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Dana Kawaoka-Chen Leads Shift to Values-Aligned Practice
As the executive director of Justice Funders, Dana Kawaoka-Chen partners and guides philanthropy in reimagining practices that advance a thriving and just world. She is co-author of The Choir Book: A Framework for Social Justice Philanthropy and frequently serves as a trainer and facilitator for values-aligned practice in philanthropy.
Kawaoka-Chen’s leadership has been recognized by her peers. In 2014, she was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award by Oakes College of the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy recognized her in 2015 as one of 25 national “Leaders in Action.” She served in executive functions for two other nonprofit organizations.
She has a master’s degree in organization development from the University of San Francisco, bachelor’s degrees in American studies and visual art from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and nonprofit management certification from San Jose State University.
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Here are some highlights from the LIFT Economy podcast interview with Kawaoka-Chen:
- How Justice Funders was born out of community organizing in the wake of the murder of Oscar Grant.
- An examination of the problematic roots of philanthropy and how to reimagine a more values-aligned system.
- The stories of her family, how her father was born imprisoned in Japanese concentration camps in the United States, and how these experiences inform her work
- How The Choir Book: A Framework for Social Justice Philanthropy and the Resonance: a Framework for Philanthropic Transformation explore what a just transition can look like for philanthropy.
- An overview of Justice Funders’ leadership development programs: the Harmony Initiative and the Maestra Program.
LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm with a mission to create, model and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
Justice Funders’ Framework for Philanthropic Transformation was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.