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Generosity, Community, and Powerful Purpose: Resilience through Feminist Leadership

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 -
2:00pm to 3:15pm PDT
Zoom Webinar
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Join us to learn how feminist values and feminist leadership are powerful tools for building strength to withstand the myriad challenges facing us currently and build new systems. In this session you will hear how the Women’s Foundation California is invoking its values and feminist leadership principles to adapt, learn, redesign, and restructure towards a world in which justice, wellness, and thriving are centered. 

The Women’s Foundation California unites feminists and those who share feminist values in efforts to achieve racial, economic, and gender justice. In a recent blog, CEO Surina Khan describes how the organization’s feminist values and feminist leadership have supported the foundation to proactively, boldly, and swiftly support its staff and community partners to address the interconnected challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, entrenched misogyny and transphobia, and racism. Its actions not only bolstered the organization’s resilience, they have set it as a beacon for other foundations and funder affinity groups seeking to deepen and extend impact from changing internal policies and practices to promote a culture of wellness, to proactively supporting community partners and adapting a program strategy swiftly to meet the current moment.

In its recent statement concerning the murders of hundreds of Black people by police officers, the Women’s Foundation California asserts:

 “A better future is possible when we are grounded in our values of justice. We will continue to lead with compassion, kindness, and generosity and stand in solidarity . . . and work together for long-term recovery from the global pandemic and the resulting economic devastation, made worse by pre-existing conditions of weaponizing race, police militarization and white supremacy. We commit to continue working for the kinds of structural change that will meet the needs of all of our communities.”

Join us to learn what next step you can take to realize this vision. 


In this 75-minute program open to philanthropic and nonprofit professionals, we will:

  • Explore the Women’s Foundation California’s mission, values, and history within the funder and social movement space
  • Identify core values and leadership principles that guide and center its work, and what these look like when operationalized within the organization and with community partners
  • Learn what’s possible when feminist values and leadership are implemented in complex and interdependent crises
  • Distill practice and policy recommendations that embody healing justice and result in increased commitment, capacity, creativity, and strength at multiple scales


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, progressing from Program Officer in charge of Youth Development to Vice President Programs in over her decade of tenure.

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 received her Masters from the University 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 

Surina Khan 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 almost three 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 Voices for Progress, La Cocina, the American LGBTQ Museum, and the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. Her previous Board service has included Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Alliance for Justice, 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.


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