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Climate, Health, and Equity in SoCal: A Case Study for Understanding Intersecting and Layered Issues

Friday, August 20, 2021
10:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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According to the recently released: Investing on the Frontlines of Climate Change: A Funder Toolkit on Climate, Health and Equity, “Bolstering climate change-related giving that prioritizes needs of people and communities -- especially giving to those most impacted -- is at once an urgent necessity and a strategic opportunity to help all people survive and thrive.”

In California, programs like the Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities programs provide needed resources for communities that have traditionally suffered from disproportionate impacts of environmental injustices. And locally in Los Angeles County, more than a billion dollars of public funding is now available to support critical climate resilience investments in green infrastructure, housing, parks, and transportation through Measures W, H, A and M (commonly known as WHAM). Federal stimulus efforts will likely mean even more funding is on the way. 

At the last Southern California Grantmakers Environmental Funders convening, we explored whether or not our region is ready to make these investments to support broader policy goals of addressing climate vulnerability and making our communities more resilient. In case you missed it, here’s the recording and here is a link to the recently released report, Mobilizing the Transformative Impact of WHAM: Overcoming Obstacles to Integrated Infrastructure Investments in Los Angeles County. 

At this upcoming convening, we’ll take a deeper dive into climate justice oriented initiatives taking place on the ground, both in Southeast and South Los Angeles, to learn about how funding that’s now available can effectively help transform communities to become more climate resilient. Our goal is to understand the intersectional and layered issues around climate justice by focusing on a place based perspective.  You’ll learn about opportunities to support climate justice and resilience related work.

We’ll learn from a set of local stakeholders working on, according to the Funder Toolkit on Climate, Health and Equity, “intersecting problems with mutually beneficial solutions”, especially in communities that are disproportionally affected by environmental inequities in South and Southeast Los Angeles. We’ll also explore social determinants of health, and how many of them are related to the environment. We’ll learn from CBOs, advocates, most impacted communities their perspectives on how to make public investments in climate justice more equitable.  How can most impacted communities position themselves to lead and benefit from public investments—what do they need? We’ll also explore capacity building needs, with clear eyed suggestions to funders who want to support climate justice. While this session will take a deeper dive into Southeast and South LA, learnings from this session could be applied to other geographies in Southern California.

This convening is part of a series of quarterly conversations hosted by the Southern California Grantmakers Environmental Funders Group. The convening will continue lifting up themes from previous SCG Environmental Funder Peer Group convenings, including our Climate Resilience Investments in SoCal, Urban, Green Infrastructure Investments Under a New Administration, 2020 election debrief, Building an Anti-Racist Environmental Movement, Accelerating a Just transition Framework, Cultivating Environmental Leadership and Power Building, Leadership and Civic Engagement.

About SCG Environmental Funders Group

The SCG Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California and foster collaboration, and share successes and challenges. Please contact Katy Pelissier at [email protected] for more information or visit the group's page on the Southern California Grantmakers' website.

This program is part of SCG's 2021 recurring programs. To register for all upcoming dates, please click the "Register for Recurring Dates" button. This feature is only open to members; please contact us if you are a non-member and wish to register for the series at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866.



Frida Hatami

Grants Manager, Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation

Frida Hatami joined the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation in 2015 as its first Grants Manager. She has been instrumental in overseeing the effort to formalize processes and procedures, and to develop a state-of-the-art grants database. She is responsible for working with grantee partners, grantseekers, and Foundation staff to manage the grantmaking processes. Frida is also responsible for leading the Foundation’s emerging Environmental Justice portfolio, including identifying new partnership opportunities with organizations on the frontline of environmental fights and addressing capacity challenges of the field. Frida brings many years of experience in both philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, including her previous role at Annenberg Foundation, where she helped streamline the Foundation’s responsive grantmaking process and managed a $5.0M portfolio of several grants. She also spent time at the California Endowment, a $6.0B healthcare conversion foundation, and with Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles providing support to two major programs Family Violence Project and At Home Services. Frida holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from California State University, Northridge.


Dr. Wilma Franco

Executive Director, SELA Collaborative

Dr. Wilma Franco serves as Director of the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative and holds a doctorate degree in Education – Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.  Dr. Franco successfully defended dissertation was entitled, “Employer’s Perception of Their Role in Student Learning and Skill Development: A Qualitative Case Study.”  Dr. Franco completed her undergraduate work at the University of California- Los Angeles (UCLA) where she earned her B.A in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies with a minor in Public Policy.  During her time at UCLA she worked closely with the NAID Center researching the Economic Impact of immigration post 1986 immigration reform.

Dr. Franco went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC), where she also completed a certificate in Public Management.  Dr. Franco has over ten years of experience in overseeing nonprofits and community based programs and has a solid background in program development, evaluations, partnership development, finance, fundraising and development.  Previously, Dr. Franco spent seven years developing, evaluating, and managing programs at “I Have a Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles; a program that sponsored students in elementary school years and work with the cohort until they graduate high school, and transition to post-secondary education, by providing whole child services.  In collaboration with USC, Dr. Franco launched a mental health programming component at I Have a Dream that continues to service students.  Additionally, Dr. Franco’s collaboration with CSULB as an internship placement partner resulted in her being recognized as the organization of the year two consecutive years.    Dr. Franco is also a part-time lecturer in the Human Development Department at California State University – Long Beach (CSULB) and serves as a Board Member for the D.A.D Project.  Dr. Franco is a proud alumnus of Education Pioneers and the Magnolia Community Initiative Fellowship.  Dr. Franco was inspired to work at SELA Collaborative given its core values and commitment to the Southeast LA region by way of creating a collective approach to serving the region through nonprofit capacity building, civic engagement, and data and research.

Zahirah Mann

President & Chief Executive Officer, SLATE-Z

As SLATE-Z’s President and CEO, Zahirah Mann leads the Backbone Team and guides partnership activities of the South LA Promise Zone through visionary and adaptive leadership. Zahirah is an accomplished non-profit professional who has led several successful initiatives to advance greater opportunities for Los Angeles residents.

Prior to joining SLATE-Z, Zahirah split her career between philanthropy and law. Most recently, Zahirah was a Senior Program Officer at The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation where she oversaw a diverse portfolio of grants that supported vulnerable children and families and led a strategic initiative focused on child welfare and wellbeing. Within that work, she helped launch and led Foster Together Network, a collective impact effort aimed at addressing child welfare concerns throughout LA County, engaging hundreds of stakeholders who represented county departments, elected officials, foundations, non-profits, faith communities, caregivers, and youth. Zahirah also held program staff positions at the Annenberg Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where she managed capacity building and collective impact efforts. Before entering philanthropy, Zahirah worked as a public interest attorney, representing and advising for-profit and non-profit entities, coalitions, and governmental agencies on large scale, systemic issues that impacted families, youth, and businesses. She also advised organizations on business formation and governance issues. As an attorney, Zahirah has represented groups throughout South Los Angeles and the surrounding area, working for such entities as Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Strumwasser and Woocher LLP.

In her broader civic life, Zahirah serves as a commissioner on the State Bar of California’s Legal Services Trust Fund Commission and as an alternate commissioner on the California Coastal Commission. She also sits on the board of Center for Nonprofit Management and the executive committee of Black Equity Collective.

Zahirah earned an A.B. in Political Science from Vassar College and a J.D. with a specialization in environmental law from Tulane University Law School. She is a former AmeriCorps member with a passion for facilitating deep community change and mentoring rising leaders. When not leading efforts in the nonprofit, philanthropic, legal, or broader civic community, Zahirah can be found exploring the beaches, mountains, and flat lands of California or traveling throughout the world.

Sophie Young

Program Manager, Transformative Climate Communities, Strategic Growth Council

Sophie oversees the Transformative Climate Communities Program, which invests in community-led resilience projects in California's most disadvantaged communities.

She has worked on sustainable and equitable development initiatives in underserved communities for over ten years. Before joining SGC, she worked at the California Department of Conservation and Department of Transportation as an environmental planner. Prior, she consulted on various land use and development projects in the U.S. and abroad—conducting environmental and social due diligence, participatory research, feasibility studies, and strategic planning.

Sophie received a master's degree from the Yale School of the Environment and a bachelor's degree in Development Studies and Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught English and history to young adults in California and China.


Quarterly Dates

Friday, February 19 | 10:30am - 12:00pm Learn more >>>

Wednesday, May 21 | 10:00am - 12:00pm Learn more >>>

Friday, November 19 | 10:30am - 12:00pm   Learn more >>>


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Members of SCG, Smart Growth CA, and EGA: $0
Non-Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, Smart Growth CA, and EGA members and eligible non-members.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Smart Growth CA, and EGA members: email Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account Jacqueline Carillo at [email protected]
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

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