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Liberty Hill Honors Social Justice Leader Wendy Chang

On May 9, at Liberty Hill's 30th Annual Upton Sinclair Awards and Dinner, Wendy Chang, one's of L.A.'s most influential social justice leaders, will receive the 2012 Founders Award. This award honors an individual whose philanthropy embodies the spirit of change, not charity.

Wendy, who has worked for more than 23 years in the world of nonprofits and foundations, is passionate about equality and justice for all, a commitment she has expressed through her inspiring professional and personal work in civic engagement and philanthropy.

ViewWhen she was just five years old, Wendy Chang’s family immigrated from where to the United States seeking freedom and a better life, a journey that took courage and determination. Wendy remembers that “once we made the leap, however, there was no going back – so there was built-in commitment. I’ve since realized that  commitment holds a very strong truth in each of our lives. If you hold yourself responsible to your commitments, you’re living your life’s purpose.”

As a nonprofit professional, Wendy’s focus has been on grant making, program development, public policy, technical assistance, and training.Currently, Wendy directs grant making, initiatives, and capacity building activities at the Dwight Stuard Youth Fund. Originally established as an independent foundation in 2001, the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund was endowed by Dwight L. Stuart, Sr. to benefit and serve the needs of children and youth in the greater Los Angeles area.

Wendy’s previous positions include Executive Management Academy Director at the Whitecap Foundation; Director of Training and Advancement at Public Corporation for the Arts; Special Projects/Membership Director for the California Association of Nonprofits; and Director of Consulting Services for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.

Wendy Chang is an active volunteer, donor, and long-time board member in many local organizations. For Wendy, contributing is the answer for achieving personal growth. As she has acknowledged “leadership and growth are manifested and come to life through the act of service.”

Wendy’s community contributions include serving as executive board member and chair of the Investment Committee and Audit Committee of the Liberty Hill Foundation; member and past chair of Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Los Angeles; executive committee member of the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment; founding board treasurer and president-elect of the National Charity League, Inc., Westside Chapter; project lead and advisory member of the Trustee Initiative: Effectiveness through Diversity; as well as advisory board member of Foundation Boys. She is also a Cohort 3 Member of America's Leaders of Change of the National Urban Fellows.

Previously, Wendy was a founder and president of the Long Beach Nonprofit Partnership; president of Leadership Long Beach; membership vice president and training chair of Junior League of Long Beach; president of Asian Heritage Council; and chair, Financial Literacy of Women’s Leadership Circle. She was also a member of Los Angeles Urban Funders, as well as Family Foundation Committee and Program Advisory Member of Southern California Grantmakers.

Wendy is a founding member of five community giving circles: Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy’s National Donor Circle, Women of Color Giving Circle, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Islander Giving Circle, Circle of Change, and the OUT Fund, which she currently co-chairs. Wendy believes that giving circles have been a great vehicle to leverage resources for the community.

Wendy Chang  has also produced a number of  MarquezSTAR youth musicals, written and directed by Marquez Elementary teacher Jeff Lantos including: “Plymouth 2.0,” premiered at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage; “Water and Power,” an official selection for the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival; and “Carry On,” showcased in the Festival of New American Musicals.

Wendy is the recipient of the Leadership Long Beach Jim Ackerman Alumnus of the Year Award, Distinguished Leadership Award from California Association of Leadership Programs, Distinguished Leadership Award from Community Leadership Association; Community Pride Award from Children’s Nature Institute, and Business Associate of the Year from American Women’s Business Association. She is a graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz, with majors in Business Economics and Computer Science.

 Wendy’s intense commitment to social change is evident in her professional and volunteer life. She not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Wendy notes, “Being involved in Liberty Hill has taught me that change doesn’t just happen, it’s something you do. When you want change, actively seek it. We all have the power to make that choice.”

Join Liberty Hill at the 30th Annual Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner on May 9, 2012 as we honor Wendy Chang with the Founders Award. Purchase your tickets today! 

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