Angels at Work in L.A.

March 14, 2012

They say that the key to success is “location, location, location.” And that is why the Council on Foundations is so excited that Los Angeles will graciously host its 2012 Annual Conference, a gathering of some of the brightest minds and top leaders in philanthropy.

Accurately nicknamed the City of Angels, Los Angeles provides the perfect backdrop to our program of education, leadership development, and networking because of the region’s philanthropic endeavors leading to social change, economic development, artistic growth, and more.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the civil unrest in Los Angeles, and the conference’s opening plenary focuses on how crisis events can become turning points for communities through civic and philanthropic creativity. Along with presenters representing L.A., presenters from New Orleans will explore that city’s efforts at reinvention following Hurricane Katrina’s revelations of social inequality, and presenters from Detroit will share the experiments underway in their community in response to severe economic crisis.

It wouldn’t be Los Angeles without A-list celebrities, but we are not just talking about A-listers on the red carpet.

We will hear about and experience the substantive philanthropic work of celebrities engaged in serious causes. Actress-playwright Anna Deavere Smith will perform her play Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, which reflects a wide range of personal stories she conducted through interviews following the Rodney King verdict. Others include Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, who will participate in a panel on the power of celebrity and philanthropy, and afterward will lead a salon conversation on gender and media. At the annual Global Philanthropy Dinner, Julia Ormond will discuss the trafficking of women and her work as the founder of ASSET, the Alliance to Stop Slavery and End Trafficking.

Los Angeles philanthropy in action will also be showcased through nine off-site experiences such as “Skid Row: The Real Deal,”  “Environmental Justice and LA’s Ports,” and “Off the GRYD:  Ending Gang Violence Through Community Resiliency and Youth Development.”

The Council is excited to be coming to L.A. this year, and bringing more than 1,000 of the field’s leaders who want to make an even larger impact in the world through philanthropy. We are extremely grateful for the gracious welcome we have already received from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the California Community Foundation. We look forward to an exciting event and seeing you on April 29 at L.A. LIVE!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel Mosher-Williams

Rachel Mosher-Williams is vice president of conferences and partnerships at the Council on Foundations.

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