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What’s Ahead for Racial Equity: Real Talk with Manuel Pastor and Lateefah Simon

Thursday, May 2, 2019 -
11:00am to 1:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA 94105
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“Advancing racial and economic equity is the defining challenge of our time. Rising inequality and persistent racial inequities threaten our social cohesion and economic potential. We must work to build a Bay Area that is inclusive and prosperous for all residents.”  -Solving the Housing Crisis Is Key to Inclusive Prosperity in the Bay Area; April 2018

What is the landscape of economic, racial, and social inequities in the Bay Area, and what can we do about it? NCG is excited to announce our new offering - the Racial Equity Action (REA) Institute - to bring together racial equity specialists and leaders to harness our collective strength. To kick off the REA Institute, we are hosting a conversation with field leaders who have experience and knowledge in multiple sectors. They will discuss the macro view of equity issues for the Bay Area and address the themes of the REA Institute sessions—using evidence, listening to community, shifting culture, leveraging change, and working together. Join us to learn more and see if the REA Institute is a good fit for you and your institution.

The San Francisco Foundation’s Fred Blackwell, CEO, will provide opening remarks and NCG’s Alice Y Hom, Director of Equity and Social Justice, will lead a conversation with Manuel Pastor, Director of the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and Lateefah Simon, President of Akonadi Foundation and Director on the BART Board. 

Lunch will be provided.

REA Institute

NCG’s new REA Institute will connect racial equity specialists and leaders in philanthropy, government, business, and nonprofits to learn, network and develop a mix of actionable strategies with field experts and each other. The REA Institute is a multi-sector space to test and deepen racial equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. 

Learn More about the Institute


Fred Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer, The San Francisco Foundation 

Fred Blackwell is the CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country. The San Francisco Foundation works hand-in-hand with donors, community leaders, and both public and private partners to create thriving communities throughout the Bay Area. Since joining the foundation in 2014, Mr. Blackwell has led the Foundation in a renewed commitment to social justice through an equity agenda focused on racial and economic inclusion.

Mr. Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as Interim City Administrator for the City of Oakland where he previously served as the Assistant City Administrator. Mr. Blackwell currently serves on the board of the Independent Sector, Northern California Grantmakers, SPUR, the Bridgespan Group, the dean’s advisory council for Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and the community advisory council of the San Francisco Federal Reserve. 

Dr. Manuel Pastor, Distinguished Professor of Sociology & American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California 

Dr. Manuel Pastor directs the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)  and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC. Recognized for his work at the intersection of the academy and activism, he received the Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation for his many research partnerships with social justice organizations. His latest book, State of Resistance: What California's Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America's Future, looks at the last several decades of economic, social, and environmental transformations in California – and what they can tell us about the road ahead for the U.S.

Lateefah Simon, President, Akonadi Foundation 

Lateefah Simon is the President of Akonadi Foundation, which nurtures movement building to advance racial justice in Oakland. A nationally recognized advocate for civil rights, Lateefah brings over 20 years of executive experience advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities in the Bay Area. Before joining Akonadi, she was Program Director for the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation.

Lateefah has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service, and in 2017 ‘Most Promising New Foundation President’ by Inside Philanthropy. Lateefah was elected to the Bart Board of Directors and Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the California State University’s Board of Trustees in 2016. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Tipping Point.

Alice Y. Hom, Equity and Social Justice Director, Northern California Grantmakers (Moderator)

Alice is a community builder invested in bridging diverse and overlapping communities for social change. As the Director of Equity and Social Justice, Alice will focus on racial equity with an intersectional lens that brings multiple issues, communities, and sectors together to build on the common good. Before joining NCG, Alice was a Soros Equality Fellow where she created a podcast and a digital archive on activism by LGBTQ People of Color. Prior to that, Alice worked as the Director of the Queer Justice Fund at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

She serves on the boards of California Humanities and Borealis Philanthropy and on the Advisory Council for the Conscious Style Guide. Alice is a historian with a PhD from Claremont Graduate University, a MA from UCLA, and BA from Yale University. In her spare time, you can find Alice working on her podcast, Historically Queer, or enjoying the culinary delights of restaurants and bakeries with friends and family.

Target Audience 

This program is open to NCG member and nonmember funders, and interested people from the government, business, and nonprofit sectors.


The REA Institute and this kick-off conversation is generously supported and co-sponsored by The San Francisco Foundation.