EPIP Bay Area | Philanthropy 3D: Does Big Philanthropy Undermine Democracy & Civil Society?

EPIP Bay Area, Northern California Grantmakers (NCG), and California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) present:


Philanthropy 3D:
Debate + Dialogue + Denouement

Join us as leading figures in philanthropy debate the motion:

Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy and Civil Society

Big philanthropy contributes vast resources toward the well-being of humankind, and society benefits immensely from its achievements in health and medicine, education, arts and culture, international development, and other fields. But critics of mega-foundations have been around since they first emerged out of the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and the critiques have grown loud in recent years with big philanthropy booming in our current Gilded Age.

As tax-exempt private organizations that exercise power in the public sphere with nominal democratic controls and accountability to the public, do mega-foundations reinforce the anti-democratic effects of wealth inequality and weaken civil society? Or are the concerns overblown given the record of these organizations?

For The Motion:

  • Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Executive Director, Solidaire
  • Leah Hunt-Hendrix headshot Leah Hunt-Hendrix is the co-founder and Executive Director of Solidaire, a network of philanthropists who are committed to funding social movements. Leah did her PhD at Princeton University, where she studied religious philosophy and political theory. She has served on numerous boards, and acts as an advisor to her family foundation, the Sister Fund. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in Egypt, Syria and the West Bank, and now resides in San Francisco.

  • Austin Belali, Director of the Youth Engagement Fund, Democracy Alliance
  • Austin Belali headshot Austin Belali is Director of the Youth Engagement Fund at the Democracy Alliance. Before coming to the YEF, Belali led a major organizational change process at Service Employees International Union to put youth and emerging leaders in the drivers’ seat of progressive social change. His philanthropic endeavors have gained him recognition in Washington Life Magazine, and his writing about young people and social change has been published in the Non-Profit Quarterly, Huffington Post, The Hill and MSNBC, among other outlets. Belali taught comparative democracy to high schoolers in Senegal and India. He is a music composer and recently produced original music for the New York-based think tank Demos. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Howard University in Washington D.C.

Against The Motion:

  • Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum
  • Jane Wales headshot Jane Wales is Founder of the Global Philanthropy Forum; CEO of the World Affairs Council; Vice President of the Aspen Institute; and host of the nationally-syndicated NPR show World Affairs. Previously, Wales served in the Clinton Administration as Senior Director of the National Security Council, and Associate Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In the philanthropic sector, Wales chaired the international security programs at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the W. Alton Jones Foundation, and directed the Project on World Security at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

  • Larry Kramer, President, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Larry Kramer headshot Larry Kramer is president of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Before joining the Foundation, Mr. Kramer served as Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. Mr. Kramer is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Law Institute. He serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations, including ClimateWorks Foundation, the National Constitution Center, and Independent Sector. Mr. Kramer received an A.B. in Psychology and Religious Studies from Brown University, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The People Themselves: Popular Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.

Moderated By:

  • Dana Lanza, CEO, Confluence Philanthropy
  • Dana Lanza headshot Dana Lanza launched Confluence Philanthropy as a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, after serving as the executive director of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. She served as Program Director and Board Advisor at The Swift Foundation while launching Confluence. Prior to philanthropy, Dana founded Literacy for Environmental Justice. She has been a fellow at the Donnella Meadows Leaders Fellowship Program in Systems Theory and the California Women’s Foundation Policy Institute. Beyond this, Dana has lived and worked among tribal people for much of her life. A nomad in spirit, Dana sometimes lives in Oakland, California and at other times in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY.

Where do you stand?

Once you buy your ticket, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail with a link to anonymously cast your vote. Audience results will be shared before the panel begins. You will have a chance to vote again after hearing the panelists' arguments, and these results will also be shared.


  • 6:00 – 7:00pm     Reception in Lobby - small bites and drinks served
  • 7:00 – 8:30pm     Debate in Theater


NCG_Logo_RGB.jpgWho we are: Northern California Grantmakers brings philanthropy together with government, business and nonprofits to address complex social issues in our diverse and dramatically changing region.
Mission Statement: Northern California Grantmakers is a philanthropic community that tackles complex social issues. We inspire each other as we create solutions to improve lives and build healthy, thriving, and just communities. Together, we achieve results far greater than if we go it alone.
Website: https://ncg.org/




ACalNonprofits-logo-no-tag-small.jpgbout Us: The California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits) is a statewide membership organization that brings nonprofits together to advocate for the communities we serve.
Website: http://calnonprofits.org/ 


Transit and Parking

  • Click here for more information
  • The Brower Center is just one block east of the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

    Garage parking is available on an hourly and daily basis at:

    Oxford Garage: 2161 Kittredge St., Berkeley, CA 94707 (One block south of the Brower Center)

    Allston Way Garage: 2061 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 (Two blocks west of the Brower Center)

    Street Parking: Street parking is available on all streets surrounding the Brower Center. Streets are metered until 6 p.m. daily. For metered parking rates, click here


  • Click here for more information
  • The main floor, which includes the front entry, theater, gallery, Kinzie conference room, and public restrooms, is fully compliant with ADA regulations.


If you or your institution are a member of EPIP, NCG, or CalNonprofits, or if you are a student, you qualify for the $5 discount. No one turned away for lack of funds, so if the ticket prices below are a concern for you, please contact us at [email protected], and we'll add you to the RSVP list. If you do not receive a RSVP confirmation after purchasing your ticket, please contact us.

Add to Calendar 11/30/2016 06:00 PM 11/30/2016 08:30 PM EPIP Bay Area | Philanthropy 3D: Does Big Philanthropy Undermine Democracy & Civil Society? Join EPIP, NCG, and CalNonprofits as leading figures in philanthropy debate the motion:

Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy and Civil Society

Featuring Leah Hunt-Hendrix (Executive Director of Solidaire), Austin Belali (Director of the Youth Engagement Fund at the Democracy Alliance), Jane Wales (President and CEO of the World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum), Larry Kramer (President of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), Dana Lanza (CEO of Confluence Philanthropy).

6:00 – 7:00pm Reception in Lobby - small bites and drinks served
7:00 – 8:30pm Debate in Theater

To register, visit: http://bit.ly/philanthropy3D
Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 EPIP Bay Area [email protected] false MM/DD/YYYY 60
Add to Calendar 11/30/2016 18:00:00 11/30/2016 20:30:00 America/Los_Angeles EPIP Bay Area | Philanthropy 3D: Does Big Philanthropy Undermine Democracy & Civil Society? Check https://www.epip.org/bayarea_philanthropy3d for the latest info. 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704, United States
November 30, 2016 at 6:00pm - 8:30pm Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States
Google map and directions
Questions? Contact us at ·

Will you come?

$10.00 General Public
$5.00 Student Discount
$5.00 CalNonprofits Member
$5.00 EPIP Member
$5.00 NCG Member

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.