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Towards a Regenerative Economy: Envisioning a Just Transition in Southern California

Friday, February 21, 2020
10:30am - 12:30pm PST
The California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities, Suite C
1000 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
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According to the Climate Justice Alliance,

Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste-free. The transition itself must be just and equitable; redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be. Just Transition describes both where we are going and how we get there.

In addition, a recent report from USC PERE notes that “transitioning is also an opportunity to include those who have historically been excluded from the jobs and economic benefits of the extractive economy and expand the populations who have access to future jobs and economic opportunities.”

How can grantmakers continue to support a just transition in Southern California? This convening will bring together multiple perspectives from the environmental movement to share stories of success and reflect on what’s needed in order to bring the vision of a just transition into being. Given the complexity and diversity of social, economic and environmental forces at play, this session will weave together multiple issues including strategies to move towards a regenerative economy and with an orientation towards community engagement and ownership in the process. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from speakers with expertise in this area, engage in a group dialog, and split up into smaller groups for a more focused conversation. After the formal program, we invite you to continue informal conversations over lunch, which will be served. 

If you are interested in participating remotely, please contact us at [email protected]



Gopal Dayaneni

Adjunct Faculty, Antioch University

Gopal has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s.


Gopal is a trainer with the The Ruckus Society and serves on the boards of The Center for Story-based Strategy, The Working World, (The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Corporate Concentration), and Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. He is also on the advisory board of the Catalyst Project. Gopal is also Adjunct Faculty for the Masters in Urban Sustainability program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, where he teaches Ecological Systems Thinking and supports the overall program. Gopal works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire.


Gopal has been a campaigner for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on human rights and environmental justice in the high-tech industry and the Oil Campaigner for Project Underground, a human and environmental rights organization that supported communities resisting oil and mining exploitation around the world. Gopal has been active in many people-powered direct action movements, including the Global Justice/Anti-Globalization Movement, Direct Action to Stop the War, the Climate Justice movement, Take Back the Land, Occupy and as an ally with Black Lives Matter and the struggles for Migrant Justice.



Martha Arguello

Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

For the past 32 years, Martha has served in the non-profit sector as an advocate, community organizer, and coalition builder. She joined PSR-LA in 1998 to launch the environmental health programs, and became Executive Director in November 2007. She is committed to making the credible voice of physicians a powerful instrument for transforming California and our planet into a more peaceful and healthy place.

Martha grew up in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. At the young age of 14, she made a lifelong commitment to effect social change after seeing her friend killed by a school security guard. While working as a health educator in the 1990s, Martha had an epiphany — she realized that although early detection can prevent death from breast cancer, it does not prevent breast cancer, which has been increasingly linked to the exposure of environmental toxicants. Since that realization, Martha has dedicated her career to the environmental justice movement, and has lectured nationwide on the use of precautionary principle policies.

As a coalition builder, Martha has emphasized the need for local grassroots advocacy working in partnership with statewide policy actions. She is an active board member of numerous organizations, including Californians for Pesticide Reform, the California Environmental Rights Alliance, and Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy. She also co-founded the Los Angeles County Asthma Coalition and the Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice, and was appointed to Cal/EPA’s Environmental Justice Committee and the California Air Resources Board’s Global Warming Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.

Larry Frank

Interim Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Resource Development, Los Angeles Community College District

Laurence (Larry) Frank is currently serving as the Interim Vice Chancellor of Workforce & Resource Development at the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). His current duties include district leadership of Career and Adult Education in the nine community colleges within LACCD, along with oversight of the District Foundation. These nine colleges enroll 230,000 students each year making it the largest District in the nation.

Prior to his current position, Laurence Frank served for six years as the President at LA Trade-Technical College, leading the restructuring of the college into nine pathways, housed in nine schools. During this time, the college doubled its completions, balanced its annual budgets, met its annual institutional set standards and renewed its accreditation. Significant partnertships were built or futher developed with Metro, LAUSD, DWP, CRCD, LAWA, EWDD (hosting a City WorkSource Center), the Building Trades, and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC).  Also, in this time, LATTC won an FTA-sponsored Transit Institute and secured a HUD-administered Promise Zone for South LA, as the lead agency.

From 2005 until 2013, Laurence Frank served as a Deputy Mayor and then Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, responsible for workforce development, external Labor relations, field operations, constituent services and Days of Service. As Deputy Mayor, he oversaw Public Works, the Community Development Department (now EWDD and a portion of HCID), and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (Empower LA), with expanded oversight as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Michael Kadish

Executive Director, Grid Alternatives, Greater LA

Michael has been the Executive Director of GLA since 2013 and previously served as one of the founding Directors of its Board. Prior to his involvement with GRID, Michael worked in a variety of government and campaign roles including Policy Director for the New York City Council Member representing Lower Manhattan after 9/11, Policy Director on the 2008 Obama campaign and Director of Public and Consumer Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Michael currently sits on the Board of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He also holds a BA from Columbia University and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Darryl Molina Sarmiento

Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment

“As a daughter of Pilipino immigrants, I saw my parents were afraid to teach their children their own dialect. As I learned my history, I understood the struggles in the Philippines and in the US as rooted in the same oppressive system that puts humanity in ecological crisis. We must work for the survival of the future of the earth and our people.”

Now, in her 12th year with CBE, Darryl embodies CBE’s leadership ladder, having first encountered CBE at the age of 18, when she took one of our Toxic Tours. Later, in 2005, she formally joined CBE as Southern California’s Youth Program Coordinator. In 2011, Darryl transitioned into the role of CBE’s Southern California Program Director and was at the helm of successful community-based campaigns against the fossil fuel industry and against toxic polluters such as Exide Technologies. Darryl was instrumental in leading the passage of Clean Up Green Up, a City of Los Angeles ordinance that is one of the first Environmental Justice Green Zone Policies in the nation. She has worked on the passage of statewide energy and climate policy, and has worked to advance local clean energy and transportation goals. Darryl graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Asian American Studies. After graduating, she worked for the AFL-CIO Labor Union and Pilipino Workers Center of Los Angeles. She previously served on the board of The California Fund for Youth Organizing.

Angela Mooney D’Arcy

Founder & Executive Director, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous People

Angela is from the Acjachemen Nation, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians. Angela was born in her ancestral homelands whose traditional territories include the area now known as Orange County and raised in the ancestral homelands of the Osage, Kaw and Wichita Peoples. She has been working with Native Nations, Indigenous Peoples, grassroots and nonprofit organizations, artists, educators and institutions on environmental and cultural justice issues for nearly twenty years. She is the Executive Director and Founder of Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, an Indigenous-led, grassroots environmental justice organization dedicated to building the capacity of Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples to protect sacred lands, waters, and cultures.  She co-founded the United Coalition to Protect Panhe, an alliance of Acjachemen people dedicated to the protection of the sacred site Panhe and served on the Board of the Blas Aguilar Adobe Museum & Acjachemen Cultural Center for nearly a decade. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. with a concentration in Critical Race Studies and focus on federal Indian law from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. She currently lives and works in unceded Tongva homelands now known as Los Angeles, California.


The Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California as well as fostering collaboration and to 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. Co-hosted by Environmental Grantmakers Association and Smart Growth California.


In partnership with:

Current SCG members: $0
Eligible Non-members: $100

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.

About this Location
This location is ADA compliant, has dedicated nursing rooms, and gender-neutral restrooms available.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions