Regional Event in Bay Area

Bay Area: Building a More Inclusive Economy: Catalyzing Ideas Into Action – November 5th, 2019

Annual Conference of the Bay Area Asset Funders Network

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 

The California Endowment,  2000 Franklin Street, Oakland

General Session (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) 

Funder-Only Session (2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)


Join us as we explore new and emerging practices, share the latest research, and examine the challenges, opportunities, and ideas to build a more inclusive and equitable Bay Area.

With the rising national tide of hate, racism and xenophobia its more important than ever to work together to build a more inclusive and just society and economy. One where people are valued, have ample opportunity to participate in the economy, and can build wealth to live financially secure lives for themselves and future generations.

Featured Speaker:  Darrick Hamilton,Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University

Individual Sessions:

Innovations in Housing Preservation: Building Wealth While Protecting Tenants
(10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

This interactive session will focus on how philanthropy can support efforts to take housing off the speculative market including protecting current residents, preserving homes as permanently and deeply affordable, and building individual and community wealth. Members of Bay Area for All (BA4A) will share stories from its work in Oakland, guided by principles of community control, resident leadership, and racial equity.

Panelists will share lessons learned on the role of organizing, policy and the public sector, and financing needs. Funders have supported BA4A efforts through providing grants for organizing and pipeline development, facilitating partnerships across sectors, adding technical capacity, and investing capital grant dollars and a testing financing products.

          Speakers:     Elizabeth Wampler, San Francisco Foundation (Moderator); 

                                 James Yelen, Enterprise Community Partners;

                                 Steve King, Oakland Community Land Trust;

                                 Carroll Fife, Oakland/San Francisco Alliance of Californians

                                                      for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

                                VIEW SPEAKER BIOS HERE


Innovations in Deploying Capital for African American Entrepreneurs     
(10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)     

This session will highlight the outcomes and learnings from a successful innovative two-year collaboration between three local organizations, The Runway Project, Uptima Business Bootcamp, and Self-Help Federal Credit Union designed to address the racial wealth gap through supporting African American small business ownership. The model includes a radical new approach to underwriting for small business ownership based on trust, mutual accountability, and equity.  The panelists will share key learnings on the elements necessary to bridge the racial wealth gap including business coaching and using innovative financing models such as integrated and layered capital approach, which utilizes individual and institutional deposits, loan guarantees, and grant capital for technical assistance and how traditional risk factors have inherently excluded diverse entrepreneurs. You’ll also hear about the vision for the next phase of work based on learnings from this pilot and expansion into other communities across the U.S.

2019 Runway Project Impact Report

          Speakers:  Rani Langer-CroagerUptima Business Bootcamp

                               Purvi Patel, Self-Help Federal Credit Union


Advancing a Pro-Immigrant Economic Agenda in Critical Times     
(10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)             

Anti-Immigrant hate crimes and rhetoric have reached epidemic levels. Policies leading to criminalization, detention and deportation, and family separation are resulting in financial and economic injury for immigrant families and communities across the country. Panelists will discuss organizing, policy and programmatic solutions to the crisis facing immigrant communities and innovative approaches philanthropy can take to invest in community-driven solutions. Panelists will address recent advocacy efforts related to expanding CalEITC to ITIN holders, supporting immigrants from harmful changes by the federal government to the public charge rule, and cross-sector collaborations that remove barriers to financial security and asset building, such as pushing for equitable access to safe, affordable financial services; promoting access to programs like CalEITC and CalSavers that alleviate poverty for low-income immigrant families; and engaging impacted community members in these efforts to build grassroots people power.

          Speakers:  Paulina Gonzalez-BritoCalifornia Reinvestment Coalition (moderator);

                               Gabrielle LessardNational Immigration Law Center;

                               Nalleli SandovalUnited Ways of CA; 

                               Karla GuerraThe Unity Council


A Legislative Update: Key Updates on CA Asset Building & Preservation Policies   
(10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)        

As the newly elected Governor, Gavin Newsom and the State Legislature have passed a series of significant policies that will have a significant impact on the ability of low-income communities to build and preserve their assets.  Expanding the EITC, creating Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs), and extending paid family leave, as notable examples. At the same time, income inequality continues to rise with higher levels of financial insecurity and homelessness levels throughout the Bay Area.  Thus,there is much more we need to do. Join us as leading experts discuss the latest on how the CA policy landscape is changing under a Newsom Governorship, what policies are still needed and the implication for all working towards a more equitable society.

