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Southern California Funders' Discussion on COVID-19: Crafting an Inclusive Recovery with The Committee for Greater L.A.

Thursday, June 11, 2020
9:00am - 10:30am PDT
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As the first cases of COVID-19 reached Southern California, it quickly became clear that the wide-reaching impacts of the pandemic would do the greatest harm to those populations and communities who were already most vulnerable and marginalized. Leaders in philanthropy, nonprofits, community groups, and City and County government quickly developed the Committee for Greater L.A. in partnership with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. Over the last six weeks, the Committee has been laying out strategies to guide policymakers to prioritize the needs of the most impacted residents of LA County and ultimately ensure they will be better off than they were before the crisis. Please join us to hear from Steering Committee members and academic partners as they discuss the latest updates from the project and share insights about how philanthropy can support long-term, inclusive recovery.      




Cynthia Buiza

Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center

Cynthia Buiza is the Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) where she provides the vision for the mission of California’s premiere immigrant rights organization. CIPC is thriving under her leadership, with a marked expansion in its issue area expertise and a broadening of its
coalition networks working to build power for immigrants in this country. Cynthia came to this role after successfully managing a statewide capacity building project, involving nine regional coalitions in California, which strengthened their viability through a combination of highly customized training, grant-making and leadership coaching.

Cynthia brings over two decades of experience in nonprofit management and human rights advocacy to CIPC. She worked on international refugee, migration, human rights and civil rights issues in Southeast Asia before working with ACLU as Policy Director for its San Diego regional affiliate. She was also Policy and Advocacy Director at CHIRLA in Los Angeles from 2007-2010. More recently, she worked as a consultant with various immigrant rights and civil rights institutions and social justice organizations in California and the U.S., helping shape their strategic direction and plans for sustainability.
Before moving to the United States, she worked in senior positions with various international organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Open Society Institute-Burma Education Project in Thailand, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. In June, 2003, she co-authored the book Anywhere But War, about the armed conflict and internal displacement in the Indonesian Province of Aceh.

Cynthia earned a Masters in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, with a concentration on human security studies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from the Philippines, and a Certificate in Refugee and Migration Studies from the Oxford University Refugee
Studies Centre in England. She also holds certificates from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Cynthia currently serves as a State Commissioner with the Milton Marks Little Hoover Commission for State Government Organization and the Economy. She is a member of the California Community Foundation’s Immigration Advisory Council and the Southern California Policy Forum. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pilipino Worker’s Center and Health Access California. In her spare time Cynthia enjoys movies, visits to art museums, poetry, and decadent meals.

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) where he currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). He 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.

Miguel A. Santana

President & CEO, Fairplex

Miguel A. Santana is the President and CEO of Fairplex, a private nonprofit 487-acre entertainment and education complex in Pomona. With a mission to build community and strengthen the economy, the vision for the Fairplex campus is to create an experiential environment for the community to live, learn,
work and play. By forging collaborative relationships with the region’s educational institutions, government officials and community residents, Mr. Santana is focused on the transformation of Fairplex into a 21st century sustainable, globally recognized venue and economic engine grounded in its agricultural roots.

Prior to his employment at Fairplex, Mr. Santana was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles from 2009 through 2016. Mr. Santana reported directly to the Mayor and the City Council. As the CAO, his office directed oversight over the City’s $9 billion budget, labor negotiations, debt
management and major policy issues as directed by the Mayor and/or City Council, including the proprietary departments of Department of Water and Power, Airport and Harbor. As CAO, Mr. Santana played a central role in developing a comprehensive strategy on homelessness in partnership with the
County of Los Angeles.

In 2017, he was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the city’s Proposition HHH Citizens Oversight Committee, an administrative council that will play a vital role in developing housing for homeless Angelenos funded through a bond measure approved by L.A. voters, and served as
Chairman until 2019.

Mr. Santana has more than 25 years of experience managing numerous fiscal, legislative, political and community issues. Previously, Mr. Santana served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff for Supervisor Gloria Molina. Mr. Santana has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. Mr. Santana serves on the boards of the Weingart Foundation; the United Way of Greater Los Angeles; California Community Foundation;
Discovery Cube; and Whittier College Board of Trustees.

Gary Segura

Dean, Luskin School of Public Affairs

Before beginning his appointment as Dean at UCLA Luskin in January 2017, professor Segura served as the Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor of Public Policy, professor of political science, and professor and former chair of Chicana/o-Latina/o studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on issues of political representation and social cleavages, the domestic politics of wartime public opinion and the politics of America’s growing Latino minority. Additionally, he has briefed members of Congress and senior administration officials on issues related to Latinos, served as an expert witness in three marriage equality cases heard by the Supreme Court, and has filed amicus curiae briefs on subjects as diverse as voting rights, marriage equality and affirmative action.

Jacqueline Waggoner

Vice President, Enterprise Community Partners

Jacqueline Waggoner is vice president and Southern California market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. She oversees Enterprise’s affordable housing, community development, investment and strategic programs from the state’s Central Coast to San Diego. Jacqueline started with
Enterprise in 2005. During her tenure, she has deployed $1.3 billion in capital, intellectual resources and capacity building tools to achieve Enterprise’s strategic and production goals, leading to more than $300 million in Enterprise investments locally. She has worked with the city of Los Angeles, banks and nonprofit developer partners to create local funds for affordable housing, advocate for low-income families and support Enterprise’s vision of providing communities of opportunity.

Jacqueline serves on the 10-member Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission, the agency’s governing board, appointed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in February 2017. Jacqueline is on the board of governors of the California Housing Consortium and a board member for the California Community Reinvestment Corporation, Los Angeles Business Council and Restore Neighborhoods LA, Inc. Jacqueline serves on the steering committees for LA Thrives, a collaborative advancing equitable transit-oriented development, and LA Funders'; Collaborative, a network promoting healthy, equitable and sustainable communities.

A Los Angeles native, Jacqueline has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA. Her experience in commercial real estate lending spans more than 20 years. Before joining Enterprise, she was vice president for community lending with Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles.

Dates included in the series are:

Thursday, June 11 | 9:00am - 10:30am PDT

Thursday, June 25 | 9:00am - 10:30am PDT


No cost to participate

Who May Attend
Current SCG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG 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
Funding Area