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Meet the Moment Series
May 13, 2021

Meet the Moment: The Greatest Barrier to Racial Equity is Leadership

Recently, Dwayne Marsh, CEO of Northern California Grantmakers, and I were reflecting on how many foundations in our memberships are looking to change direction and move toward racial equity. In an ice-bucket-style challenge, Dwayne posted his thoughts and then tagged me with the question, “How best does philanthropy choose courage in the face of the unprecedented complexity the moment offers?" 


NCG Blog
Apr 8, 2021

Staff and Trustee Conversation on Conscious Whiteness & Racial Equity with The CARESTAR Foundation

I connected with Tanir Ami, CEO of the CARESTAR Foundation, and Michael Heil, Board Chair, during the final week of NCG’s learning series Unconscious Whiteness for Board Members & Trustees, where a cohort of 15 white-identifying board members and trustees came together to learn. We discussed their motivation for participating, the challenges and opportunities CARESTAR has encountered in attempting to center racial equity, and what’s next in manifesting their commitment. The conversation has been edited for brevity.

NCG Blog
Apr 8, 2021

What We're Reading: Vaccine Justice Edition

The COVID-19 vaccine will help keep communities healthy and safe and holds promise to bring an end to the pandemic that has had the most severe impacts on Black, Latinx, Indigenous, AAPI, immigrant, and low-income people. Systemic racism created the conditions that put people of color at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and experiencing more severe health outcomes, and despite this urgency, California’s vaccination effort so far has fallen short of equity goals.

Meet the Moment Series
Mar 21, 2021

Meet the Moment: Demystifying Bold

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’ve arrived as NCG’s CEO on the shoulders of many others that came before me. Two of the strongest shoulders belong to my first professional mentor and a heavyweight in philanthropic circles, Joe Brooks. During my seventeen years as a work partner and friend at The San Francisco Foundation and then PolicyLink, I learned more from him than I could ever adequately describe. He had a habit of saying things that were increasingly profound the more you thought about them.

CEO Corner
Mar 3, 2021

Shift Happens: A Series on Leadership and Change

I grew up in a semi-segregated Richmond, Virginia at a time that its heritage as a part of the South was very strong. Realizing the aspirations of those who came before us and the promise of democratic freedoms is my life's work. In a three-decade career spanning nonprofit, government, and philanthropic service, I have never once felt lost for purpose. My life's experience, the gift of a legacy of public service of my family and mentors, and my determination to forge a future that remedies past injustices drive every decision I face.

NCG Blog
Mar 1, 2021

What We Mean by CARE in a Year of Cascading Crises: Part 3

by Shefali Juneja Lakhina, Co-Founder of Wonder Labs, Alan Kwok, Director of Disaster Resilience at Northern California Grantmakers, and Janeth Marroletti, Executive Director at Gold Country Senior Services


As we look ahead in 2021, it will be another difficult year for California’s older adults. Many of them are experiencing social isolation during shelter-in-place, are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, and have difficulties accessing in-home health care and support services. Many older adults will cope with anticipated wildfires and lingering smoke during Public Safety Power Shutoffs later this year.

Announcement/Press Release
Jan 12, 2021

NCG’s Statement on the Insurrection of January 6, 2021

Well, it didn’t take long for 2021 to remind us that the journey back from the edge of an abyss will not be a gentle one. Last Wednesday showed us we will need to advance racial equity to achieve a functioning democracy. And if democracy fails, we cannot sustain racial equity. The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th undermines both.  

CEO Corner
Jan 7, 2021

My First 100 Days: We Chose Progress

In a year of memorable moments, I keep coming back to a conversation I had with my cousin Harold that is shaping my entry into 2021. Harold lives in Chicago and is an ardent student of history, particularly in the pursuit of racial justice. His observations often help me refine my own thinking.