Entries in National (6)


Go Wild For National Parks

Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation invite everyone to celebrate National Park Week. This year, from April 19 – 27 YOU are invited to celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national parks have to offer with the theme “National Park Week: Go Wild!” From diverse wildlife and iconic landscapes to vibrant culture and rich history, our National Park System has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a hiker, a historian, a naturalist, or someone seeking solitude, the National Park Foundation’s FREE Owner’s Guide series is jam-packed with ideas to help you plan your next national park adventure!

Happy National Park Week!


Forward on Climate Rally

Today, I participated in the largest environmental march in San Francisco history, as thousands gathered outside the State Department headquarters as part of the "Forward on Climate Change" campaign.

The march, which culimated in a rally in the plaza across from the Ferry Building Terminal, was organized by the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Sierra Club, along with, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and several other groups.

In solidarity with protests across the nation, most notably in Washington, D.C., which was the largest climate change rally in U.S. history (and others around the world), the campaign's message is to urge President Obama to reject the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of a tar-sand oil pipeline that connects Alberta, Canada and multiple Midwest cities.

I've been following the #IdleNoMore campaign as well on this issue, since the Keystone Pipleling project has numerous connections to my tribe and the overall indigenous resistance to this threat to our ways of life and self-determination.

I attended as a member of the steering committee of Bay Localize, an organization that inspires and supports Bay Area residents in building equitable, resilient communities. We confront the challenges of climate instability, rising energy costs, and recession by boosting our region's capacity to provide for everyone's needs, sustainably and equitably. We achieve this by equipping local leaders with flexible tools, models, and policies that strengthen their communities.

See pictures from the march and rally below:

Idle No More had a strong showing at the rally.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos speaks at the rally.

Organizers estimated 4,000 people in attendance in San Francisco and 40,000 in Washington, D.C.


American Indian Olympian

Billy Mills and Adam Bad Wound

Tonight I joined people from across the world for the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad. With absolute delight, I gazed in awe of the athletic luminaries of our generation, as they celebrated one another, as resilient individuals, from sovereign nations, and as a global affirmation of the human spirit.

I love the Olympics! And well done, London!

The Parade of Nations is always a real life lesson in geography, politics, nationalities, and languages, among many other noticeable observations of global diversity. As I watched one country after the next, I felt proud to be an American and proud to be an American Indian. Even from my tribe, the Olympics always make me think of my most significant Olympic hero, Billy Mills.

Billy Mills, also known by his warrior name, Makata Taka Hela, is the second American Indian to win an Olympic gold medal after the other Lakota Olympic hero and the first American Indian gold medalist,  Jim Thorpe. Billy accomplished this feat in the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the only American ever to win the Olympic gold in this event. His 1964 victory is considered one of the greatest of Olympic upsets. A former United States Marine, he’s a member of my tribe, the Oglala Lakota Sioux.

In 2005, I was honored to meet Billy Mills as a supporter of his nonprofit organization, Running Strong for American Indian Youth. As a member of Team Running Strong, I ran the U.S. Marine Corps Marathon to raise money in support his important mission: to help American Indian people meet their immediate survival needs – food, water, and shelter – while implementing and supporting programs designed to create opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-esteem.

Meeting him and running the marathon were both moments that I will never forget. In the end, we were featured together in a Washington Post article, Olympic Legend Billy Mills: One Man Is Still Going the Distance for Two Nations.

As a living Lakota legend, Billy Mills continues to share his message of triumph and courage. Checkout this Human Highlight Reel from the Running Strong website:


My New Favorite Gift Shop

As a nonprofit professional at a major tourist attraction, I always like to see what kinds of products are available in the gift shops of other public destinations. This past weekend, I went to Muir Woods National Monument with some visitors from France and found the art instillation in the gift shop to be one of the most fascinating wood carvings that I've ever seen! 

Carved into a single redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), is a timeline of humanity that flows, from left to right, in order:

Inhabitation -> Colonization -> Exploitation -> Conservation -> Recreation

I took these shots on my iPhone, so please forgive the poor quality.

Cool, huh?


