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A Conversation with Philanthropy on Investing in Justice and Equity

When: Monday, November 4, 2019 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: The California Endowment | Elmhurst Room, 2000 Franklin Street | Oakland, CA

Our starting premise is that public service systems are consolidated bureaucracies that are operating exactly as they were created. After decades of reform efforts we have achieved some important results but have fallen short of the transformation necessary to have a significant impact on the racial disparities, barriers and hierarchies that are baked into in these public service bureaucracies.

Previous reform agendas for public systems serving communities of color were based on tools and technologies more readily embraced because they were viewed as “race-neutral” and thereby avoiding the need to directly confront institutional racism.   But is this approach sufficient?

This discussion presented by the W. Haywood Burns Institute and hosted by Northern California Grantmakers and the California Funders for Boys and Men of Color, is designed to inspire a generative conversation about philanthropic investment in the justice and equity space. 

We’ll take a look at what has been successful in the first wave of reform of public institutions while laying out a vision for future investments that directly engages the structural barriers to safety and well-being in communities of color.


 James Bell, Founder and President, W. Haywood Burns Institute

The Burns Institute has worked in over 200 counties in 23 states to engage justice stakeholders and communities across the country to build equity in the administration of justice.  He has trained and addressed thousands of human services professionals and community members on a vision of well-being as the preferred and most effective way to achieve community safety.

James has appeared on numerous national television shows, conducted several radio interviews and written blogs for the Huffington Post. He has authored sections of published anthologies on school discipline, youth justice history, and health.

James has extensive experience in the international justice arena: he assisted the African National Congress in the administration of the juvenile justice system in South Africa and consulted with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He has worked with government officials and activists on the human rights of children and restorative justice in Cambodia, Kenya, Brazil, New Zealand and China.

He attended California State Polytechnic University and Hastings College of Law.

Target Audience

This is event is open to NCG members and nonmembers. 


Please register for this invite-only event by filling out the form below.