Socialize With Us

Philanthropy and the #MeToo Movement

Monday, June 18, 2018 -
2:00pm to 4:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear St.Suite 360, San Francisco, CA 94105
Add to Calendar

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have set change in motion across American society, from popular culture to the halls of Congress. But is philanthropy listening? And is philanthropy part of the problem? At the root of the sexual violence #MeToo addresses, and the workplace misconduct #TimesUp addresses, is misuse of power. Money, race, gender, and other factors cause breakdowns in how we communicate with each other.

Join a candid, warm conversation with a cross-section of foundation leaders as they work their way through this complex issue. Few philanthropic dollars go towards gender justice, or gender equity issues more broadly. Our panelists will offer up their own paths to discovering built-in systems that get in the way of righting power dynamics and the corrections they made (or want to make) to ready themselves for this moment.

Join us in a discussion of philanthropy’s internal practices and systems

  • How is the MeToo movement causing foundations to re-examine their own internal practices?
  • What can we learn from contemporary efforts?
  • What models exist for best-practices?
  • What are the biggest risks when it comes to advancing social good or suppressing efforts for change?
  • What steps have foundations taken to prepare for complaints and accusations of sexual harassment within our field?


Jamie Allison, Executive Director, Walter and 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 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 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.

Georgette Bhathena, Executive Director, Western Region Executive, Global Philanthropy—JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Georgette Bhathena currently oversees JPMorgan Chase’s global philanthropy activities in the eight-state region of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.  She has been with the firm since 2010.  Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Georgette spent nearly 15 years in the financial services industry with a focus on community development issues.  Her prior experience includes serving as a Community Relations Officer at a peer financial institution, a Compliance Officer at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco in their Affordable Housing Program, and a Compliance Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in the Consumer Compliance and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examinations group. 

Georgette is active serving on various nonprofit boards including Year Up Bay Area and the San Francisco Foundation’s Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative.

Georgette holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and finance from the University of Washington and earned her Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a concentration in housing, urban development, and transportation. 

Robert Bray, Director of Communications, NEO Philanthropy

Robert’s career spans more than two decades in the field of strategic communications and social justice. As Director of NEO Philanthropy’s Four Freedoms FundTM Strategic Communications Initiative, Robert helps create and fund strategies designed to shape the immigration debate locally and nationally. Prior to joining NEO Philanthropy, he was Director of Communications for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund in San Francisco. In 1997, Robert founded the SPIN Project, a media training, coaching and strategizing non-profit for social change organizations. In the late 80s and 90s, he played a central role in increasing the media visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, serving as the first Director of Communications for the Human Rights Campaign Fund, and later as Director of Communications for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Robert is the author of several publications on communications including “SPIN Works” and “Winning Wages: A Guide to Living Wage Communications Campaigns.” Prior to his social justice career, he was a public relations executive for the IBM Corporation. Robert graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism and public relations. 

Surina Khan, CEO, the Women’s Foundation of California

Surina leads the Foundation’s work to advance the health, safety, and economic security of women, girls and transgender people in California. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in community organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, convening key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. For more than two decades, Surina has been a leader in the philanthropic and non-profit 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 women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and more. She is a recognized advocate for gender, racial, and economic justice and a frequent commentator on the power of women’s philanthropy.