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Addressing Community Needs and Resilience Arising from Drought, Extreme Heat, and Wildfires | Part 1

Thursday, August 26, 2021 -
9:00am to 10:00am PDT
Zoom Meeting
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Discussion theme: Supporting and Protecting Latinx and Undocumented Communities

The worsening drought, heatwaves, and wildfires in California will require urgent and coordinated efforts from the philanthropic sector to support community response, recovery, and long-term resilience. Philanthropy California invites funders who are currently responding or looking to respond to our current natural hazard crises to participate in our monthly funders discussion that addresses immediate and emergent community challenges, as well as opportunities to build climate and disaster resilience.

Each meeting will focus on a theme (see event details) with short presentations from funders, frontline nonprofits, and/or government representatives. Funders are encouraged to share their approaches in responding to current and anticipated community impacts from California’s drought, heat, and wildfire events.

Session Info:

Thursday, October 7th, 9:00 am - 10:30 am:
Special Program: Addressing Drought Relief and Water Resilience California (registration will become available)
Thursday, October 28th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am: 
Discussion theme: Enhancing Wildfire Mitigation in Low-Income Neighborhoods. To register click here >.
Thursday, November 18th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am:
Discussion theme: Climate and Disaster Resilience with California’s Tribal Communities. To register click here >.


Dr. Michael Mendez, Assistant Professor in Urban Planning and Public Policy, University of California – Irvine
Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, a member of the California State Mining & Geology Board, and as vice-chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission. In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Dr. Méndez to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. The board regulates water quality in a region of 11 million people. As a scholar, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a participant of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s workgroup on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.”
Rico Peralta, Director of Program and Training, United Way Fresno and Madera Counties
Rico leads the Listos preparedness efforts –part of Governor Newsom’s Listos California initiative that works with communities across the state to boost resiliency, provide new accessible in-language information and advance a new culture of disaster preparedness –at UWFM. Prior to joining UWFM, Rico spent two decades working in the nonprofit education sector, advocating for expanded opportunities for marginalized populations. He provides coaching, mentoring, training, and consulting to volunteers and local, regional, and statewide community organizations to help ensure they achieve the most efficient and responsive results from their programs.
Samantha Sandoval, Grantmaking and Special Projects Director, Latino Community Foundation
Samantha is a passionate and dedicated equity champion committed to liberating and channeling capital into under-resourced communities. Samantha supports grantmaking at LCF. She is dedicated to social justice and advancing equitable strategies to enhance social, environmental, and economic impact in Latino communities. Samantha has over ten years of experience in philanthropy, public health, and public policy. Prior to joining LCF, she served as grants manager for Youth UpRising, New Door Ventures, and The California Wellness Foundation, where she supported grantmaking for two health portfolios totaling $18 million annually.

Target Audience 

This program is open to Funders only (members and nonmembers).