United We Rise: Newcomers, Neighbors, and America's Next Generation

GCIR 2018 Logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 7:45am to Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 2:30pm PST
Millenium Biltmore Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
About | Agenda | Planning Committee | Sponsors


Our 2018 convening was an opportunity to gather with local, state, and national foundations with diverse interests to discuss emerging challenges and opportunities for newcomers and receiving communities. Running from February 27 through March 1, 2018, the conference explored a wide range of issues facing immigrants and refugees at this critical juncture—and how diverse grantmakers across the country are responding. Participants considered the promising practices, strategies, and approaches being pursued in the field and in philanthropy.


All events took place at The California Endowment’s L.A. Conference Center except where noted.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

7:45 - 8:00 am

Site Visit Participant Registration
Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles

8:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Site Visits 

  • Pre-registration is required, continental breakfast and snacks will be provided
  • Plenary and site visit departures will take place at the convening hotel, the Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles

Welcome and Opening to Los Angeles Site Visits  

It Takes a Village: Community Level Change Models in Action 

Leaders of Today—and Tomorrow: Immigrant and Refugee Youth Organizers Dialogue 

From Worker Rights to Workforce Development: Exploring the Continuum of Leadership and Engagement

12:00 - 6:00 pm Registration
2:30 - 3:00 pm Conference Opening and Welcome
3:00 - 4:15 pm Plenary
Moving the Needle on Immigration Policy in Uncertain Times
4:15 - 4:40 pm

Spark Teams Meet Up 

4:40 - 5:00 pm Los Angeles Dining Scene Overview from KCET's Juan Devis
5:00 - 6:00 pm Welcome Reception
6:15 - 8:30 pm  Dine-arounds
  • Pre-registration is required and space is limited
  • Participants will depart from the conference center starting at 6:15 pm

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

8:00 - 8:55 am

Registration and Breakfast Activities 

9:00 - 9:10 am

Morning Welcome and Context Setting

9:10 - 10:30 am


Improving Outcomes for Children of Color in Immigrant Families
10:30 - 10:45 am

Transition Break

10:45 am - 12:15 pm    

Concurrent Workshops

12:15 - 12:30 pm

Transition Break

12:30 - 2:00 pm

Lunch Activities

A Conversation with Bambadjan Bamba
Get Lit Spoken Word Performance
2:00 -  3:15 pm  


Building Power—and Bridges—in Times of Crisis 
3:15 - 3:30 pm

Transition Break

3:30 - 4:50 pm

Concurrent Workshops

4:50 - 5:05 pm Transition Break
5:05 -  6:00 pm

Performance by Stand-Up Comedian Hari Kondabolu
Hors d‘oeuvres served 

6:00 pm Dinner and Evening On Your Own

Thursday, March 1, 2018

8:00 - 8:55 am

Breakfast Activities

9:00 - 9:05 am Opening Remarks 
9:05 - 10:15 am


Advancing a New Narrative for Immigrants
10:15 - 10:35 am Spark Teams Meet Up 
10:35-10:45 am

Transition Break

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Concurrent Workshops

12:15 - 12:30 pm

Transition Break

12:30 - 1:10 pm

Lunch Activities

Performance by Singer-Songwriter Diana Gameros
1:10 - 2:15 pm


Holding up the Sky: A Conversation with Women Leaders who are Charting a Course for the Future
2:15 pm

Concluding Remarks

2:30 pm Convening Ends

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National Planning Committee

NPC Co-Chairs

Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, Vice President of Initiatives and Public Policy, Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

Beatriz Solis, Director, Healthy Communities – South Region, The California Endowment

Host Region Funders and Philanthropic Partners

Efrain Escobedo, Vice President, Education & Immigration, California Community Foundation

Linda Lopez, Chief, Office of Immigrant Affairs, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office

Tuly Martinez, Director, Programs and Conferences, Southern California Grantmakers

Vy Nguyen, Director of Special Projects, Weingart Foundation

Cathleen Otero, Vice President, Donor Relations & Program, Orange County Community Foundation

Carolyn Wang Kong, Program Officer, HealthCare and Coverage, Blue Shield of California Foundation

Members At Large

Mayra Aguirre, Vice President, Hall Family Foundation

Evan Bacalao, Program Officer, SpecialInitiatives and Partnerships, U.S. Programs, Open Society Foundations

Megan Briggs Reilly, New England Program Officer, The Clowes Fund, Inc

Tanya Herbick, Senior Program Officer, Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation

Stephen A. Patrick, Executive Director, Aspen Forum for Community Solutions at the Aspen Institute

Laura Speer, Associate Director, PolicyReform and Advocacy, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Uma Viswanathan, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Cheri Wright-Jones, Regional Vice President, Tampa Bay, Allegany Franciscan Ministries








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Thank You

 A special thanks to GCIR members and funders for their support in making this program possible.