Ripe for Investment
Known for affordable housing and economic struggles, this vast region of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is experiencing explosive population growth. Its people experience serious challenges related to health, education, and economic survival. Yet the opportunity for philanthropy to make significant positive change is immense. Grantmakers from the region invite you to join this roundtable discussion to learn about promising collaborations and organizations, to share thoughts and experiences about funding in Inland Southern California communities, and to think together how to make change for the better.

  • Moderated by: Amy Dominguez-Arms, Vice President for Programs, The James Irvine Foundation

  • Greg Bradbard, President and CEO, Inland Empire United Way 

  • Celia Cudiamat, Executive Vice President of Programs, The Community Foundation Serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino

  • Margarita Luna, Program Manager, The California Endowment


Life After Grants: Ensuring the Work Continues After the Last Check is Written - All funders want lasting impact, but systemic change requires strategic investments in cultural influence. In this session, a non-profit partner and leaders of the soon-to-sunset Orfalea Foundation describe how two of their largest multi-year initiatives designed long-term continuity into their day-to-day activities.

  • Moderated by: Dean Zatkowsky, Communications Manager, Orfalea Foundation

  • Kathleen de Chadenèdes, Director, Orfalea Foundation School Food Initiative

  • Adrianna Foss, Director, Orfalea Foundation Early Childhood Education


Sustainable Development Goals: A Global Framework for Addressing Poverty, Inequality, and the Environment - Last month, leaders from 193 countries formally adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs--a set of global goals intended to end poverty, combat inequality, and protect the planet. The SDGs, which are universal and will apply to all countries, cover 17 key areas of development, including hunger, health, education, economic growth, and climate change, among many others.  In the past, the philanthropic and civil society sectors were absent in terms of planning and implementation. Now that the UN and governments are encouraging all sectors to join the effort, it's critical that we in philanthropy are part of the global framework to bring the world, including the U.S., onto a more prosperous and sustainable path by 2030.  Join us to learn about specific opportunities in the months ahead from an interactive panel discussion with experts representing philanthropy, civil society, and public policy.

  • Moderated by Lauren Bradford, Manager, Global Partnerships, Foundation Center

  • Edmund Cain, Vice President, Grant Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

  • Kennedy Odede, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Shining Hope for Communities

  • Anthony Pipa, Special Coordinator for the Post 2015 Development Agenda, United States Department of State

  • Jessica Posner Odede, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Shining Hope for Communities


Before we officially get started with the conference, we have a special session to get you energized and inspired!

Sometimes our day-to-day tasks distract us from the central questions in our work and life. How can we as philanthropy professionals better navigate between the sometimes stressful reality of “what is” and the bright possibility of “what could be?” Kute Blackson will help us creatively and effectively pursue our goals while staying true to the values that originally drew us to the sector. Together we will go on a journey of personal and professional discovery: helping identify ways to maintain your integrity and authenticity in both work and life, and revealing how to develop yourself as a focused and trustworthy leader.

Kute Blackson
Kute Blackson is an utterly unique thought leader in the world of human potential. Unlike those who promise to simply help people “get” what they want, Blackson’s life work instead reveals to people what they have to give, by liberating who they are most truly and deeply. The child of a Japanese mother and Ghanaian father, his multicultural upbringing in London and on four different continents defies all stereotypes. His electrifying presentations are sought after by major companies that are seeking to redefine their paradigm of success and inspire greatness in their employees and leaders.


What are the systemic hurdles that confront people in disadvantaged communities? How do we help break the intergenerational cycle of barriers that keeps young people in these communities from succeeding? In this session, social change strategist Arnold Chandler will share eye-opening insights into the dynamics and consequences of an intergenerational opportunity gap that has worsened over the past forty years. Through a survey of economic, criminal justice, family, and socio-ecological changes in the U.S., we’ll learn how race, gender, and place intersect to drive disparate life outcomes for disadvantaged children and young adults. Chandler will also share a visual “Life Course Framework” to help funders explore how their work connects to one another and to broad strategies for improving the lives of disadvantaged populations in our region and beyond.

Arnold L. Chandler
Principal, Forward Change
Arnold L. Chandler is an advocate, researcher, trainer and social change strategist who for more than 13 years has helped nonprofits and foundations develop evidence-informed strategies to advance programs and policies focused on social and economic equity. He is the co-founder of Forward Change Consulting based in Oakland, California.  Recently, he served as a Senior Research Associate at the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Before that he was a research analyst working to reform the Oakland Police Department as part of a federal lawsuit settled in 2001. Previously, he was a researcher and policy strategist at PolicyLink for six years. Chandler has authored several important policy analyses and studies in the social justice field and has advised nonprofit organizations on the use of Internet tools for supporting advocacy and social change efforts.


Increasingly, our middle-class and low-income community members feel that their future aspirations are limited—that they won’t be able to achieve the SoCal version of the “American Dream” which drew so many of us here in the first place. And for too many, that fear is becoming reality. The gap between what people earn and what it costs to live here is widening, eroding both our economy and our civil society. Fortunately, it’s counterbalanced by a real and resilient California mindset. Southern California is a place of innovation, solutions, creativity… and collaboration.  In this panel discussion, local leaders will share their perspectives on how the opportunity gap is impacting our communities, our workforces, and our families. Drawing on their experiences, they’ll provide insight into what we as a region can do about it—particularly around housing affordability, wages, workforce preparedness, and income security—and how philanthropy can partner with government, the corporate sector, organized labor, community organizations, and other key stakeholders to close the opportunity gap.

