Young people are fired up! They see injustices in their communities and existential threats to their futures - a severe housing and homelessness crisis, inflation and stagnant wages, democracy under threat and a loss of rights, and extreme climate impacts - all of which are felt disproportionately by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color communities. They want a better, more equitable future for themselves and their communities, so many young people are following their passion and joining racial, economic, reproductive, immigrant, and climate justice movements in record numbers. At the same time, in part to pandemic related staffing changes, social justice organizations are looking to hire qualified movement leaders like never before.
However, we have a major pipeline problem. To address these challenges in the short and long term, we need more trained community and labor organizers. The opportunity for young activists to get intensive hands-on training is critical for building their basic organizing skills, while learning how to organize sustainably to minimize burnout, and also processing some of the challenging emotions that naturally arise when organizing. This enables them to enter the workforce and hit the ground running as movement leaders, and build a strong base for starting a career in social justice organizing.
What solutions are movement building organizations finding for the pipeline problem, and what role can philanthropy play to support tomorrow’s leaders? Join NCG and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to hear from movement building organizations and young activists about the pipeline issues facing movement building organizations, and bright spots like Base Building for Power (www.basebuilding.net) which helps build a bridge between passionate young organizers and the movement organizations who need them to organize for justice. We’ll discuss recent successes and how philanthropy can get involved to support young people who are organizing for a better future.
CJ Callen’s career in the nonprofit sector was sparked by her passion for helping children and youth.As a philanthropy professional, CJ has managed grantmaking portfolios and led strategicgrantmaking initiatives; designed capacity building programs for grantees; developed grantmakingstrategy for donors and foundations. She served on the boards of Women & Philanthropy and BayArea Blacks in Philanthropy. CJ has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to elevating the voicesof those affected by structural inequities and helping them forge sustainable solutions. With thatcommitment, she founded Y-MAC (Youth-Making-A-Change) to bring youth leadership into thepublic policy arena in San Francisco.Currently, CJ is the Director of Community Leadership and Capacity Building for the CommunityTeam of CZI where she leads a grantmaking strategy focused on leadership and power building, aswell as the provision of support to CZI’s partners to build their organizational resilience andstrengthen the ecosystem in San Mateo County.CJ received her JD from Stanford University where she was one of the first participants in the LawSchool’s Public Interest Loan Program. She obtained a BA in philosophy and political science withhonors from New York University.She resides in Oakland with her husband Jeffrey who is an Ethnomusicologist and her pandemicpuppy Pote named after her favorite character on the telenovela Queen of the South.
Born and raised in South LA, Rashad joined the Base Building for Power summer program as the only teenager on the team. Rashad was already a SCOPE member, benefitting from their COVID-related services, when he began the organizing program and put his learning to practice during the program while organizing SCOPE's base in his home community. This program became a family affair for Rashad, whose single mom and even extended family members participated in house meetings and organized their friends and neighbors! While Rashad is currently a student at Dickinson College studying Political Science, he has continued organizing and putting his political science theory to practice while living abroad and studying at Oxford. Rashad's tenacity and dedication to his community helped him persevere when faced with all of the new challenges that young organizers go through. Since completing the program, Rashad has deepened his commitment to movement building and community power in Los Angeles and is excited to continue building the skills he needs to be a lifelong power builder
Pablo Rodriguez is the founding Executive Director of Communities for a New California Education Fund, and directs 14 full-time staff, over 40 part-time year-round canvassers who implement ongoing non-partisan voter engagement efforts via CNC's Sacramento, Merced, Fresno, Hanford and Coachella Valley offices. Since 2011, CNC Education Fund's Civic Engagement programs have engaged over 600,000 voters through phone banking and door-to-door canvassing. The implementation of CNC's integrated leadership development and mass voter engagement strategy spans seventeen counties in the San Joaquin Valley, Coachella Valley and Sierra Foothills.
Prior to CNC, Pablo served as a Public Policy Consultant and Communications Director at a Sacramento political strategy and research firm. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of Federal political strategy, issue research, communications and national field programs with an emphasis on voters of color. Pablo also previously served as Director of the Dolores Huerta Community Organizing Institute, where he developed trainings for base building, and directed political action campaigns for organizations throughout California. In addition, he developed service-learning programs with San Jose State University, the National Association of Social Workers, and Loyola Marymount University. In partnership with LMU, he initiated the development of the first micro-finance program focusing exclusively on farm workers in the United States.
Pablo currently serves as a board member of: Community Water Center Action Fund in Tulare County, Courage California, board member, Advisory Committee member of: USC's, Equity and Research Initiative, Advisory Committee member of UC Merced, Community and Labor Center. Pablo has previously served as Board Chair with the Americans for Democratic Action Education Fund in Washington D.C., and on the boards of the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project in Sacramento and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley.