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Centering Generosity & Wellness: Insights for Philanthropy in 2021 and Beyond

Thursday, January 21, 2021 -
2:30pm to 4:00pm PST
Zoom Webinar
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2020 irrevocably pulled back the veil shrouding the politics of domination, greed, exploitation, and misogyny operating in so many spheres of life. As always, those long marginalized by virtue of aspects of identity suffered the most. In response, networks of mutual aid filled in where systems failed. People's power came to the fore, yielding an abundance of care, restored dignity, embodied compassion. Multigenerational, multiracial uprisings reclaimed not only moral authority but also the promise of the beloved community. Young people, women, activists of all colors, ages, and lineage invoked ingenuity and relentlessness to get out the vote and reclaim democracy.

The best of our philanthropic institutions and philanthropic leaders saw and responded to these glimmers of light. They reckoned with privilege and power, relevance, and efficacy in a time of convergent pandemics. For some, this brought out the best: generosity, boldness, creativity, compassion, upholding of shared humanity. Others continue to struggle to live into new realities, including the truth that organizations enlivening White supremacist and patriarchal values are fast losing relevancy and trust.

On June 30, 2020, Jamie Allison, Executive Director of the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, invited Surina Khan, CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California, engaged in a conversation about Generosity, Community, and Powerful Purpose: Resilience through Feminist Leadership. In a joyful and compelling dialogue, these philanthropic leaders discussed how honesty, love, and attention to relationships have helped their foundations build strength to withstand myriad challenges while simultaneously conceiving and co-creating new systems. Surina remarked that when we are courageous enough to adapt, learn, redesign, and restructure, we can make progress toward a world in which justice, wellness, and thriving are centered and people experience safety and wellbeing.

We’re bringing Jamie and Surina back to reflect on the balance of 2020. They’ll share what their data reveals about how intersecting and intersectional crises forged opportunities for making bold commitments to wellness, generosity, and community -and with extraordinary results. In conversation, Surina and Jamie will describe what manifested when they met suffering and crises with a commitment to abundance and well-being, both internally and in their grantmaking.

Join us to: 

  • Identify organizational practices that reflect a commitment to racial and gender equity, abundance, generosity, and wellness;
  • Learn what changes were realized by leading with these and other intersectional feminist values
  • Explore what’s possible when you trade good strategy operating within a bad system for actions to shift systems; and
  • Identify where there’s still room for institutional philanthropy to do more to enact intersectional feminist leadership, with its essential commitment to dismantle racism, patriarchy, and other ideologies that undermine progress toward racial justice, liberation, and dignity for all.


Jamie Allison, Executive Director, Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Jamie Allison is devoted to building a healthy, just, and vibrant society, one in which we work creatively and collaboratively to bring the benefits of inclusive community to all. Before joining the Walter & Elise Haas Fund as its Executive Director in 2018, Jamie helped lead the S. H. Cowell Foundation. She started there as a Program Officer in charge of Youth Development in 2006. Her portfolio at Cowell steadily grew to encompass affordable housing and program-related investment management as she took the role of Senior Program Officer in 2012, then as Vice President Programs in 2016. When not at work, Jamie keeps active as a hiker, runner, and frequent attendee of film festivals and Major League Soccer games. She was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but feels at home around the globe, experiencing and volunteering in places from Benin to Peru. Jamie earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science, Economics, Spanish, and Humanities from the University of Tennessee and went on to receive her Masters from theUniversity of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Her breadth of civic involvement includes serving on the board of The Whitman Institute, a philanthropy focused on promoting trust and equity, and serving as faculty for Northern California Grantmakers’ New Grantmakers Institute.
Surina Khan, CEO, Women's Foundation of California
SurinaKhan is CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California where she leads the Foundation’s work to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in nonprofit organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit social justice sector starting with local community-based publishing in New England and then shifting to national and global work on an array of social justice issues including gender justice, LGBT rights, human rights, and democratic and civic participation. She served the social justice and philanthropic sector in a variety of ways including previous positions at the Ford Foundation, OutRight Action International, and Political Research Associates. She is Co-Chair of the Board of Funders for Reproductive Equity and serves on several other Boards including Alliance for Justice, La Cocina, and the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. Her previous Board service has included Funders for LGBTQ Issues and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. She is a recognized expert on gender, racial, and economic justice issues and is a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy.

Target Audience 

This program is open to everyone.