Moderated by Cinny Kennard
Executive Director, Annenberg Foundation

Dennis Arriola
President and CEO, SoCalGas

Laphonza Butler
President, SEIU United Long Term Care Workers' Union

Dr. Robert Garcia
Mayor, City of Long Beach

Mercedes Marquez
Founder and President, Marquez Community Strategy and former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development

John Yamamoto
Regional Counsel and Vice President, Kaiser Permanente



OPTION ONE - The Education Continuum: Supporting Learners from Cradle to Career
Research shows that a quality education is one of the main drivers of an individual’s future opportunities, and that students who fall behind are more likely to drop out of high school and fall into poverty as adults. In this session, education leaders will discuss the value of a cohesive education system that supports learners from “cradle to career,” beginning with early childhood education, progressing in K-12, and continuing through college and workforce training curricula. We’ll explore innovative school system reforms that promote student achievement and college/career readiness as well as strategies that enable disadvantaged students to have greater opportunity to attend and succeed in college. Furthermore, we’ll hear about how the business community is working to place business hiring needs at the center of local workforce training to ensure young adults are prepared with the skills employers are seeking. Because one in seven jobs in the LA region is in the creative economy, we will specifically highlight arts education and preparing students for the arts as a career path.

Moderated by David Rattray
Senior Vice President, Education & Workforce Development, LA Chamber of Commerce

Kim Belshe
Executive Director, First 5 LA

Malissa Feruzzi Shriver
Executive Director,Turnaround Arts: California

Michele Siqueiros
President, LA Office, The Campaign for College Opportunity

Christopher Steinhauser
Superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District

Jeffery Wallace
President, LeadersUp

OPTION TWO - Rethinking the Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system is intrinsically connected to economic development, education, employment, housing, and the arts—all factors that keep our neighborhoods safe and healthy. In this session, local and state experts will discuss how we can manage the criminal justice system more responsibly, including how to divert youth and adults whose circumstances have made them vulnerable away from prison and into community-based programs and support networks. Additionally, the panel will address implementation of Proposition 47, the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act, which allows California residents who have been convicted of nonviolent offenses to change their felonies to misdemeanors. Doing so will provide access to jobs, educational loans, and housing assistance previously unavailable to them. Together, we’ll identify practical solutions to keep people out of prison and to help those in prison prepare to return home to safe and healthy communities.

Moderated by Julio Marcial
Program Director, The California Wellness Foundation

Jessica Ellis
Executive Director, Centinela Youth Services

Alex M. Johnson
Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund – California

Jorja Leap
Adjunct Professor, UCLA and Executive Director, Health and Social Justice Partnership

Jessica Martinez
Member, The Anti-Recidivism Coalition and InsideOUT Writers

Benjamin Torres
President & CEO, Community Development Technologies Center

OPTION THREE - Beyond Traditional Grantmaking: New Ways to Invest in Communities
Grantmakers operate at the crossroads of many different sectors, so it’s critical for us to understand the growing variety of investment tools in our toolbox to impact under-resourced communities. In this breakout, panelists will share emerging models of philanthropy that go beyond traditional grantmaking, allowing them to pursue impact goals in new and innovative ways. Join us to explore examples of promising funding strategies, including impact investing, mission-related investing, and program-related investing.

Moderated by Jessica LaBarbera
Director, California Market, Nonprofit Finance Fund

Christina Altmayer
Executive Director, Children & Families Commission of Orange County

Christy Chin
Managing Partner, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation

Sandra Hernandez
President and CEO, California Health Care Foundation

Eric Weaver
Founder and CEO, Opportunity Fund

Tom Parker
CEO, Hutton Parker Foundation


How can Southern California make both economic and social equity gains so that more people can realize the American Dream? Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith will draw on his decades of experience reporting on global and national issues to lead a conversation on countering our society’s growing opportunity gap.

Following his remarks, Smith will engage in a fascinating dialogue with John Hope Bryant, one of the world’s most prominent business and philanthropic leaders working at the forefront of financial dignity issues for current and future generations.

Hedrick Smith
Author, Who Stole the American Dream?
Hedrick Smith is a best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor, and an Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent, who has established himself over the past 50 years of his career as one of America’s most distinguished journalists. In 26 years with The New York Times, he has covered Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights struggle, the Vietnam War, the Middle East, the Cold War, and six American presidents and their administrations. In 1971, as Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that produced the Pentagon Papers series. In 1974, he won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting from Russia and Eastern Europe.
Smith has also created 26 PBS specials and mini-series on such varied topics as terrorism, Wall Street, education reform, health care, the environment, the arts, and national political issues. His book The Russians, based on his years as New York Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1971-74, was a Number 1 American best-seller. Another of his books, The Power Game: How Washington Works, was also a major best-seller. Smith’s most recent work, Who Stole the American Dream? has been lauded for its adept analysis of political and economic trends and changes in the United States over the past 40 years.

John Hope Bryant
Creator, Bryant Group Ventures and Founder/CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.
John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, businessman, author, thought leader, and philanthropist, as well as and the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc. and Bryant Group Ventures. Through Operation HOPE and its partners, Bryant is responsible for more than $2 billion of private capital supporting low-wealth home ownership, small businesses, entrepreneurship and community development investments in under-served communities across the U.S. The organization operates on-the-ground partnerships in more than 300 U.S. cities, South Africa, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and has served more than 1.5 million clients. With his book, How The Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding The Path to the Middle Class, Bryant became the only best-selling author on economics in the world today who happens to also be African-American. In 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on his new U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. Bryant has co-founded a variety of other organizations and initiatives including Wikia-HOPE Global Money Initiative, Gallup-HOPE Index, Global Dignity, The New Leaders organization (Los Angeles) and Just Brothers (Atlanta).





Presenting Sponsors:




Gold Sponsors:









Silver Sponsors:










Bronze Sponsors:




















The Wallis Foundation


Conference Partners:






Special thanks to the nonprofit organizations that helped to make our conference environment beautiful, inspiring, and meaningful!



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