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LLC Webinar Series | Pioneers in Social Justice: Bolstering leaders, organizations, and networks to navigate changing landscapes


2015-03-31 LLC Webinar Series Pioneers in Social Justice from Leadership Learning Community on Vimeo.


Follow Up Blog Article 

Written By Heather McLeod Grant in Collaboration with Daniel Lee: Building Networks and Movements for Social Justice



March 31, 2015 | 11am-12pm Pacific

Suggested Donation $30 

Session Description

Nonprofit leaders working to promote a more democratic and just society are grappling with how to adapt legacy organizations founded in an “analog” era to new realities shaped by the power of networks and technology. Concurrently, a growing number of grantmakers seek to support the leaders and organizations navigating these shifts – which can require funding new approaches to the work. 

This interactive session will explore concrete examples of how pioneering social justice leaders have embraced technology and new forms of collaboration (like engaging unlikely allies) to advance immigration and criminal justice reform. We will also explore the role of the funder in supporting this leadership journey, and implications for others seeking to advance equity and inclusion.

The panel will include a range of perspectives from a funder, Daniel Lee, Executive Director, Levi Strauss Foundation; a next-generation civil rights leader, Vincent Pan, Executive Director, Chinese for Affirmative Action; Lateefah Simon, program director, Rosenberg Foundation and social impact expert, Heather McLeod Grant.  In addition to their roles, the speakers are also diverse in terms of race, sexual orientation, gender, and experience.

This session will explore:

  • The importance of multiple tiers of investment in leadership, organizational change, networks, and movement building to “move the needle” on social change
  • How grantmakers can support leaders as they “retrofit” their organizations to utilize technology and new forms of collaboration to create a better democracy
  • How to gauge progress and impact on long-term societal issues

Learning Objectives:

  • How grantmakers and nonprofits can support the leadership and change management required for legacy organizations to embrace these new ways of working
  • Session attendees will come away with a practical understanding of how technology and new forms of collaboration can be applied to issues related to democratic practice

We are currently not funded for these webinars. If you found value in this webinar or others like it, please donate to LLCSuggested Donation $30 



Heather McLeod Grant is the founder and principal of McLeod-Grant Advisors, and a published author, speaker/trainer, and consultant with more than twenty years experience in the social sector. Her current work focuses on creating transformative leadership and networks for social change. She’s helping launch several new leadership programs: the Irvine New Leadership Network (in the San Joaquin Valley of CA) and Catalyst Corps, a network of high-impact board leaders. She is also currently helping facilitate several issue-based networks in California: the iZone Silicon Valley, Housing California, and writing case studies of the Pioneers in Justice leadership network (Levi Strauss Foundation). She has prior expertise focused on scaling social impact, social innovation and entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and organizational development. She is the co-author of the best-selling Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, named a Top Ten Book by the Economist (2nd edition 2012); and the articles Working Wikily: Social Change with a Network Mindset, Transformer: How to Build a Network to Change a System, and Breaking New Ground: Using the Internet to Scale. Most recently she worked at Monitor Institute for nearly five years, where she helped lead their nonprofit and ‘networks’ practice areas.

Heather is a former McKinsey & Company consultant and a co-founder of Who Cares, a national magazine for young social entrepreneurs published from 1993-1999. Heather currently serves on the boards of FuseCorp and Jacaranda Health; and Chairs the Woodside Elementary School Bond Campaign. She is a member of SV2, the Women’s Information Network at Stanford GSB, and was previously an advisor to the Stanford Social Innovation Review and the National Civic League. She is originally from Fresno, CA, holds an MBA from Stanford and an AB from Harvard, and resides in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter.


Lateefah Simon is the director of the Rosenberg Foundation’s California’s Future initiative, which seeks to change the odds for women and children in the state. A longtime advocate for low-income young women and girls and for juvenile and criminal justice reform, at the age of 19, Ms. Simon was appointed executive director of the Center for Young Women’s Development (CYWD) in San Francisco. CYWD is the nation’s first economic and gender justice organization solely run for and by low-income and formerly incarcerated young women. After an 11-year tenure as executive director, Ms. Simon then led the creation of San Francisco’s first reentry services division under the leadership of District Attorney Kamala D. Harris.

As division director, Ms. Simon led a strategic citywide public/private partnership effort aimed at providing concrete pathways to prevent young adults charged with low-level felony drug sales from returning to a life of crime. The flagship program, Back on Track, has reduced the recidivism rate for the population it serves to less than 10 percent. It has been replicated in several prosecutors' offices across the county and was selected as a national model program by Attorney General Eric Holder. In 2009, Ms. Simon was appointed executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. LCCR works to champion the legal rights of people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees, with a special commitment to African Americans, through litigation, policy advocacy and direct service programs. Under her leadership, the organization revamped and streamlined its 40-year-old infrastructure and implemented successful community based initiatives, including the Second Chance Legal Services Clinic.

An avid speaker, Ms. Simon lectures across the county at top conferences and top universities. She has served on numerous boards of directors and has received awards for her efforts including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, inclusion in O Magazine’s first ever “Power List”, Ford Foundation’s Leadership for A Changing World, the Remarkable Woman Award from Lifetime Television, the Levi Straus Pioneer Activist Fellowship, and the New Frontier Award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Ms. Simon also was Winter 2014 Social Entrepreneursin-Residence (SEERS) Fellow at Stanford University


Daniel Jae-Won Lee is the Executive Director of the Levi Strauss Foundation, a position he has held since October 2008.  His service at the Foundation began in 2003 and has included roles as Program Manager for the Asia Pacific Division in Singapore and Director of Global Grantmaking Programs.  Driven by the enduring values of Levi Strauss & Co. (originality, empathy, integrity and courage), the Foundation supports pioneering social change globally in communities touched by the business.  Its grantmaking focuses on advancing the rights and well-being of apparel workers, addressing HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination, helping low-income people save and invest in their future, and advancing social justice.  During his tenure, the Foundation’s signature initiatives have included “Pioneers in Justice,” equipping next-generation social justice leaders in San Francisco to amplify their reach and impact through the power of technology and networks; and “Improving Worker Well-being,” spurring partnerships with the company, its key suppliers and local partners for social and business impact.

He is currently a Board member of the Council on Foundations, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Funders Concerned about AIDS (FCAA).  He is an International Advisory Board and former Board member of the Astraea Foundation, a member of the Asia-Oceania Advisory Council of the Global Fund for Women, and a founding board member of the Massachusetts Asian AIDS Prevention Project.  Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the Senior Program Officer for Asia Pacific at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.  He received his undergraduate degree in religion and history from Princeton University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard University.

Vincent Pan is the Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action(CAA), a community-based social justice organization in San Francisco. CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian and Pacific American community and advocates for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remediesracial injustice. CAA also supports progressive movement building efforts such as Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality. Prior to joining CAA, Vincent was a consultant to the William Clinton Foundation in Beijing, where he helped start treatment programs for children living with HIV/AIDS in China. Before that he was the co-founder and executive director of Heads Up, a nonprofit organization that runs after-school and summer programs for low-income children by enlisting college students to tutor and teach as AmeriCorps members. Vincent has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University, and has been a Fellow with the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University, the Echoing Green Foundation, and the Stride Rite Foundation.