“Vision 20/20: Our Legacy, Our Horizon”
May 17, 2013 • San Francisco, CA
Greenlining’s 20th Anniversary Economic Summit was a rousing – albeit exhausting! – success, with 1,000 community activists, corporate leaders, government officials and ordinary citizens joining in lively discussions and reliving some inspiring history.
Following a welcome from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, former White House aide and Rebuild the Dream founder Van Jones kicked things off with an exhilarating keynote address. He joined Greenlining’s call to protect the revenues from California’s new cap-and-trade program, which are supposed to be used to reduce carbon emissions, with a major portion going to low-income, highly polluted communities. Jones called Gov. Brown’s proposal to borrow that money for the state general fund “a terrible blemish on his record.” In his usual pull-no-punches style, Jones added, “”You can’t steal from poor people and the planet and get away with it in California.”
One of the day’s most interesting panels looked at the demographic revolution that is changing California and the U.S., with people of color destined to be the American majority by around 2040. Moderator Maria Leticia Gomez, news anchor at Univision 14 in the Bay Area, noted, “Our social-political system claims objectivity, but doesn’t represent the interests of the soon to be majority.”
Based on the energy in the room and throughout the day, we think that’s going to change.
The lunch program focused on major companies’ increasing awareness that corporate social responsibility can no longer just be window dressing. Sempra Energy CEO Debra Reed put it simply: For successful companies, she said, being responsive to the needs of the communities they serve “is not an option anymore.”
A new and innovative feature this year was the Idea Lab, an interactive session in which participants met in small groups to brainstorm the future of social justice and the priorities that Greenlining and our partners must address in the coming years. The discussions were lively and passionate, but the process isn’t over: Greenlining is already compiling all of the notes from the discussion and will hold a call with all interested participants on June 11at noon PST to share our findings. These findings will also be summarized in a letter to President Obama detailing our collective vision for the leadership to prepare communities of color and our nation as a whole for 2040.
The emotional heart of the day, though, was the dinner program. It’s safe to say that the whole audience was moved by Leadership Academy alum Frankie Guzman’s acceptance of his Torchbearer Award. Guzman, who spent six years locked up in the California Youth Authority for a robbery he committed at 15, turned his life around, became an attorney, and has stepped forward to help transform the juvenile justice system via a coveted Soros Justice Fellowship that’s funding his work at the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland.
Legacy Awards went to former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chair Sheila Bair, who was a brave voice for regulation of subprime lending during the run-up to the financial meltdown, and California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, whose championing of the CPUC’s supplier diversity program has led to literally billions of dollars in contracts for businesses owned by women, people of color, and disabled veterans.
The evening concluded with a special half hour in which Greenlining board members and Academy alumni, accompanied by historic images and video, took the audience on a historic trip through Greenlining’s first 20 years. From the dramatic to the humorous (“Learning from our mistakes – we practically have that embroidered on throw pillows around here!”), it was an inspiring conclusion to an exciting day.
Many thanks to our sponsors and the incredibly hard-working Greenlining staff and Academy participants whose efforts made this year’s Summit possible, as well as everyone who attended. We promise that next year’s will be even better!
“Vision 20/20: Our Legacy, Our Horizon”
May 17, 2013 • The Fairmont Hotel • 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA
We invite you to join us for our 20th Anniversary Economic Summit — to reflect on our past, build on 20 years of achievement, and envision a future filled with promise for all of our communities. When Greenlining was founded, communities of color were roughly 20 percent of the nation’s population. By 2040, communities of color will be half of the country’s population. For our country to succeed, communities of color will have to succeed.
Summit Agenda: Friday, May 17, 2013
8:30am-8:45am – Opening Remarks
9:00am-9:15am – Opening Keynote Address
- Van Jones, Rebuild the Dream
9:15am-10:00am – Coalition Meeting: Call to Action (Open to public)
This opening session will feature presentations by thought leaders regarding The Greenlining Institute’s current advocacy efforts. The public is invited to hear issue updates, challenges, and impact.
10:15am-11:45am – The State of the Majority: Making Sense of the Demographic Revolution
Visionaries from a variety of disciplines examine the implications of the changing demographics of California and the nation. When the Greenlining Institute was founded in 1993, communities of color were roughly 30 percent of the nation’s population. Today that figure is 37 percent and rising, expected to pass 50 percent by 2040. People of color already make up 60 percent of California’s population. How can policymakers respond more effectively and dynamically to rapidly changing demographics? How should public policy go beyond adapting to these changes and become more adept to harnessing the potential of diverse communities?
Moderator: Maria Leticia Gómez, News Anchor, Univision
- Carly Hare, Executive Director, Native Americans in Philanthropy
- Judy Patrick, President & CEO, Women’s Foundation of California
- Phil Ting, Democratic Caucus Chair, CA Assemblymember
- Daphne Kwok, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
- Jamila Edwards, Northern California Director, Children’s Defense Fund
12:00pm-2:00pm – Summit Lunch Program: Corporate Social Responsibility: Not an Oxymoron, a Necessity
For decades, advocates have worked to encourage major corporations to be responsive to the needs of communities they serve, and for decades, advocates have wondered if corporate social responsibility was nothing more than a slogan embraced by corporations because they “should”. But now, America’s evolving landscape has made corporate responsibility a business necessity. Not only do firms have to address a more diverse customer base, but those communities are increasingly connected and empowered. Engaging and responding to communities is no longer an option; aligning profit and progress is a necessity.
Moderator: Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute
- Debra Reed, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Sempra
- Chris Johns, President, PG&E
- Phillip Chang, CEO, Yogurtland
- Jon Campbell, Head of Government & Community Relations Group, Wells Fargo & Co
- Stuart Ishimaru, Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, CFPB
2:00pm-3:00pm – Social Break
2:00pm-3:00pm – Alumni Meeting (Vanderbilt Room)
3:00pm-5:00pm – Idea Lab: From People to Policy
Every important change in society began with an idea. Before democracy was a form of government it was an idea. Ideas have the power to transform the way we think and live. In this interactive session, led by award winning journalist Aimee Allison, we want to hear your ideas about the major issues affecting communities of color and how Greenlining’s work can adapt to a changing America. Effective policy work cannot be created in a vacuum and must be informed by the stories, voices and ideas of real people. As we celebrate 20 years of work, help us define what the next 20 years should look like!
Moderator: Aimee Allison, Media and Community Affairs Director, SF Dept. on the Status of Women
5:00pm-6:00pm – Networking Break
6:00pm-8:30pm – Celebration of our 20 years
An exciting dinner and awards program celebrating Greenlining’s 20 years of activism, remembering landmark events with the people who were there and honoring those who have made a difference.
- Sheila C. Bair, Former Chairman of the FDIC
- President Michael Peevey, California Public Utilities Commission
- Frankie Guzman, Academy Alum