Weighing in on ACORN

Okay, I should’ve known this was coming when community organizers were maligned at the RNC convention.  I write this post with a nonpartisan spirit, knowing that increased voter registration and participation benefits and strengthens our democracy, as do efforts to root out voter suppression. But it angers and sickens me that a well-established and well-respected group like ACORN can be …

Leveling the Playing Field

Last Friday, October 17th, I attended the Level Playing Field Institute‘s (LPFI) Annual Fairness Matters Gala event, which honored Dr. Tyrone Hayes and Justice Matters Institute for their work in creating opportunities for students of color within California. A core grantee of the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, LPFI was founded in 2001 by Dr. Freada Kapor Klein and “promotes innovative approaches …

Mainstreaming Green

The notion of a green economy is one of the hottest topics today. There have long been crusaders for humans to live more sustainably with Mother Earth—from Native cultures to Al Gore’s recent book & film, An Inconvenient Truth. But, there has been a notable shift in the movement towards ‘mainstreaming green’ such that things like sustainable buildings and composting …

Building Alliances Step by Step

Juliet Ellis of Urban Habitat invited me to attend the recent National Black & Latino Summit, held in Los Angeles earlier this week. The Summit, sponsored by PolicyLink and the William Velazquez Institute, was the initial gathering to set an agenda for building alliances between African American and Latino/Hispanic communities, capitalizing on the perhaps unprecedented levels of excitement and mobilization …

Holding Steady

Someone asked me how the current economic crisis is impacting the Foundation. Great question! We’re very fortunate to have brilliant, social justice-oriented investment officers and money managers looking out for our best interests. They’ve devised a strategy that should enable our investment portfolio to weather this terrible storm pretty well (see an edited version of Mitch’s recent slideshow presentation to …

Green Collar Jobs in California: Philanthropy’s Role

Following up on the August 7th summit, Green Collar Jobs: Green Economy and Workforce Development – A Learning Agenda, that the Mitchell Kapor Foundation helped sponsor in Sacramento, local philanthropists came together on September 30th to recap the event, learn findings from months of research, and share strategies to continue advancing California’s green economy. Paloma Pavel and Carl Anthony from …

Rocking the vote!

This year, more than ever, underrepresented people of color have come out in record numbers to get involved in the national political process. The Mitchell Kapor Foundation is thrilled to be able to support the efforts of organizations that have done much in the way of amplifying that involvement and in helping to make sure that all our votes are …

Representin’

This past Tuesday we co-hosted a reception here in our offices for the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a project of Redefining Progress. Members of the EJCC Steering Committee from locations across the country came to the Bay Area for a two-day update and strategy session; the reception provided an opportunity for local funders and guests to meet steering …

Get It on Video

Yesterday at lunch we were lucky to host Ian Inaba and the team from Video the Vote, one of our new grantees through Citizen Engagement Lab. I first became acquainted with Ian’s work back in 2006 when we sponsored an in-house screening of his documentary American Blackout, which chronicled the highly-suspect 2004 elections irregularities in Ohio. It’s very very powerful …

MKF Goes to Sacramento

Back in August, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation co-sponsored Green Collar Jobs: Green Economy and Workforce Development – A Learning Agenda. This summit in the state capital provided a forum for various sectors to share the progress they’ve made in preparing for and advancing the state’s green economy. Over 80 people attended, from Speaker Emeritus Fabian Nunez, to Labor and Workforce …

Showcasing Progress

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend an event sponsored by one of our BBCBI grantees, Reality Mentor, Inc.  With a theme of “We Believe in You,” the organization celebrated its Black Boys College Bound Mentoring Program that provides black teenage boys with mentoring, youth leadership development, and college readiness activities to help them succeed in high school …