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Advancing Economic Opportunity for Immigrants & Refugees

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 -
11:00am to 1:30pm PDT
Silicon Valley Community Foundation San Mateo Conference C
1300 S El Camino Real | San Mateo, CA 94402
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Across the country, immigrants and refugees serve as a catalyst for community revitalization and an engine of economic growth.

While newcomers possess an entrepreneurial spirit, they often have limited access to asset building products and services, and many first and second-generation Americans struggle to achieve long-term financial stability.

Dr. Manuel Pastor will share key findings from research commissioned by AFN and GCIR, and participants will have the opportunity to hear from two experts from the field who will share lessons and best practices emerging from their work at this critical intersection.


11:00 am - 11:30 am: Registration

11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Panel Discussion

12:30 pm - 12:45 pm: Questions

12:45 pm -  1:30 pm: Funder Only Discussion

Targeted Audience

This event is open to all members of Asset Funders Network, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and Northern California Grantmakers.


Katharine Gin is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC). For more than 20 years, Katharine has worked to enhance arts and education opportunities for low-income and minority youth. She has developed innovative programs in schools, housing projects, and detention facilities. Her artistic and educational work with youth has been highlighted in college textbooks, literary anthologies, magazines, and national newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Harvard Educational Review, Pod Save America, and Fast Company. 

Outside of her work with E4FC, Katharine serves as Board President of the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), on UC President Janet Napolitano's Advisory Group on Undocumented Students, on the National Advisory Board of TheDream.US, and on the Underground Scholars Initiative at UC Berkeley. She also served as an advisor to the Nelson Fund at The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she oversaw the fund's philanthropic investments in arts and education from 2001 to 2014. 

Katharine was born and raised in San Francisco, and received her BA from Yale University and MFA from the University of Oregon. She is the proud descendant of Chinese immigrants, who first came to the U.S. in the 1860s to work in the gold mines of California and later during the restrictive Chinese Exclusion Acts. She is also mother to Anna Dido Nordeson and partner to Kjell Nordeson.  

Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.Read his full bio here. 


Elena Chávez Quezada is a Senior Program Officer at the Walter and Elise Haas Fund. She manages the economic security portfolio. Her work supports a range of organizations across San Francisco and Alameda Counties focused on workforce development and asset-building. Elena is also a founding partner for the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative; a Mayoral appointee to the San Francisco Citizen’s Committee on Community Development; and a member of several other advisory and steering committees related to economic security.

Elena came to the Fund from Tipping Point Community, where she worked as a Senior Program Officer in supporting 12 nonprofits fighting poverty in the Bay Area. Prior to her roles in philanthropy, she managed the California expansion of Single Stop USA and worked on research and policy at the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. Elena received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.