Social Justice Fund

Newsletter from the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County
Number 9    December 2009

In Memory of an Original Social Justice Warrior
Alice McGrath
1917 -  2009
Alice McGrath headshot
SJF is part of Alice's legacy.  Her obituary asks that donations be sent to the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County.  To read more about Alice's amazing life and/or make a contribution in her name, please click here.   The VC Star's obituary can be read here.
Thank you Alice, thank you to all who advocate for social justice.
2010 Giving Circle* Calendar
January 28 - Kick-off educational meeting
February 25 - The lens of community organizing
March-April - Site visits

Grantmaking cycle runs April through October, 2010. 
*Donors who give $500 or more are eligible to participate.  It's not too late to join the 2010 Giving Circle.  To quote 2009 GC member Doug Raleigh at the start of this year's grantmaking, "It is a job I am honored by."
Matthew Weisman:
Screenwriter, Giving Circle Member

Matthew Weisman
Photo by Jon DeLorey

Matthew joined SJF after his neighbor and his wife's good friend, Stefanie Angelini, invited the Weismans to an introductory meeting for the Social Justice Fund.  The Giving Circle approach to philanthropy appealed to him immediately.  "It struck me as a unique way of doing things and opened the door to a world I knew nothing about-the world of proposals and grants.  It was also a great way to learn more about our community," Matthew said.

Continue reading Matthew's story here ...
Food, Climate and Social Justice
          This season of feasting and celebration is the perfect time to think seriously about food.  Check out Marty Fujita's article "Reinventing Food Systems" in the climate change issue of the journal "Race, Poverty and Environment."  Marty explains how global warming is affecting agriculture and proposes changes that could help mitigate its effect.
          For additional information about the politics of our food system see The Nation Magazine's index where you can access their articles.

Ventura County Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice

          Alice Linsmeier grew up in Wisconsin.  After graduating from college, she spent a year volunteering in LA where she met Salvadorans fleeing the civil war.  Inspired by their strength and unity, she went to El Salvador "to meet the people directly."  Although she planned to stay for two weeks, she remained for six years.  Working with the Jesuit Refugee Service, Alice witnessed Salvadorans in camps bravely planning to repopulate their massacred villages, even without government approval for their return. "Their non-violent peaceful actions amidst a civil war" taught her "how to have faith in difficult times and how to make change."

Alice Linsmeier, VC Clue

Alice at the center of Shine a Light protests, "a profound and joyous event."  Photo by Eric DeBode

(Continue reading story here ...)

Note:  Read Engaged Spirituality a 2004 document from USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture about faith and political activism in which Alice Linsmeier's work is noted.

"MAKING CHANGE" Events at California State   University, Channel Islands and California Lutheran University

In collaboration with academic centers at both CSUCI and CLU, the Social Justice Fund rolled out our 7-minute movie and issues report, "Making Change:  Building a Movement for Social Justice in Ventura County" to students, faculty and members of the community earlier this month. Attendees then engaged in small group discussions. It was well-received and we are looking forward to partnering with both institutions in the future.

KCLU's Lance Orozco did a story on December 4th, 2009, "Social Justice issues in Ventura County examined in new study."  Click here to listen.

What Everyone Is Reading (at CSUCI at least!)

          California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) has invited their entire community to participate in their sixth annual Campus Reading Celebration designed to provide a shared intellectual experience and opportunities for rich, meaningful conversations.  This year's book is Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by Muhammad Yunus, microcredit pioneer and creator of the Grameen Foundation. In Creating a World Without Poverty, Dr. Yunus presents a new way of using the vitality and creativity of business to tackle our most challenging social problems.
          As the centerpiece of their celebration CSUCI is bringing Dr. Yunus to the Thousand Oaks Civil Arts Plaza on Friday, February 26 at 4 p.m. This event is open to the public and will surely sell out, so act now if you want to attend.
Please consider reading the book yourself and inviting friends & members of our community to your home to talk about it.

Volunteer Opportunities with SJF and our partners

          El Centrito Family Learning Center is looking for a community member passionate about the education of Latino youth to serve on their board.  For 17 years El Centrito has served Mexican-American families, especially youth at risk of low academic achievement.  This new board member would bring knowledge and experience working with organizational advocacy and the political structure of Oxnard. Contact Luann Rocha, Executive Director.
Oxnard's CafĂ© on A is home to The Foundation for Educational and Employment Resources Development (EERD), which provides much-needed opportunities to at-risk and marginalized individuals or groups in the Oxnard plains area. Co-founder, Deborah De Vries invites volunteers to mentor their youth projects and help with Open Mic, Grow Green and other projects.  For information, call Deborah at 805-216-4530, or email her.

          The Social Justice Fund is a volunteer-led, volunteer-run organization.  The contribution of your talents is greatly appreciated.  As in the case with Matthew (see his story), we often don't know about your skills. YOU may be just the person we're looking for ...
  • to coordinate the Speakers Bureau
  • to oversee the Sponsorship program
  • to write an op-ed piece for the newspaper
  • to help with our signature event next May
  • to get school credit as a social media manager intern*
  • ________________ and so much more ...
Please let Tricia know if you want to get more involved in SJF.  We all will reap the benefits.  Thank you. *Intern description available.
Become part of the change and join the Social Justice Fund today! 

For more information contact SJF's Administrative Director,  Tricia Keen

SJF is committed to developing a lively up-to-date Internet presence including a new website and a Facebook page with lots of opportunities for interaction and conversation.  Email Tricia to learn how you can help.
Email your thoughts and recommendations  for SJF's bi-monthly newsletter to editor Karen McAuley.  And thanks!
The Ventura County Community Foundation, a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization, 
is the host for the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County.