Sep 19, 2014
By Margarita Ramirez
This year Liberty Hill's Fund for Change is investing $864,000 in the most effective community organizers working on economic justice and LGBTQ justice in L.A. How do we know? For the past six months, Liberty Hill staff members and Community Funding Board members have reviewed applications, conducted site visits and interviews, and met in collaborative decision-making sessions. The total list includes 32 organizations receiving one-year grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 and three groups receiving their second installments of two-year grants. Six of the 2015 grant recipient groups are seed organizations. Congratulations! Liberty Hill grants are accelerating concrete social change led by the people impacted by injustice.
Sep 06, 2014
By Miranda ChartoffCommunity Funding Board: (Top row left to right) Shukry Cattan, Elissa Perry, Eric Wat, Rabbi Heather Miller (Middle Row left to right) Xiomara Corpeno, Stacey Strongarone, Jacky Guerrero, Yamileth Guevara (Bottom Row left to right) Regina Freer, Jennifer Ito, Hal Barron
It’s that time of year again! Liberty Hill is in the midst of its primary competitive grantmaking program, Fund for Change. With the help of the Community Funding Board (CFB), Liberty Hill will soon decide which grassroots leaders will receive grants from the Fund for Change in 2014-2015. The CFB is a diverse group of volunteers who have organizing experience and strong perspectives around specific social issues. The CFB acts as a “think tank” to help Liberty Hill better assess the effectiveness of applicant organizations and the landscapes in which they work. The CFB plays an essential role in the five-month process of choosing which organizations to support financially.
To convene the CFB, which has been part of Liberty Hill's grantmaking process since its founding, Liberty Hill reaches out to organizers, academics, donor-activists, and other experts representing the great diversity of Los Angeles. This year, returning members of the CFB are Regina Freer, Saul Sarabia, Stacey Strongarone, Jennifer Ito and Eric Wat. Serving for the first time are Hal Barron, Jackie Guerrero, Shukry Cattan, Xiomara Corpeno, Yamileth Guevara, Maria Loya, Rabbi Heather Miller, and Elissa Perry. Members commit to an orientation day, a number of site visits to applicant organizations, completion of an assessment tool for a selection of applicants, and a report-back meeting for discussion and debriefing about each potential grantee.
- Sep 03, 2014
Change LA— Liberty Hill’s party with a social-justice purpose—is quickly approaching! Honorees Zoe Lloyd Foxley and Alexandra Suh have been announced, and the location—the Next Door Lounge, which is the coolest speakeasy in Los Angeles, is set. But this exciting afternoon mixer could not be possible without our amazing and generous sponsors. We wanted to recognize them, for it is because of our sponsors that we are able to raise funds for critical work investing in grassroots community leaders on the frontlines of change.
Aug 26, 2014
By Crystal ShawKIWA Executive Director, Alexandra Suh. (Photo by Pocho One)
Liberty Hill’s 2014 Wally Marks Changemaker Award honoree, Alexandra Suh, will be recognized on September 6 at our Change LA 2014 event—a casual afternoon mixer designed to let participants meet and mingle. So if you come, you’ll have a chance to meet Alexandra, and you’ll discover, as I did, that she’s a “Changemaker” personified: fearless, a believer in community, a person who stands at the forefront but realizes that it’s everyone around who will make real change come to fruition.
Alexandra is Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance’s Executive Director. After becoming ED in 2011, Alexandra got busy refocusing KIWA’s work, bringing it back to being a real nuts and bolts worker’s center for not just Korean workers, but for every immigrant worker fighting for the rights they deserve. This move makes KIWA part of L.A.’s exciting worker center movement, which is having real impact in improving conditions for low wage workers, an urgent need in L.A. where, according to a recent L.A. Times report, “Last year, average wages in Los Angeles County declined 1.9% — tying Jefferson, Ala., for 302nd place out of 334 large counties nationwide.” And the projection for the future: “More than a million jobs will be created in the region between 2010 and 2020, and nearly half will pay less than $14.35 an hour.”
