Welcome to MKF Summer Intern Richard Raya

My name is Richard Raya. I’m seventeen years old, and will be a senior this year at Berkeley High. I would have to say that I’m something of a nerd- albeit a sociable and athletic one. I love being lazy, reading, writing, playing video games and watching movies. And yet in spite of some of these somewhat immature mannerisms- or …

Four Suggestions for Social Justice Funders, #3

On a panel at the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy pre-Council on Foundations Conference in April, I presented four suggestions for social justice funders to consider.  Previously, I wrote about the first two of these, Find a Political Home and Build the Vehicles to Move us Forward.  Below, I share the third of four suggestions. 3) Develop your Skills as an Organizer …

Update: That One Day All Work will be Valued Equally

Alison Julien (left) of Domestic Workers United at the U.S. Social Forum Dream the impossible and organize your heart out. – Priscilla Gonzalez, Director, DWU On June 4th, I wrote here about the organizing work of domestic workers in New York and their efforts to pass the first ever state-wide Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Today, I’m elated to share with …

2010 US Social Forum

I was an open skeptic of this year’s US Social Forum.  I crossed my arms and huffed when anyone mentioned it.  I imagined an event teetering between Woodstock and the WTO protests in Seattle and although I loved Seattle, I wanted to make sure I stayed good and far away from Woodstock 2010.   I’m working on respecting process and consensus …

Interview on OaklandSeen

Over the last couple of years the city of Oakland has become home to numerous blogs discussing the pressing political, community, and economic issues of the day.  These include Oakland Focus, A Better Oakland, Oakland Local, and Living in the O.  These blogs provide a much needed space for everyday people in the city to connect to each other, engage …

Four Suggestions for Social Justice Funders, #2

On a panel at the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy pre-Council on Foundations Conference in April, I presented four suggestions for social justice funders to consider.  Last month, I wrote about the first of these, Find a Political Home.  Below, I share the second of four suggestions. 2.  Build the Vehicles to Move us Forward The story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott …

That One Day All Work will be Valued Equally

Seven years ago, I was brought into the field of community organizing as a volunteer with Domestic Workers United (DWU).  At that time, DWU’s organizing efforts were among the most inspired and strategic in New York City, fresh off the passage of a city-wide domestic workers bill of rights.  Seven years later, the domestic workers movement – at the intersection …

Four Suggestions for Social Justice Funders

On a panel last month at the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy pre-Council on Foundations Conference, I presented  four suggestions for social justice funders to consider.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll write on each of these four and hope you’ll share your own thoughts with us. Of the many approaches to social change, I turn most towards movement-building strategies.  As …

Bay Area Justice Funders Network Launch

Six months ago, Melanie Cervantes (Akonadi Foundation), Luke Newton (Common Counsel), Kazu Haga (Peace Development Fund), and I joined forces to establish a place for progressive funders to get together, talk about our work, and identify opportunities to collaborate in our grantmaking.  We are very excited to invite you to the launch of the Bay Area Justice Funders Network this …

How Much is Your Census Form Worth?

If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to send in your census form and it’s not too late to remind your friends and family to do the same. Do you already know how important it is for people of color and low-income communities to send back their census forms, but still need some talking points to convince everyone around …

Racism & Reform

I’m sure you’ve all read the articles, seen a bit of the video footage, or caught a blog or two on the linkage between racism and reform on the heels of the passage of the Health Care Bill last week. The shift from accusing President Obama of not being a U.S. citizen and forcing Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to publicly …

Instant Runoff Voting comes to Oakland

Almost four years after Measure O was passed by 69% of voters, Oakland will begin to use instant runoff voting (IRV) for the city’s mayoral and council elections  this November.   We expect the move to strengthen democratic participation in Oakland elections by eliminating the need for June primaries, when voter participation rates, particularly among people of color and youth, have …