Building Power for Healthy Democracy: Lessons For California Grantmakers

Host Organization: Northern California Grantmakers


This 90-minute session will be followed by an on-site reception. Please note this workshop is for funders only.

The cracks in the foundation of our democracy are becoming increasingly exposed – toxic partisanship, low voter turnout, a flood of special-interest money, the erosion of voting rights, gerrymandering, and a U.S. Census process that is at a crisis point. Against this national backdrop, California is on the cusp of change, with the confluence of electoral reforms and a shift in the state’s political leadership. At the same time, we are witnessing inspiring levels of engagement and protest – from Occupy Wall Street, to the Fight for Fifteen, to Black Lives Matter and the resistance – young and diverse Americans are activating in new and impactful ways.

This all leads to important questions for the grantmaking community:

What are the capacities, strategies and tactics that organizations and networks need to foster greater civic participation, create an open and equitable democracy, and build true power in marginalized communities?
Who is doing innovative work? What lessons can guide our future efforts?
What do grantmakers need to know and how can they connect?

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