You may have heard about Alexandra’s fearless leadership through the success that KIWA’s has had with the co-sponsorship of AB 2416, the Wage Theft Recovery Bill, which has recently passed the California Assembly with a vote set in the Senate this week. KIWA is also an anchor organization for the Los Angeles Wage Theft Ordinance which seeks to strengthen the city’s ability to crack down on wage theft. We talked with her to discuss the award, KIWA’s creative and stand-out rally techniques, and her broad vision for KIWA, one that stretches all the way to Korea.
Aug 22, 2014
Aug 19, 2014
By Crystal Shaw
Aug 18, 2014
By Dylan Gray, 19, youth leader, Social Justice Learning Institute and member of Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition.Dylan Gray (third from the left), along with other members of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition and Homeboy Industries, pose with President Barack Obama
Last Thursday, July 24th, I met the President of the United States, the man who holds the most powerful position in the world, Barack Obama! That experience was one of the most exciting and inspirational moments in my life and I feel very grateful and humbled to have been given the opportunity to do so. Before I can begin to detail my experience meeting the President, I think it is important to share the journey that led me to this opportunity.
In 2008, my mother lost her job because she was told that she didn't have the proper educational requirements to maintain the position she held for many years. Soon after, we also lost our home. We were devastated. Our future was uncertain. After months of searching and living with minimal resources, a small opportunity arose on the East Coast and my mother had no choice but to accept an offer that did not guarantee stability. My mother did not want to drag me through another period of challenges so she thought it was best for me to move from the white-picket-fenced suburbs to the concrete surroundings of the inner city, to live with my father.
Aug 07, 2014
Aug 06, 2014
When you mention family foundations, most people think of philanthropies that fund parks and libraries—not, perhaps, social change. But that’s the “old model we have for family giving” says Zoë Lloyd Foxley, one of Liberty Hill's Change LA honorees. She is Chair of the board of the John M. Lloyd Foundation and Vice Chair of the board of the General Service Foundation, both of which are family foundations.
The new model? Well, it’s in the making, but it’s taking shape at a rapid pace at the Lloyd Foundation under Zoë’s leadership. And there are clear similarities between Zoë’s guiding of one of her family’s foundations and Sarah Pillsbury’s innovative approach as a founder of Liberty Hill. On September 6, when Zoë receives the Sarah Pillsbury NextGen award, there’s bound to be some electricity around these two social justice visionaries bridging the generations.
Zoë received her Master of Social Work degree from USC in 2010. One year later, just before her first child was born, she stepped into a new role as Chair of the board of the Lloyd Foundation, taking over from her father who’d been president for 17 years. In addition, the executive director of 11 years stepped down and moved to New York.
Those changes, she says, “catapulted our strategic transition” at the Lloyd Foundation. She and her fellow board members “brought on new members of the younger generation. We looked at where we are as a foundation and where our resources would be best utilized.” It’s 2014. They’re on the road to deep involvement in criminal justice reform, centered in L.A. County.
Jul 25, 2014
“Envisioning a Greener L.A.?”
Turning Los Angeles’ toxic hotspot neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities has moved one step closer to reality with the recent release of the UCLA Luskin 2014 Community Scholars’ report, “Envisioning a Greener LA: Environmental and Economic Sustainability for Boyle Heights, Pacoima and Wilmington”.
Jul 22, 2014
By Susan LaTempaAquilina Soriano-Versoza (l) of Pilipino Workers Center and Danielle Feris of Hand in Hand celebrate Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
Do you support social justice and workers rights? Want to take action? Here's a chance for many families to help implement a law fought for by many Liberty Hill community partners that now applies to around 200,000 workers in California: the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Until January of this year, maybe because of a lingering "Upstairs, Downstairs" view of society, we as Californians excluded the people who care for our nearest and dearest family members from labor-law protections enjoyed by all other hourly California workers. Although there hasn't been much publicity, the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights means that nannies, childcare workers, and personal attendants who work in the home have won overtime protection. It's a modest win in some ways--time and a half when you work more than nine hours a day or more than 45 hours per workweek-- but along with the minimum wage protection won in 2001, it brings these essential workers basic rights.
