Changing the System: Effective Strategies for Grassroots Activism to Make NYC More Fair, Just, and Compassionate

Monday, March 26, 2012 -
2:45pm to 5:00pm EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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Across New York City, grassroots activists are giving voice to those our system has failed or exploited. These activists are helping people to organize, and to stand -up as leaders able to envision and create social change. Their work is incredibly challenging, and too often unacknowledged or unappreciated. Nonetheless, they have helped thousands of immigrant workers, protected the reproductive freedom of countless women, and kept people in their homes in a city where 110,000 people have been experiencing homelessness. They have prevented the spread of HIV and AIDS, built the confidence of queer youth, and helped pass a wage theft bill in a time of recession.
Join funders and grassroots activists in a discussion about the leadership, strategy, and resources required to change the underlying systems that create disenfranchisement. Together,  we will examine the most effective ways to support people directly affected by injustice in order to build a movement that can push for fundamental change and lasting results.


  • What funders have learned about grassroots activism over the last generation and the role it plays in social change
  • Ways for funders to think more deeply about grassroots-led movement building—, where it’s working, and where resources are needed to engage more people in complex social and environmental problems


Jaron Benjamin, Organizer, Vocal NY
Priscilla Gonzalez, Director, Domestic Workers United
Daniel Gross, Executive Director, Brandworkers International NY
Hugh Hogan, Executive Director, North Star Fund
Kris Hayashi, Co-Director, The Audre Lorde Project
Ana Oliveira, President and CEO, The New York Women's Foundation
Lisa Philp, (Moderator), Vice President for Strategic Philanthropy and Director of GrantCraft, The Foundation Center

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All interested funders.