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President's Message - February 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Just last month, we observed the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the  incarceration of tens of thousands of our Japanese-American neighbors during World War II (you can visit the Japanese American National Museum exhibit to learn more). The marking of this event truly brought home for me how crucial it is for us to come together and explore what we can do, individually and collaboratively, to advance equity through public policy. We are in the midst of cultural movements and policy shifts that deeply affect large swaths of the communities we serve—based on their immigration status, income level, what schools they attend, access to health care, racial and ethnic identities, religion, and so much more. I applaud the work that you and your fellow SCG members are already doing on behalf of our most vulnerable neighbors, and I hope you’ll bring your questions, ideas, and expertise to share with your peers at SCG’s 2017 Public Policy Conference on April 6th (more information below).  

Please continue reading below for more updates and news from our membership. You can also visit us on Twitter and Facebook or check our News Page for the latest on SCG and philanthropy in Southern California.

Reserve your seat now for SCG's Public Policy Conference on Thursday 4/6, as this year's event is expected to sell out! As a follow-up to SCG's 2016 Annual Conference, we'll expand and deepen our focus on equity by hearing from a powerful lineup of community leaders, academics, and change-makers:

Keynote and Plenary Speakers:


Angela Glover Blackwell, PolicyLink; Maisie Chin, Community Asset Development Re-defining Education (CADRE);  Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LA City Councilmember; Chris Hoene, CA Budget and Policy Center; Manuel Pastor, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, USC; Dan Schnur, communication/government reform expert; Pamela Stephens, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, USC;  Benjamin Torres, CDTech


Breakout Session Speakers:


Parker Blackman, LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment; Sarah Bohn, Public Policy Institute of CA Higher Education Center; Kim Pattillo Brownson, First 5 LA; Stewart Kwoh, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA; Avo Makdessian, Silicon Valley Community Foundation; Armando Mendoza; U.S. Census Bureau LA Regional Office; Virginia Mosqueda, The James Irvine Foundation; Daranee Petsod, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees; Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.


As a grantmaker, your work can play a key role in supporting policies, advocating, and advancing equity efforts that lift up all Southern Californians. Given the current political climate, this year's conference will be a rare and important space to find common ground and consider cross-sector solutions that support our most vulnerable community members. The conference is free to SCG members - click here for more session details and to register now!


As part of our California-wide partnership with the national leadership organization GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations), SCG members came together last month in both LA and Orange County for deep-dive workshops that explored the benefits of contextual, continuous, and collective capacity building support. These dynamic sessions focused on regional challenges, successes, and examples of how grantmakers can bolster nonprofit effectiveness by ensuring that their grantees have the capacity to deliver on their missions over the long haul. Click here for Los Angeles-specific resources, or here for resources from our Orange County-focused program.



NBC’s new series GIVE encourages philanthropy among young people and shines a light on small charities across the country that are making a difference in the world. In February, in honor of Black History Month, GIVE featured SCG member Brotherhood Crusade. This 48-year-old grassroots organization works to improve the quality of life and meet the needs of low-income, under-served, under-represented, and disenfranchised individuals in South Los Angeles. The episode will be available online shortly!
This is the third SCG member to be featured on the show, thanks to NBC’s producers who worked closely with SCG to identify potential foundations to feature. Previously, the show highlighted The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation and The Eisner Foundation. Kudos to these members and to all of you for the important work you’re doing!


Just a few days ago, Speaker Anthony Rendon created the Assembly Select Committee on the Nonprofit Sector and appointed Assembly Member Monique Limón as its Chair. Asm. Limón has a robust history with philanthropy, including work with several SCG members. Over her career, she has served with the Santa Barbara City College Foundation, the Katherine Harvey Fellows Program of the Santa Barbara Foundation, and the McCune Foundatin. Last fall, SCG—in partnership with San Diego Grantmakers and Northern California Grantmakers—supported CalNonprofits’ efforts to have a legislative study committee created to support the nonprofit sector. We look forward to working together with Asm. Limón on issues affecting philanthropy, our grantees, and the communities with which we collectively work.

Are you interested in receiving more pertinent policy updates like the above from SCG? We are pleased to offer a new SCG membership benefit to help you stay ahead of legislative developments impacting your work and the communities you serve. SCG members are invited to sign up here for periodic email updates compiled by our policy team to distill the most philanthropy-relevant information on emerging public policy issues in our region, statewide, and nationally.

>>To sign up for this members-only benefit, click here.



I'm pleased to share that SCG's own Seyron Foo has been invited to join a select group of up-and-coming leaders at the Next City Vanguard Conference in May. This gathering of the nation's top urban innovators aged 40 and younger includes policymakers and politicians, architects and urban planners, artists and media-makers. In his role as Director of Public Policy and Government Relations at SCG, Seyron is a bold leader for cross-sector collaboration across our region, and we're honored to see him recognized among the nation's most promising young change-makers.


Here are some additional SCG events we've held in the past few weeks:



I hope to see you at these upcoming events:


Thank you for your service to communities in Southern California and beyond. For more of my observations on trends in philanthropy and our region, follow me on Twitter @Christine_Essel.

Christine Essel
President and CEO
Southern California Grantmakers

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