Want to do the right thing in your own home? Want to empower yourself to work out a fair arrangement with the employer whose home you work in? Want to share information with your extended family and friends? Join activist workers and employers who worked hard together for passage of the bill and educate yourself about best practices, difficult conversations and health and safety issues.
To start, whether you're an employer or a caregiver, download and take a look at this sample work agreement created by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Oakland-based group Hand in Hand. It covers a wide range of topics to review in a simple fill-in-the-blanks format. Details about the law itself are on this fact sheet from bill sponsor Assemblymember Tom Ammiano.
Jul 16, 2014
By Jonathan Skurnik
The history of human communication is littered with lost languages, but today, in the early 21st century not only are spoken languages disappearing, but also specialized invented forms of communication. The systems behind Morse code, shorthand and navigational flags are being forgotten, rendered obsolete by the rapid pace of technological innovation. They are also some of the disappearing modes of communication that Liberty Hill supporter and artist Connie Rohman explores in “Lost Languages,” her series of art quilts.
One of her “Lost Language” pieces is a colorful three-by-six foot quilt made specifically for Liberty Hill. In shapes representing the dots and dashes of Morse Code, it spells out “Change, Not Charity.” It was recently installed in the main room of Liberty Hill’s Wilshire Boulevard office. Across the aisle from the quilt, three magnificent cotton rope and thread urns sit on top of large file cabinets, their shapes alluding to archeology and their colors and textures bringing ancient and modern treasures to mind.
- Jul 04, 2014
Jun 25, 2014
You've added Liberty Hill's Change LA party to your calendars, you have an idea about your outfit (hint-- September is the hottest month!). Date and time: Saturday, September 6, 3-5 pm -- check. Location: Next Door Lounge in Hollywood-- check. So you think you're ready for 2014 Change LA?
Jun 25, 2014
By Crystal Shaw
WASHINGTON D.C. –June 25, 2014 – Liberty Hill Foundation President/CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith accepted the Congressional Hunger Center’s 2014 Alumni Leadership Award last night during the Congressional Awards Ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden on Capitol Hill.
Jun 16, 2014
Jun 13, 2014
Jun 09, 2014
Jun 06, 2014
By Crystal Shaw Tamika Butler, Esq. has joined the Liberty Hill Foundation in her newly created role as Director of Social Change Strategies. In her first month at the foundation, she had a whirlwind of events – from the Upton Sinclair Dinner to the My Brother’s Keeper White House Listening Session – to introduce her to Liberty Hill grantees, donors and supporters.
During last month’s My Brother’s Keeper event, Tamika was on hand for the day that included a local prison tour, an inspiring trip to a local high school and a number of listening sessions with community members and leaders. At the end of the day the White House staff told Tamika that California had “set the bar” and commented repeatedly on the fact that we are doing amazing work for young men of color in the state.
A White House report was submitted to the president after the visit and in it, President Obama called on the American people to get engaged through mentorship opportunities nationwide, something Tamika is quick to point out that Liberty Hill is already doing through the Brothers, Sons, Selves coalition. The president’s call-to-action is to get involved in My Brother’s Keeper by signing up as a long-term mentor to young people at WH.gov/mybrotherskeeper. Get more information on the White House report here.
- May 30, 2014
Breaking and exciting news! AB 2416, the Wage Theft Recovery act that Liberty Hill grantee Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance is co-sponsoring, just passed the California Assembly this past Wednesday, May 28th! KIWA Executive Director, Alexandra Suh shared the particulars of this exciting news with Liberty Hill, which we’d like to pass on…Wage theft robbers ripping off workers (Photo cred: Victor Narro, Project Director, UCLA Labor Center)
First, I wanted to share the super exciting news that the bill we are co-sponsoring, AB 2416, the Wage Theft Recovery Act, just passed the CA Assembly yesterday!
