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How Immigration Reform and Changing Demographics Will Impact Our Region

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
8:30am - 11:30am PST
Inner City Arts
720 Kohler St. Los Angeles, CA 90021
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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As the policy debate on immigration reform continues to evolve, demographic shifts and trends in Southern California have dramatically altered the landscape of our region. These issues are pressing throughout California, but particularly in Los Angeles County, where one million of the state’s estimated 2.6 million undocumented immigrants reside.

Should Congress pass a large-scale legalization program, planning and coordination will be needed among public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic stakeholders at the local, regional, and state level for successful implementation. The need for engagement among diverse funders is greater than ever. 

Please join us for a special panel discussion on the impact of immigration reform policies on immigrant integration in Southern California. Our panel of experts will address immigrant integration from a variety of angles, including implications for grantmakers in our region. 

  • Carlos Amador, Project Manager, Dream Resource Center at the UCLA Labor Center, will discuss the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which expands educational and employment opportunities for immigrant youth in California and nationally.
  • María Blanco, Vice President of Civic Engagement at the California Community Foundation, will discuss CCF’s immigrant integration initiative which seeks to increase the civic participation of immigrants in L.A. County, enhance the region’s policies and systems, and foster vibrant, engaged communities.
  • Sonia Campos-Rivera, Director of Education Policy and Public Affairs at the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, will share how engaging the business community in U.S. citizenship will be beneficial to business and economic growth.>
  • Dr. Linda Lopez, Chief of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, will explore the role of local government in preparing for the challenges and benefits that immigration reform will bring to the Southern California region.
  • Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, will present an overview of recent demographic trends among immigrants in California, including new research on the state’s undocumented population and the potential economic gains related to legalization and naturalization.   
  • Daranee Petsod, Executive Director of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, will discuss the role of funders in responding to immigration-related needs, policies, and trends in California, as well as best practices and emerging priorities for philanthropy.
  • John F. Szabo, City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library, will discuss the Los Angeles Public Library’s Immigrant Integration Initiative, which educates people in the city’s many immigrant communities about citizenship and establishes its libraries as local citizenship information centers.
  • Special guest Jeremy R. Valdez, Actor and Producer, will share the importance of storytelling in communicating the human impact of immigration reform, as he did inDreamer, a feature film about a man nearing the “American Dream” until his undocumented status is discovered.

This program is sponsored by:



Speaker Biographies:

Carlos Amador
Project Manager, Dream Resource Center, UCLA Labor Center

Carlos Amador is a Project Manager of the Dream Resource Center at the UCLA Labor Center. He emigrated with his family from Mexico in 1999 at the age of 14, living as an undocumented immigrant until 2011. Amador has been active in the immigrant youth movement through legislative and administrative campaigns, stopping deportations of undocumented youth as well as fighting against anti-immigrant legislation and programs. He was a key member of the successful national campaign pressuring President Obama to stop all deportations of immigrant youth, culminating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Amador is a former member of the Board of Directors for the United We Dream Network, the largest network of immigrant youth in the country, and is a co-founder of the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, a state-wide network of immigrant youth in California. He holds a Masters of Social Welfare from UCLA.

María Blanco
Vice President of Civic Engagement, California Community Foundation

María Blanco is the Vice President of Civic Engagement at the California Community Foundation, promoting collaboration and advocacy across the nonprofit, public and private sectors to address community problems. 

Before joining CCF, Blanco was the executive director of UC Berkeley Law School’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity & Diversity. In her long career as a litigator and advocate for immigrant rights, gender equality and racial justice, she served as the Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area and as National Senior Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  As a member of the California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission, Blanco helped redraw California’s new state legislative and congressional districts. Blanco earned a bachelor’s degree from the UC Berkeley and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She has served on many California and national nonprofit boards, including the Public Policy Institute of California. 

Sonia Campos-Rivera
Director of Education Policy and Public Affairs, L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce

As Director of Education Policy and Public Affairs, Sonia Campos-Rivera is responsible for supporting and advocating for K-12, early education and public affairs related to immigration on behalf of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber, she served as a policy liaison for Speaker Emeritus Fabian Núñez, State Sen. Gilbert Cedillo, and Assembly Member Dave Jones. Campos-Rivera is a former Fellow of the Center for California Studies Executive Fellowship Program.  Campos-Rivera is working on her Masters in Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Dr. Linda Lopez
Chief of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, City of Los Angeles

Dr. Linda Lopez was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti as the new Chief of the Office of Immigrant Affairs. The Office will serve many functions for immigrants in the city, including coordination of city services and departments; convening with organizations and agencies around immigration integration issues; and tracking immigration policy and implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Lopez was an Associate Dean for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives at USC’s Dornsife College and a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. She is an expert in public policy and received a Ph.D. in Political Science from USC. Dr. Lopez has published in several peer-reviewed journals on public policy issues affecting racial and ethnic communities. Born in Los Angeles, she is a second-generation Angelena whose parents immigrated to LA from Ecuador.

Manuel Pastor
Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC

The Founding Director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Manuel Pastor also directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC and co-directs USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. Dr. Pastor holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has received fellowships from the Danforth, Guggenheim, and Kellogg Foundations. His research has focused on issues of the economic, environmental, and social conditions facing low-income urban communities—and the social movements seeking to change those realities. Dr. Pastor served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a “Civic Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the California Center for Regional Leadership.

Daranee Petsod
Executive Director, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Daranee Petsod, Executive Director of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), has worked on immigrant-related issues for more than 25 years. Prior to joining GCIR in 1998, she held leadership positions at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and was a program officer at the Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. and the Sophia Fund. Petsod has served on the Boards of the Donors Forum and the Heartland Alliance, both in Chicago, and the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, D.C. She earned a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the University of Chicago.

John F. Szabo
City Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

John F. Szabo is the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, with 72 branches serving over four million people—the largest population of any library in the United States. Szabo has more than 20 years of leadership experience in public libraries. Throughout his career, he has championed innovative library services that address critical community needs, including health disparities, workforce development, adult literacy, school readiness, and emergent literacy for preschoolers. Szabo also has extensive experience in consensus building and outreach to diverse communities. He received his Master’s Degree in Information and Library Studies at University of Michigan, and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

Jeremy R. Valdez
Actor and Producer, Dreamer

Jeremy R. Valdez produced and acted in Dreamer, a narrative feature film about a man on his way to achieving the “American Dream” until his employer discovers his undocumented status and the life he's worked so hard for begins to crumble around him. His film highlights how many immigrants are raised in the United States and consider themselves American, but they live with the constant fear of deportation from the country they call home. Through Dreamer, Valdez opens a window into the reality of many who, because of one insurmountable obstacle, find it impossible to achieve their dreams. Valdez will provide insight on the making of this powerful film and the importance of storytelling in communicating the human impact of immigration reform.

Registration and breakfast: 8:30 am to 9:00 am
Program Time: 9:00 am to 11:30 am. (Program begins promptly at 9:00 am)

Members: free
Non-members: $100.00

Who May Attend:
Current SCG members and other grantmakers eligible for membership. For eligibility requirements, click here.

SCG members: register online.
Eligible Non-members: If you already have an SCG account, log in to register. If you do not have an account yet, contact [email protected].

Space is limited. Please RSVP no later than Wednesday, February 19, 2014.