Why Now is the Right Time to Support Social Change Movements

Levi Strauss & Co.
April 18, 2018

How can philanthropy best support movements for social change?

It’s a big question within today’s political climate – and just one in a greater discussion that the philanthropic community must have now.

Coming together under the theme of Together for Good, leaders in the philanthropy space took part in this year’s Northern California Grantmakers (NCG) conference which featured our own Daniel Lee, executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation. The conference focused on addressing current critical issues of our time, such as the role of media in upholding democracy, tactics to overcome social inequality and the use of storytelling to shift narratives around complex, politically charged issues.

Daniel touched on these issues to a capacity crowd to tackle the very question of “How can philanthropy best support movements for social change?” He was joined by Tessa Callejo from the San Francisco Foundation, Dimple Abichandani from the General Service Foundation and Chris Punongbayan from the Northern California Grantmakers.

“This is a moment of identity crisis for the field of philanthropy: everyone knows this is an era of disruption and crisis and our habits and practices must change,” Daniel said. “Now more than ever, we are called upon to be nimble, courageous, generous and responsive.”

Daniel also shared insights from the forthcoming Voices: Pioneers in Justice, a collection of essays from eight Bay Area social justice leaders that the Levi Strauss Foundation invested in over a five-year period through the Pioneers in Justice initiative.  The new publication shares candid first-person reflections on leadership, change management and resiliency in the face of these turbulent political times.

Conference attendees were given advanced copies of the essay collection with hopes that this influential group of funders will see the outsize returns that come with investing in leaders and social movements in this moment.

Stay tuned to Unzipped for more from Voices: Pioneers in Justice in the coming weeks.