- May 23, 2014
By Jonathan Skurnik
Have you ever wondered how you might influence local government from the inside without running for elected office? That’s what an impressive group of grassroots leaders came to Liberty Hill to learn about on April 17th. In the inaugural Wally Marks Leadership Institute For Change training on city commissions for grassroots leaders, eleven community activists learned about the benefits and perils of pursuing a city commission slot from public service veterans who are currently serving—or have served—in that capacity, including Liberty Hill’s own President and CEO Shane Goldsmith.
Michelle Lin, Liberty Hill Program Assistant, got the group up to speed on the more than 50 Los Angeles commissions by hosting a heart-pounding Jeopardy game where “contestants” picked categories and searched for answers on cheat sheets. For instance: When a contestant chose “Protecting the Most Vulnerable” for $300, Michelle stated: “If you come across a building without disability access, this is who you consult.” Pressing their imaginary button, the winner volunteered, “What is the commission on Disability?”
After the game show winners received their prizes, Laurie Jones Neighbors, movement and leadership strategist and consultant to Liberty Hill, explained that City Commissions were established as a response to the “big boss” era of government in the late 19th Century. Commissioners, it was hoped, would counterbalance the excess power of the political bosses with citizen power.
- May 18, 2014
Liberty Hill honored an outstanding group at this year’s Upton Sinclair Dinner, and we wanted to share all of their inspiring acceptance speeches with you. Get ready to be moved by Veronica Gutierrez who received Liberty Hill’s 2014 Founders Award.
- May 17, 2014
Liberty Hill was exited to honor one of its own rabble rousers during this year’s Upton Sinclair Dinner. Kafi Blumenfield has done so much for Liberty Hill’s causes and we are excited to share Kafi’s speech as she accepted Liberty Hill’s 2014 Diversity in Philanthropy Award.
May 16, 2014
By Michelle Lin
On the evening of April 28, National Public Radio station KPCC hosted a panel discussion at the Crawford Family Forum titled “Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality.” This program discussed and promoted Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker’s newly released book, Forcing the Spring.
The panel included San Francisco attorney Terry Stewart and Liberty Hill’s former executive director and longtime social activist, Torie Osborn, who has also served as Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.
KPCC reporter Frank Stoltze moderated the discussion, leading audience members through Becker’s account of the fight to restore the marriage equality to gay and lesbian individuals in California. Forcing the Spring documents the fight to overturn Proposition 8—the California ballot initiative that removed the right of gay men and women to marry—following the lawyers, plaintiffs, and political stakeholders in the case. While some commentators have heralded the book as thorough and a definitive account of the battle for same-sex marriage, a number of gay rights activists believe her story grossly misrepresents the importance of many who contributed to the movement, and say the book is a “distortion of history.” This panel convened to discuss both the content and the controversy.
- May 15, 2014
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) announced from Washington D.C. that it has selected Liberty Hill Foundation to receive its 2014 Impact Award in the community foundation category. Liberty Hill is proud to be recognized and to keep company with the other 2014 awardees: Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, The California Endowment and Hill-Snowdon Foundation.
The Impact Awards were created by NCRP, a philanthropy watchdog group, “to honor foundations of all sizes that practice smart, high-impact philanthropic strategies” and to promote philanthropy “that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness.”
Liberty Hill President/CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith and Liberty Hill Board member Latonya Slack will travel to Washington, D.C. for the June 9 awards ceremony.
- May 14, 2014
Liberty Hill’s outstanding group of honorees at this year’s Upton Sinclair Dinner gave some of the most moving and motivating acceptance speeches to date. One of those speeches brought tears to many eyes in the crowd as he presented some of the fruits of his labor. We are pleased to share with you Scott Budnick's 2014 Upton Sinclair Award acceptance speech.
