Democracy & The Next American Economy: Where Prosperity Meets Justice

Democracy & The Next American Economy: Where Prosperity Meets JusticeThis event will involve a public discussion of an important new book on next generation reforms in American politics and economy. The book, based on interviews with over 60 leading progressive Americans in politics, business, community, and public media reveals a broad array of proven and promising solutions to waning American Democratic and economic health. The author, Henry A. J. Ramos, a Harvard Kennedy School graduate and Founding Editor of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, calls for more widespread efforts by U.S. progressive leaders and networks to align more strategically around the scaling and normalization of these innovations in American public policy. Henry A. J. Ramos is a former member of the professional staffs of the Ford, James Irvine and Levi Strauss Foundations, where he managed multi-million dollar grant portfolios in public policy and civic culture. He is also a former appointee of Governor Edmund G. ("Jerry") Brown, Jr. to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Currently, he leads Mauer Kunst Consulting, a social investment advisory firm. He also presently serves as board chairman of the New York-based Nonprofit Finance Fund, one of the nation's leading providers of capital loans and finance-related technical assistance to U.S. nonprofit organizations and networks.

Ramos will be joined in a dynamic discussion of his book's findings and recommendations by San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell; Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris; and venture capitalist and Women's Foundation of California board member, C. M. Samala.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
6:00 - 8:00pm

San Francisco Foundation
One Embarcadero Center, Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94111

Ticket prices: $20 for Members; $40 for non-Members (Free book volumes will be provided to the first 50 event registrants; individuals wanting to participate but who are financially constrained should contact the event organizers to discuss the possibility of joining us on a reduced price or cost-free basis)

Online registration closed.

Registration and refund deadline: September 8, 2019

C. M. Samala
Board Member of Women's Foundation of California
Co-Founder + Managing Partner, Jump Canon
C. M. Samala Samala is Co-Founder + Managing Partner at Jump Canon, a venture firm offering early stage investment to founders of spectacular, unconventional and underrepresented backgrounds. She’s been committed to inclusive innovation and disruptive creativity in tech since long before “inclusion” and “disruption” became en vogue. Samala embodies multitudes — a believer and weaver of strong social fabric, a Wharton business school grad, and a DJ that’s played all over the world. Inexorably unique and grounded in her experiences as a serial creator/founder/entrepreneur, Samala’s accomplishments transcend the confines of any one industry, medium or continent. But is always grounded in community. She built and co-founded America’s first national organization to serve Asian Pacific American communities online: Through new media, digital campaigns and groundbreaking online vehicles for civic engagement, her team reached and organized Asian Pacific Americans during an election cycle that saw the highest voter registration and turnout for the country’s fastest growing demographic. She was on the Story of Stuff Project’s founding team as Director of Strategy & Media, creating capacity to entertain, educate and engage over 40 million people globally for environmental justice. Her work and writing in technology, social innovation and civics has been featured at the Obama Administration’s White House LGBTQ Technology & Innovation Summit, at the Aspen Institute, and in Forbes, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Al-Jazeera and Refinery29. Prior to launching and seven movies with The Story of Stuff Project, Samala created START Mobile, one of the earliest digital media distribution networks for mobile. The global platform helped more than 500 artists — including Shepard Fairey, Justin Bua, David Choe, and Apex — reach new markets via mobile devices. At peak popularity, START had users and art installations across the United States, Central & South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, India, China, and Russia. As a consultant, Samala has worked with institutions like Tides, the National Association for Independent Schools, and Intersection for the Arts. She was a Senior Advisor for Social Innovation for Mozilla, contributor to the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program, member of New Media Ventures’ Investment Committee, and currently serves on the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator Advisory Council.

Zach Norris
Zach NorrisZach Norris is the Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and co-founder of Restore Oakland, a community advocacy and training center that will empower Bay Area community members to transform local economic and justice systems and make a safe and secure future possible for themselves and for their families. Zach is also a co-founder of Justice for Families, a national alliance of family-driven organizations working to end our nation’s youth incarceration epidemic.

Zach helped build California’s first statewide network for families of incarcerated youth which led the effort to close five youth prisons in the state, passed legislation to enable families to stay in contact with their loved ones, and defeated Prop 6—a destructive and ineffective criminal justice ballot measure.

In addition to being a Harvard graduate and NYU-educated attorney, Zach is also a graduate of the Labor Community Strategy Center’s National School for Strategic Organizing in Los Angeles, California and was a 2011 Soros Justice Fellow. He is a former board member at Witness for Peace and Just Cause Oakland and is currently serving on the Justice for Families board. Zach was a recipient of the American Constitution Society's David Carliner Public Interest Award in 2015, and is a member of the 2016 class of the Levi Strauss Foundation's Pioneers of Justice.

Zach is a loving husband and dedicated father of two bright daughters, whom he is raising in his hometown of Oakland, California.

Fred Blackwell
Fred BlackwellFred Blackwell is the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country. The San Francisco Foundation works hand-in-hand with donors, community leaders, and both public and private partners to create thriving communities throughout the Bay Area. Since joining the foundation in 2014, Blackwell has led it in a renewed commitment to social justice through an equity agenda focused on racial and economic inclusion.

Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the foundation, he served as interim city administrator for the city of Oakland, where he previously served as the assistant city administrator. He was the executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco; he served as the director of the Making Connections Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland; he was a Multicultural Fellow in Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation; and he subsequently managed a multiyear comprehensive community initiative for the San Francisco Foundation in West Oakland.

Blackwell serves on the board of the Independent Sector, Northern California Grantmakers, the Bridgespan Group, the dean’s advisory council for UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and the community advisory council of the San Francisco Federal Reserve. He previously served on the boards of the California Redevelopment Association, Urban Habitat Program, LeaderSpring and Leadership Excellence. He is a visiting professor in the department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley and the Co-Chair of CASA — The Committee to House the Bay Area. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Morehouse College.

Event Organizer
Henry A. J. Ramos, MPA 1985 (Kennedy School)