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Inland Empire Rising: The Case for Timely Investments in Racial Equity and Sustainability

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
11:00am - 12:30pm PDT
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Join us for a webinar featuring a comprehensive new report on the Inland Empire's nonprofit sector. The report, the first of its kind since 2009, shows that nonprofit jobs in the Inland Empire pay significantly more than other private-sector jobs. Inland Empire leads California with the highest share of nonprofit startups since 2010, and the foundation giving to the region has increased dramatically over the last decade. Many charitable organizations have a more significant impact than ever before — by building coalitions, empowering communities, and strengthening their capacity for what the Center for Social Innovation calls "data, narrative, and action: DNA." 

What has COVID-19 meant for nonprofit startups? And what does racial equity look like in a region that is approaching 70 percent of people of color? Join us for a timely and essential conversation on the Inland Empire's place in the future of Southern California.



Margarita Luna, M.P.H., M.S.W.

The California Endowment

Margarita Luna is Program Manager of the Coachella region for The California Endowment since 2007. Before joining the Endowment, Luna was a senior social worker for Public Counsel where she managed the Special Needs Advocacy Project, a client advocacy program. In addition, Luna had earlier served as a UCLA Keck-Vivian Weinstein Child Advocacy Fellow at Public Counsel. Luna also served as a Pedro Zamora Fellow in government affairs for AIDS Action in Washington, DC. Luna, a resident of San Dimas, is a member of the American Public health Association and the National Association of Social Workers. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies, M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences, and M.S.W. in Health Services from UCLA.



Michelle Decker

Inland Empire Community Foundation

In April 2018, the Inland Empire Community Foundation hired Ms. Decker as the new President/CEO. Over the last 27 years, Ms. Decker has held leadership positions in community economic development and has specialized in rebuilding or constructing nonprofit development organizations in both urban and rural communities. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Decker was the CEO of Rural Action, a membership based community development corporation in Appalachian, Ohio, working to build a more just economy through leadership development, social enterprises and environmental restoration. 

Michael Gomez Daly

Inland Empowerment and IE RISE

Michael Gomez Daly is the Executive Director of Inland Empowerment, a coalition in the Inland Empire whose work focuses around engaging impoverished communities and people of color. Michael has been on the forefront expanding voting rights and increasing civic engagement in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties through tech solutions, data-driven fields, and leadership development.

Sahara Huazano

Alianza Coachella Valley

Sahara Huazano is Director of Programs at Alianza Coachella Valley. She held multiple positions at Alianza Coachella Valley, including project manager for environmental justice and project manager for education equity. She is a fellow at Water Solutions Network and a member of the City of Coachella Planning Commission, the Disadvantaged Communities Infrastructure Committee at the Coachella Valley Water District, and more recently appointed to the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan

Center for Social Innovation, UC Riverside

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

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

Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan

Youth Mentoring Action Network (YMAN)

Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan is a scholar and practitioner with over 13 years of teaching and youth programming experience. An emerging leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for culturally sustaining youth work in the discipline. Outside of teaching and research, Weiston-Serdan runs the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit dedicated to leveraging justice and equity mentoring. Through her community-based work, she mentors Inland Empire youth through high school into college and careers. She also works extensively with other community-based organizations in support of their youth advocacy efforts, specializing in training mentors to work with diverse youth populations: i.e. Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, first-generation college students and low-income youth. As a scholar, she examines how marginalized and minoritized youth are served by mentoring and youth development programs. Weiston-Serdan currently serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters LGBTQ National Advisory Council and the Research Board of the National Mentoring Resource Center.


Presented in partnership with:


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No cost to participate

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

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG 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