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SCG President's Message - July 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

Recapping our 2019 Family Philanthropy Conference & Philanthropy California Updates 

Dear SCG Family, 


Last month, our SCG family foundation community came together for our Family Foundation Conference, Unpacking Power Dynamics with Cultural Humility. This gathering was one of largest yet, and it epitomized philanthropy's power to achieve significant community impact while being grounded in empathy and humility. 

The topics we discussed were challenging and timely. We talked candidly about our collective privilege and what it means to share and build power with our community partners to create a more equitable future. I am grateful to all of our members who approach their work with curiosity and self-reflection. You can review key themes from the conference here

I am proud that every aspect of this conference was driven and shaped by the SCG Family Philanthropy Advisory Council. I saw our members leave the conference equipped with fresh perspectives, renewed empathy, and a deeper humility. I am eager to continue these conversations at the SCG 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, where we will reimagine and work toward a more equitable future.


Christine Essel
President & CEO, Southern California Grantmakers


Register for our 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy

Creating a More Equitable Future

SCG’s 2019 Annual Conference: Foresight Philanthropy, is the gateway for funders to sharpen your grantmaking strategies, invigorate cross-sector collaborations, and get ready to be more dynamic changemakers by using the tools of futurism. Join over 600 colleagues for a day filled with interactive plenaries, inspiring keynote speakers, and skill-building workshops designed to embolden us to become philanthropic futurists. Members whose office is located outside LA County may use the discount code AC2019Travel to receive a $75 discount in recognition of your travel.



Philanthropy California Updates 

Nation's First Gender Justice Fund Launches $10 Million Collaborative to Change Culture and Advance Gender Justice

We are what we speak! From #MeToo to unconstitutional attacks on abortion, the fight for gender justice is happening now. Philanthropy California is proud to partner with the Women's Foundation of California and other leaders to launch a new $10M Culture Change Fund. A first of its kind, the Culture Change Fund is launching to address how the nation understands gender justice and to promote culture change as a key solution to systemic problems. Philanthropy California will co-lead the Gender Justice Network with the Women's Foundation, and will provide gender justice-focused programming and educational opportunities to its members. Learn more about the Culture Change Fund below. 



Siz Strategies to Increase Disaster Resiliency in California

California Volunteers has released a report outlining six investment strategies to amplify whole community emergency preparedness. channel private-sector, nonprofit, community-based, and faith-based resources to spur cross-sector coordination, and bolster the capacity of local communities to strengthen resilience. 



Philanthropy California has stepped up to lead one of the six strategies, fostering community-based disaster preparedness, response, and recovery by developing more coordinated and proactive plans and processes for funding. Stay tuned for a disaster relief summit hosted by Philanthropy California later this year! The gathering will bring together statewide funders to clarify the variety of roles funders can play in developing equitable disaster response and recovery grantmaking strategies. 



Interested in learning more about philanthropy’s role in disaster relief? Attend Reimagining Philanthropy’s Role in Building Resilient Communities: Addressing Extreme Natural Events Head On to learn the science behind California disasters and resilience investments, the role philanthropy, and how members can engage in these issues now and in the future.



Citizenship Question Will Not Be Included in the 2020 Census: Our Fight for an Accurate Count Continues

The Administration is no longer pursuing the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 Census after The Supreme Court of the United States blocked the citizenship question from being added to the questionnaire. While this decision is an important victory for fairness, justice, and democracy, there is still significant work ahead to ensure a fair and accurate count of all Californians – and the future of our state. 



If you are interested in creating fair and transparent district boundaries that serve the best interests of the people of California you can apply to be a part of the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission.



SCG News

Announcing Our 2019-2021 Senior Peer-to-Peer Network!

SCG is delighted to announce that we have selected our candidates for the 2019-2021 Senior Peer-to-Peer Network! This exciting peer-learning professional development program will be led by Judy Belk, President and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation, and will bring together senior-level program staff from SCG member organizations. The group will explore topics related to philanthropic leadership development, collaborative philanthropic impact, philanthropy trends, and each member’s professional and personal goals. We will be sharing more updates on cohort members and their work in the coming months! For now, meet our cohort: 


Naomi Strongin - Senior Program Officer, The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles

Phylene Wiggins - Vice President, Programs & Grants, Ventura County Community Foundation

Vanessa Silberman - Senior Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation

Jennifer Lieberstein - Senior Program Advisor, The Atlas Family Foundation

Sara Montrose - Program Officer, Weingart Foundation

Jolene Fassbinder - Program Officer, Archstone Foundation

Talia Gibas - Professional Development Programs Manager, Los Angeles County

Erin Westphal - Program Officer, The SCAN Foundation

Rafael Gonzalez - Director of Community Relations, First 5 LA

Rebecca Newman - Program Officer, The Rose Hills Foundation

Sheri Dunn Berry - Director of Programs, Community Partners

Chaitali Gala - Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Ellen Young - Vice President, Irvine Health Foundation

James Alva - Senior VP & Market Manager, Citi Community Development

Sarah Belnick - Program Director, ECMC Foundation


Videos: 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage & Tongva Tribe Walking Tour

In April, Truth Racial Healing & Transformation – Los Angeles hosted a Tongva History Walk of Downtown Los Angeles and took part in the 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage. Both events reaffirmed our commitment to holding space for truth-telling and healing, filled our hearts with humility, and left us with much to reflect upon: in order to heal, grow, and make progress, our society must have greater awareness of our history. Watch two beautiful videos chronicling the Tongva History Walk and Manzanar Pilgrimage.



In Case You Missed It

July Family Philanthropy Newsletter SCG'S quarterly newsletter highlighting original content created by family foundations, community news, and resources. 

June Public Policy Roundup SCG'S monthly newsletter featuring the latest on public policy issues and legislative spotlights. 

June Corporate Brief SCG'S monthly newsletter on corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy news, events, and peer profiles.

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