Calling all changemakers!
Open your mind, and buckle up for a bumpy ride through a truth-telling journey about the dysfunctional relationship between foundations and nonprofits. We all know that it’s broken. So why haven't we fixed it?
Enter the Unicorns.
Join unicorns Jane Leu, Vu Le, and Jessamyn Shams-Lau for a nitty-gritty, inside look at how foundations and nonprofits relate today, and why we're stuck in the status quo. Next, get ready for a rocket-ship ride to a future filled with EPIC Partnerships grounded in equality, trust, and creativity; partnerships to help us think bigger, bolder, and better about social change. Finally, make it happen! Roll up your sleeves and dive into a series of fun and thought-provoking exercises for you to do and discuss with your team, your partners, and your board.
Unicorns Unite is a whimsical journey through a challenging conversation that could hold the key to slaying the dragons of injustice and inequity once and for all.
High school dropout turned MBA, Jessamyn Shams-Lau currently co-creates and stewards the Peery Foundation's Grantee-Centric approach to philanthropy. Jessamyn is an advocate for interdisciplinary approaches, thoughtful risk taking, and bold ideas developed through apprenticing with a problem. Jessamyn joined the Peery Foundation as its first non-family staff member in 2009, helping to shape the Foundation’s initial approach and portfolios. Currently, as Executive Director, Jessamyn shapes and supports the Peery Foundation team, develops and guides overall strategy, and brings the Foundation Board's vision to life. Jessamyn utilizes her experience as part of the founding Ashoka U team in her hands-on role as a Board. Member of BYU’s Ballard Center, where she has created curriculum now taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Jessamyn serves as an advisor to Ashoka U and GrantAdvisor. Jessamyn has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of the Arts London and an MBA from Brigham Young University. She lives in the Bay Area with her ridiculously funny husband, defiant house rabbit, and two tiny hamsters. She used to have a mohawk haircut, she met her husband on Tinder, and her favourite Christmas movie is Die Hard 2.
An Ashoka Fellow, the Founder of Upwardly Global and Smarter Good, and four other social sector start-ups, Jane Leu is intrigued by problems and their solutions. Known for both strong vision and execution, Jane has more than twenty years of entrepreneurial leadership of migration-related organizations. The common theme across her ventures is that they leverage the private sector to ensure that migration creates economic benefit for individuals, families, companies and countries. She is a Lecturer in Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Venture Partner, and has been on the advisory boards of Ashoka U, Joshua Venture, the Peery Foundation and the Migration Policy Institute, among others. Jane's contributions and leadership have been recognized by BYU Social Innovator of the Year Award, John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Manhattan Institute Social Entrepreneur Award, among others. She holds a MA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from Tufts University.
Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle with the mission promoting social justice by supporting leaders of color, strengthening the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms. Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at nonprofitaf.com.