Join author and Professor Shawn Ginwright, PhD; Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation; Gislaine Ngounou, EdD, Interim President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation; Robert K. Ross, President and CEO of the California Endowment; and Carmen Rojas, PhD, President and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation for a conversation surrounding Four Pivots: Reimagining Justice, Reimagining Ourselves.
Dr. Carmen Rojas is the president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation. Prior to joining Marguerite Casey Foundation, Dr. Carmen Rojas was the co-founder and former CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that invests in entrepreneurs, community organizers, and government leaders to create replicable and revenue-generating solutions that improve conditions for low-wage workers. For more than 20 years, Carmen has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the United States.
Dr. Shawn Ginwright is one of the nation’s leading innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He is Professor of Education in the Africana Studies Department and a Senior Research Associate at San Francisco State University. His research examines the ways in which youth in urban communities navigate the constraints of poverty and struggle to create equality and justice in their schools and communities. Dr. Ginwright is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities. He is the author of Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Urban Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart, Black Youth Rising: Activism and Radical Healing in Urban America, and Black in School: Afrocentric Reform, Urban Youth & the Promise of Hip-hop Culture.
Fred Blackwell is the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country. The San Francisco Foundation works hand-in-hand with donors, community leaders, and both public and private partners to create thriving communities throughout the Bay Area. Since joining the foundation in 2014, Blackwell has led it in a renewed commitment to social justice through an equity agenda focused on racial and economic inclusion. Blackwell also serves on the board of the Independent Sector, the Bridgespan Group, the dean’s advisory council for UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and the community advisory council of the San Francisco Federal Reserve. He previously served on the boards of the California Redevelopment Association, Urban Habitat Program, NCG, LeaderSpring and Leadership Excellence. He is a visiting professor in the department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. He holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Morehouse College.
Dr. Gislaine Ngounou is the Interim President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. She has worked at multiple levels of the education sector including nonprofits, schools, and school districts. Before joining the Foundation, she served as the Chief Program Officer for Phi Delta Kappa International, a professional organization for educators. In this role, she designed and led programs that supported school district leaders, provided leadership coaching around issues of equity and social justice, and created and facilitated a community of practice that allowed system level leaders in districts from across the country to learn from one another. These days, she is also currently learning how to rest and cultivate unapologetic joy.
Dr. Robert K. Ross is the President and CEO of The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health executive and as a clinician. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration, and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues. During his tenure at The California Endowment, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, reducing childhood obesity, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex-offender populations, and strengthening the pipeline for bringing racial and ethnic diversity to the health professions.