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Funding Our Movements: Lessons from the Field

Thursday, December 2, 2021 -
10:30am to 12:00pm PST
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Social justice movements are what lead us towards racial, gender, disability, and economic justice. To bring about an equitable and just world, we must build upon the strength of these social movements by supporting organizers doing this movement-building work.  

In 2020, we saw an unprecedented amount of funding going into BIPOC communities to support the movement-building work organizers have long championed. Corporations pledged millions, foundations committed to more flexible grantmaking strategies, and philanthropy poured money into multiple BIPOC-led funds that launched to support movement and power-building work in California. We also saw a shift in focus onto existing funds that have long supported movement-building work. So, why is it that a year later these funds that had an influx of initial support are now fighting for sustainability?   

Join us to hear from representatives of multiple BIPOC-led movements and power-building funds and programs, both emergent and long-standing, as they have a candid discussion about what movement-building work is, the consequences communities face as support for that work dwindles, and how funders can collaborate to harness their collective resources to help sustain movements. Our speakers will also touch on the resources and tools that other funders can use to begin changing their practices to better support movement-building work happening in BIPOC communities.     

This program is a part of Better California, an initiative that seeks to deploy philanthropy to use all its assets to help create a California in which all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.


Byron JohnsonCapacity Building Initiative Officer, East Bay Community Foundation 

Byron Johnson is the East Bay Community Foundation’s (EBCF’s) Capacity Building Initiative Officer where he leads and sets the overall vision and direction of the ASCEND: BLO (Black Led Organizations) initiative and helps to inform, shape, and implement the foundation’s overall approach to building the capacity of grantees and community organizations across the region.

ASCEND: BLO stands for Accelerating and Stabilizing Communities through Equitable Nonprofit Development of Black-Led Organizations.  The 7-year initiative was launched in 2018 to strengthen and connect Black-Led Organizations (BLOs) in the Bay Area and to encourage increased investment in them and acknowledgment of their vital role in the ecosystem of social change and justice.

As a member of EBCF’s Community Investment and Partnerships (CIP) team, Byron works collaboratively with CIP team members in the implementation and refinement of the foundation’s programming and grant-making strategies dedicated towards achieving its vision of A Just East Bay.

Prior to coming to the foundation, Byron served in various leadership roles for several Bay Area nonprofits including 12 years as a senior project director at CompassPoint, a national leader in providing capacity-building support to social justice leaders and organizations.  While at Compass Point he developed and managed cohort-based leadership development and capacity building programs designed through racial equity and justice lens and consulted with and coached leaders and organizations on executive transitions and succession planning, strengthening their foundation and donor development work, and strategic leadership development.

Born and raised in Oakland, CA he has served on the boards of the Golden Gate chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the SF Housing Development Corporation (SFHDC).  He currently sits on the advisory boards of the California Black Freedom Fund and Dimensions Dance Theatre in Oakland.  He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, a CFRE (Certified Fund-Raising Executive) from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and earned his coaching certification from Leadership That Works.

Erik StegmanChief Executive Officer, Native Americans in Philanthropy

Erik serves as Chief Executive Officer of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a national organization advocating for stronger and more meaningful investments by the philanthropic sector in tribal communities. Previously, he served as the Executive Director for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. He has held positions at the Center for American Progress on their Poverty to Prosperity team, as Majority Staff Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and in the Obama administration as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. Erik began his career in Washington, D.C. at the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center.

He holds a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, an M.A. in American Indian Studies from UCLA’s Graduate Division, and a B.A. from Whittier College.

Stuart BurdenVP of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Stuart Burden joined SVCF in March 2017 as vice president of corporate responsibility. He is responsible for leading the strategic direction for SVCF’s work with a growing list of more than 100 corporate clients, including advising them on corporate social responsibility strategies, goals, and philanthropic programs. Before joining SVCF, Stuart was a philanthropy consultant focused on program design, organizational effectiveness, and strategic communications. His clients included large not-for-profit organizations, such as Planned Parenthood of America, as well as numerous private foundations. Prior to his work as a consultant, Stuart directed grantmaking for the Levi Strauss Foundation and Levi Strauss & Co.

Stuart also spent 11 years at the MacArthur Foundation, where he managed grant portfolios focused on protecting reproductive health and rights in Brazil and Mexico and improving higher education in Africa. He also worked on special projects at the Ford Foundation, including the design and launch of Ford’s initial HIV/AIDS grants program.

​Originally from Colorado and now a San Francisco resident, Stuart earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his master’s degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Christian AranaVice President of Policy, Latino Community Foundation

Christian strongly believes in the promise of America, and that begins first with California’s estimated 15 million Latinos. As the Vice President of Policy at LCF, Christian leads the foundation’s efforts to advance policy solutions that will improve the lives and political power of California’s Latinos.

Christian served as the Senior Governance Specialist at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) in Washington, D.C. During his tenure, he worked with the nation’s top political, corporate, and nonprofit leaders to develop the next generation of Latino leaders in policy. He also managed CHCI’s transition towards the use of impact metrics and led two successful strategic planning sessions with CHCI’s leadership. Prior to CHCI, Christian worked at the Aspen Institute for the College Excellence Program. He helped administer the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Competition honoring the top-performing community colleges in the nation.  Dedicated to the advancement of Latino communities, Christian began his career as an AmeriCorps member where he served as a college counselor at Cristo Rey New York High School in East Harlem, New York.

Christian received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgetown University in International Politics. In his free time, Christian enjoys cooking, watching Dodgers baseball, and traveling.

Jonathan Tran, Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment

Jonathan Tran is currently a Senior Program Manager with The California Endowment’s statewide Power Infrastructure team. Jonathan oversees The Endowment’s civic engagement, Democracy, narrative change, and power building portfolio to empower Californians with the tools to improve community health for all. 

Prior to joining the Endowment, Jonathan worked as the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center’s (SEARAC) California Policy and Programs Manager--serving as the organization’s lead California policy advocate and community organizer for the country’s largest Southeast Asian American population. Jonathan also worked in the California State Legislature, first as a Senate Fellow for State Senator Sheila Kuehl and then as a Legislative Aide for California Assemblymember Mike Eng. 

Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian American Studies and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. The son of Teo Chew refugees from Vietnam, Jonathan was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and currently resides in Sacramento, California.

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