         Speakers:  Chris Hoene, California Budget & Policy Center;

                              Sabrina HammCalifornia Asset Building Coalition


Grassroots-Led Cooperatives Building Permanent Community Wealth and Power
(1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.)

In this panel, you’ll hear from leaders of local grassroots-led cooperatives which have built a local membership base, raised investment capital from members, and are organizing successful community led and collectively owned real estate and solar projects in Oakland and the East Bay. These entities are part of a broader category of cooperatives known as “permanent cooperatives,” which are organizations that spread wealth and power by engaging everyday people in the acquisition, development and permanent stewardship of critical community assets—land and housing. This session will include a review of how these successful models build community wealth and models of ownership and governance that draw upon collective insights into what makes organizations inclusive, equitable, scalable, and sustainable. Join us to hear how collectively these types of cooperatives represents the power the permanent cooperative model holds for the future of community wealth and collective economic action.

          Speakers:  Noni SessionEast Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative (moderator);

                               Greg JacksonSustainable Economies Law Center;

                               Crystal Huang, People Power Solar Cooperative;


Predatory Government? The Experience of Three Counties to End High Pain/Low Gain Fees Charged to People in the Criminal Justice System
(1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.)

The Asset Building community knows that lenders can be predatory. Unfortunately, the government can be predatory too. Under state law, counties can assess fines, fees, and financial penalties against Californians involved in the criminal justice system, stripping wealth from those who can least afford them.  The good news is that California is the leader in the nascent movement to eliminate criminal justice fees. Join us to learn about successful efforts in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa County to eliminate these fees, and lift millions of dollars in debt off of thousands of individuals. There is also momentum building at the state level, as dozens of grassroots organizations are propelling The Families Over Fee Act (SB 144, Mitchell) through the California Legislature.  Join us as we discuss these pernicious fees, feasible solutions, and how to get involved to end wealth-extraction of low-income communities and communities of color. 

          Speakers:  Stephanie Campos-Bui, Policy Advocacy Clinic,

                                                                     UC Berkeley School of Law;

                              Anne Stuhldreher, City and County of San Francisco;

                              Mary Sylla, Financial Justice Program, Rubicon Legal Services

                            Brandon Banks, Contra Costa Public Defender.

                             VIEW SPEAKER BIOS HERE


Opportunity for Whom?: Shaping Opportunity Zones for Equitable Development and Community Wealth-Building
(1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.)

There are 8,762 low income Census tracts in the U.S. designated as Opportunity Zones (OZs). Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, OZs are meant to incentivize long-term investment in low-income and underserved communities by providing tax benefits to investors. Although the intent is to spur economic development and job creation, communities are concerned OZs will fuel greater gentrification, displacement. Real estate sale prices have already surged in OZs since the designations were made, according to Zillow.

This session takes an ecosystem approach, exploring the interconnected sets of stakeholders who need to coordinate and collaborate to ensure equitable implementation of OZs—government, communities, investors and funds, developers, businesses, advocates, and more.   We will address key questions such as how can OZs be shaped to promote equitable development and build, rather than extract, wealth in communities of color? How can funders strengthen and connect stakeholders within the ecosystem to create equity and community-driven process?

          Speaker:  Gregory JohnsonThe Rockefeller Foundation

                           Ronald Flannery, East Bay Housing Organizations

Nate Schaffran, Community Vision


Liberation in a Generation
(12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.)

Join us for a lunchtime presentation on Liberation in a Generation (LIG), a newly formed initiative whose founders envisions an economy where all people of color belong. Co-founder Solana Rice and team are building a bold policy agenda and a new story about the economy to inspire people of color to take action and achieve a Liberation Economy. Solana will share insights on the urgency of expanding the work of ending the racial wealth gap, partnering with organizing groups to build power, and imagining the transformative policies needed to achieve economic liberation for people of color within a generation.

          Speaker:  Solana Rice, Liberation in a Generation


Join us as we learn from each other, build relationships and identify opportunities to take collective action so that together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable Bay Area where all people have an opportunity to thrive.