- May 12, 2014
Liberty Hill honored an outstanding group at this year's Upton Sinclair Dinner, and we're thrilled to share their acceptance speeches with you over the next few days. First up, Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa receive Liberty Hill's 2014 Creative Vision Award.
May 02, 2014
By Rebecca Koppenhaver
On a recent sunny morning, a small crowd gathered outside the Wilshire Boulevard offices of Liberty Hill to board a bus for a tour of Los Angeles. Unlike most tour buses, this one was not headed to Hollywood, but instead to the urban oil fields of Los Angeles and some of the most polluted communities and neighborhoods that exist among them. On board: a diverse group that included scientists, community activists and Liberty Hill supporters and representatives of other foundations interested in understanding more about living in neighborhoods that also happen to be oil drilling sites.
The tour looked at conventional drilling sites and their impacts, and presentations focused on extreme oil extraction techniques as well.
The bus headed to its first stop in south Los Angeles, the Inglewood Oil Fields. As Angela Johnson Meszaros, General Counsel for Physicians for Social Responsibility explained to passengers, the primary concern is the air pollution that results from both conventional and unconventional methods of oil drilling operations. Chemicals that are often used in drilling such as crystalline silica, methanol and hydrochloric acid are known carcinogens that harm the heart, liver, brain and respiratory and immune systems.
A Roomful of Visionaries, Rabble Rousers and Activists Make Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Dinner as Success!Apr 25, 2014
Apr 14, 2014
Apr 04, 2014
By Shana Weiss
Imagine walking into a storied ballroom and hearing the “furious agitprop” of Rage Against the Machine and then turning slowly to find someone next to you thumbing through a copy of T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain. And then, just as you look up, you catch a glimpse of old movie footage: It’s Richard Pryor in the 1973 film “Wattstax”.
- Apr 01, 2014
By Crystal Shaw
Mar 20, 2014
By Jonathan Skurnik
** UPDATE 9/9/14**
On August 29, 2014 Assembly passed AB 1522 granting guaranteed paid sick time to Californians, but unfortunately not for about 400,000 home health care workers. During last minute negotiations between the bill's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Gov. Brown domestic workers were stripped from AB 1522.
Aquilina Soriano is the Executive Director at Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, one of the most active workers' rights groups in the Liberty Hill community of grassroots organizations. As an important part of the California Domestic Workers Coalition and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, PWC has been on the front lines of the fight to extend labor law protections to healthcare workers, nannies, housekeepers and others whose workplace is a home. Most of these workers are low income women of color, some of whom are undocumented.
Mar 14, 2014
For many of Liberty Hill’s organizing partners, February’s news coverage was about getting recognized for important work. From spots on top ten lists to personal profiles of group leaders, the work of Liberty Hill’s affiliated activists is not going unnoticed. Meanwhile, other organizations turned up the heat on ongoing campaigns, and Liberty Hill CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith kicked off March by bringing the message of Change, Not Charity, to a major online network.
- Mar 13, 2014
The Young Turks TV network program The Point with Ana Kasparian wanted to talk about effective charitable giving, so they assembled a panel of some of the most knowledgeable people on the subject: The International Bank of Bob author Bob Harris; Afghan Women's Mission founder and Uprising Radio host Sonali Kolhatkar; and Liberty Hill CEO Shane Murphy Goldsmith.
Feb 18, 2014
Fighting homophobia has been central to National Coalition Building Institute Missoula (NCBI Missoula)’s work since it was founded in 1998 in response to incidents of racist and homophobic violence in the region. One of the tragic catalysts for the organization’s mission was a near-fatal arson attack on the home of a lesbian couple and their infant son.
Feb 16, 2014
As Zahirah Mann tells it, the concept for Angelenos for Los Angeles, a giving circle housed at Liberty Hill, came together over several months.
Feb 13, 2014
By guest blogger Angelo Logan, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Jan 29, 2014
Jan 23, 2014