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Racial Justice Dialogues

Thursday, December 10, 2020 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Thursday, December 10, 2020
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties


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Different sectors, including philanthropy, are having to confront the reality that race equity is no longer a conversation they can put off or avoid. Moreover, organizations that are earnestly attempting to pivot and align themselves with the shifting reality, are finding it challenging to identify where to begin. The landscape related to race equity has shifted significantly in the last year and recent brutal events laced with racial animus have fast-tracked race equity conversations beyond the capacity and comfort level of organizations and individuals.

Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties seeks to offer a space to examine the historic and current role of philanthropy and investment in social inequity and white supremacy and the many ways we can contribute to building an equitable region for all. The Racial Justice Dialogues is a two-part series for Catalyst members to share how they are processing and responding to racial violence, deepen their understanding of systemic racism, and explore the role of philanthropy in this moment and beyond.

  • Session 1 has passed.
  • Session 2 (December 10th, 1:30-3 PM). Facilitators Jesus “Jesse” Leon and Refujio “Cuco” Rodriguez will introduce participants to practical race-centered strategies that can be considered for implementation in philanthropic settings. Despite the challenges and possible discomfort, this is an opportunity to expand our understanding of race equity and embrace possible strategies that may ameliorate existing conditions that perpetuate inequity.

Session Facilitators

Jesus “Jesse” LeonPresident & CEOAlliance Way LLCJesus “Jesse” Leon is an expert in creating innovative public-private-philanthropic partnerships to develop and implement strategies for catalytic impact on issues of racial and social justice, LGBTQ communities of color, affordable housing, and Native American economic development. Jesse provides strategic advice to foundations, nonprofits, and real estate developers on how to engage cross-sector partners to leverage resources for quadruple bottom line returns (equitable, economic, environmental, and cultural).

Refujio “Cuco” RodriguezChief Equity and Program OfficerHope and Heal FundCuco has worked with communities on issues including teen pregnancy, reproductive health, youth violence, gang intervention, rites of passage facilitation, mental health, father involvement strategies, and community engagement. Most recently, he led efforts to integrate racial equity principles into technology initiatives which included working on new collaborative platforms and developing a racial equity-focused grantee application.

Bina M. Patel, CEO and Founder, Saathi. Bina has worked for more than 20 years to advance social good and justice. Bina has led strategic initiatives to help communities transform themselves through innovative, inclusive, and sustainable efforts in the areas of asset building, public health, civic engagement, and economic development. She has extensive experience building and leading collaborative efforts and delights in seeing big ideas take shape in communities. Bina was selected to participate in the PLACES fellowship (2012) through The Funders’ Network, where she engaged with community members and colleagues from across the country to dive into racial, social, and economic justice issues.

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