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Social Justice in Disaster: Neighborhoods and Nonprofits Point the Way

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 -
10:00am to 12:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear St., Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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Marginalized communities frequently feel the impact of disasters most keenly. More often than not, their needs are overlooked by official response systems. They are often unable to access recovery resources and services, and they are usually excluded from post-disaster dialogue and decision-making.  

Yet, there is hope. In our own communities and around the country, we have seen residents and organizations mobilize their collective assets and networks in the aftermath of disaster to take care of their neighborhoods and access additional resources when disaster strikes. Nonprofits, who are most connected to and trusted by communities, mobilize much needed services, advocate for resources and a seat at the table, and provide support through the long recovery process.

As a result, we’ve seen immigrant families find sheltering and emergency information in Spanish as floodwaters rise. After a catastrophic fire, newly-unemployed hospitality workers get food for their families and help finding new places to live. During a heat wave, elderly neighbors find respite in a local church serving as a cooling shelter. Following a major earthquake, residents of a low-income neighborhood organize to oppose disposal of debris nearby.

What does it take for neighborhoods and nonprofits to effectively contribute to disaster relief and recovery in marginalized communities?  What do they need before, during, and after disaster, and how can funders help?

Please join us to hear local leaders and nonprofits from the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma discuss how they are helping their communities, and what they need to be effective in disaster. Two Bay Area funders will also discuss their disaster support and how it fits into their missions and broader programmatic work as well as ways that funders can support grantees and local leaders.

Join Us To:

  • Learn about strategies to ensure that marginalized communities are supported immediately following disasters and through long-term recovery
  • Discover what neighborhood networks and nonprofit organizations need before, during, and after disasters to be effective
  • Learn how you can support your own grantees and other organizations that will be involved in response and recovery


  • Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
  • Hispanics in Philanthropy
  • Neighborhood Funders Group

Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG members, GCIR members, NFG members, and non-member funders. Leadership as well as program staff are encouraged to attend. If you are not an NCG member, please register by emailing:


Masha Chernyak is Vice President of Programs and Policy at the Latino Community Foundation (LCF) where she leads LCF’s change-making strategy. In 2017, she launched the first ever Latino Nonprofit Accelerator to unleash the power of grassroots Latino nonprofits. Masha has also been instrumental in launching two key pillars of LCF’s work – the California Latino Agenda, LCF’s advocacy platform, and the Latino Giving Circle Network™, now the largest network of Latino donors in the country. In her leadership role, Masha also provides strategic guidance for LCF’s communications, branding, and social media presence. An immigrant herself, Masha served in the Peace Corps in rural Guatemala and worked as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side. While working at UNO, Chicago’s largest Latino education and advocacy organization, Masha led the creation of a parent university for Latino immigrants and organized hundreds of Latino parents and diverse cross-sector leaders during an advocacy campaign that brought UNO $98 million in funding from the State of Illinois. Masha holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing from University of Cincinnati and a Master’s in Public Affairs and Politics from the University of San Francisco.

Takija Gardner 2017 CMYK.jpgTakija Gardner is District Executive Director of the YMCA of San Francisco overseeing the Bayview Hunters Point and Buchanan YMCAs. Takija has worked at the YMCA of San Francisco for 15 years, focusing on youth and community development and international initiatives. She also serves as the Executive Sponsor to the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Engagement Steering Committee. She has represented the YMCA of San Francisco and the United States at the 16th World Council of YMCAs in Durban, South Africa, received the New Perspectives/Character Development Award, and was recognized by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for outstanding service to the community. Takija is a graduate of California State University, East Bay (Hayward) with Bachelor of Science Degrees in Criminal Justice Administration and Sociology; she also holds a Master of Public Administration degree with emphasis in Public Management. Outside of her formal scope of work, Takija lends support to community development through her active volunteer involvement with various boards, professional leadership organizations and social movements.

Juan Hernandez is Executive Director of La Luz Center in Sonoma. Juan is a counselor, coach, and a seasoned advocate for youth and community outreach. He served as Director of Educational Programs at the Calistoga Family Center, and, while in Calistoga, was elected to the board of the Napa Community Foundation and the Napa Valley Hispanic Network. Juan has been appointed (Sonoma County) First 5 Commissioner, and he serves on the Sonoma Sheriff’s Advisory Group, the Sonoma Valley Health Roundtable, Portrait of Sonoma County Leadership Team, and the Latino Leaders of Sonoma County. He earned a B.A. degree from UC Riverside, a Fellowship in Management Leadership from New York, and an M.A. in Psychology and Organization Development from Sonoma State University.

Daniel Homsey is the Director of The Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN) for the City Administrator’s Office of the City and County of San Francisco. A fourth generation San Franciscan who has a degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, he has spent the last 25 years as a communications professional in both the private and public sectors. After a long stint in the tech sector, Daniel joined the City in 2004 and in January 2008 became the Director of the NEN which is a coalition of residents, community supported organizations, non-profits, academic institutions, and government agencies whose mission is to empower residents with the capacity and resources to build and steward stronger more resilient communities.

Shea Hunter is the Program Director at NEWS Domestic Violence & Sexual Abuse Support Services located in Napa. In this position, Shea oversees program functions, personnel management, grant compliance, reporting requirements, and agency policies and procedures. She is also a member of the agency financial team and represents the agency at the local, state, and national level. Shea has spent over 22 years working in the field domestic violence and sexual abuse, including 15 years at NEWS as Program Director and Interim Executive Director. She is honored to have worked for W.E.A.V.E. in Sacramento, CA and SafePlace in Austin, TX. Shea is also the Executive Committee Co-Chair for the Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disaster (NVCOAD). She participated in the emergency response effort after the 2014 Napa Earthquake as well as the recent fires. She worked directly with both government and non-profit agencies to ensure the immediate and comprehensive support for those effected by those disasters.

Stephanie Rapp is a Senior Program Officer at the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, overseeing Jewish Life, Safety Net and Disaster Preparedness portfolios that distribute more than $4.5 million in grants annually. Under her leadership, the Fund’s Disaster Preparedness and Response portfolio has catalyzed and strengthened the capacity of safety net organizations to respond to disaster. Stephanie brings more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management, organizational development and philanthropy, through leadership positions for the United Nations Association and UN50 Committee, and as Special Assistant to the Secretary General of UN Habitat. She has nonprofit fundraising and communications experience with San Francisco Education Fund, the World Affairs Council of Northern California, Jewish Home, Rainforest Action Network, and the Japan Society. Married to a filmmaker, she has been a contributor to several short films screened on HBO and is a frequent contributor to KQED radio's Perspectives series.