Museums Advocacy Day

On Monday February 28 and Tuesday March 1 over 320 museum advocates – museum professionals, trustees, students and supporters – will be gathering in Washington, DC for the third annual Museums Advocacy Day

According to the American Association of Museums, it is important to remember that museums play a key role in education, job creation, tourism, economic development, historic preservation, environmental conservation, global competitiveness, and more. The museum community - which includes aquariums, art museums, children’s museums, historic sites, history museums, maritime museums, military museums, natural history museums, planetariums, presidential libraries, public gardens, science centers, zoos, and more – has worked together to develop positions on the vital federal issues affecting museums.

If you're like me and unable to attend the events in Washington, DC, you can be part of the action in your hometown:

  • Watch live streaming of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (a grant-making federal agency supporting museums and libraries of all types) Director Susan Hildreth's address (9:55 a.m. ET Monday) and the Congressional Breakfast (8:15 a.m. ET Tuesday)
  • Learn how to advocate from home —through economic impact statements, dear colleague letters and encouraging those in your community to write to their elected officials on the value of museums.

AAM Statement on NEA Funding Cut

The House of Representatives' 217-209 vote to cut $20.6 million from the National Endowment for the Arts budget for the remainder of FY11 would have a disastrous effect if it is enacted into law. The National Endowment for the Arts supports many of our nation's outstanding museums and plays a key role in building creativity, innovation and the skills necessary to compete in the 21st century. I urge the Senate and President Obama to reject this language as it finalizes the federal budget for the remaining 7 months of FY11. AAM President Ford W. Bell

I support the AAM in this effort because I strongly believe in the value that museums add to communities, informal knowledge and experiential learning, as well as the preservation of our cultural, artistic, and scientific assets. So many museums exist due to creative public/private/corporate partnerships, so their continued prosperity depends on such collaborative efforts. 

Support your local museums today!



As a recent addition to the steering committee of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) — Bay Area Chapter, I’ve promised to promote membership and involvement in this helpful professional development organization.

The mission of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy is to strengthen the next generation of grant-makers, in order to advance effective social justice philanthropy.


EPIP works toward its mission through the following programs:

  • We organize unique Networking opportunities for our constituents through local chapters and national meeting spaces (both virtual and in-person).
  • We develop the Leadership skills and analysis of our members for successful engagement in the workplace and the broader philanthropic field.
  • We build an Advocacy voice for our generation aimed at transforming philanthropy, and strengthening the pipeline for young people into social change careers.


EPIP members are professionals at foundations, government and corporate grant-making entities, and philanthropy support organizations (such as regional associations of grantmakers, affinity groups, and financial advisory firms). Some members are foundation trustees, or donors involved in giving circles and other forms of organized giving.

Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in becoming a member!

Philanthropology: EPIP 2011 National Conference

The 2011 Conference theme statement is Philanthropology - Understanding Foundations, Democracy and Power Across the Generations. Philanthropology is EPIP's unique curricular resource for learning philanthropy.

The conference is organized into four main learning tracks, according to the modules of Philanthropology:

Understanding Philanthropy

Exploring the history, trends, knowledge and systems that shape the foundation community

Social Impact

Sharing cutting-edge ideas and practices that help philanthropy to effectively bring about social change

Managing Power Dynamics

Successfully navigating the roles, relationships, and perspectives of trustees, foundation professionals, and grantees

Generations in Philanthropy

Gaining insight into the lessons-learned, strategies and challenges of foundation leaders across generations

Each track will be composed of workshops developed and delivered by EPIP, our members, colleagues and partner organizations

In addition to workshops, plenary sessions will anchor the tracks with high-level keynote speakers, panelists and performances, including:

Ana Marie Argilagos, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Daniel Lee, Executive Director, Levi Strauss Foundation

Emmett D. Carson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Gabriel Kasper, Practitioner, Monitor Institute

Jennifer Ladd, Co-Founder, Class Action

Nat Williams, Executive Director, The Hill-Snowdon Foundation

Pamela David, Executive Director, Walter and Elise Haas Fund

Pamela Freeman, Associate, Class Action

Rob Collier, President and CEO, The Council of Michigan Foundations

Sherece West, President and CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Sterling Speirn, President and Chief Executive Officer, W. K. Kellogg Foundation

Suzanne Immerman, Special Assistant to the Secretary / Director of Philanthropic Engagement, U.S. Department of Education

Terry Odendahl, Chief Executive Officer, Global Greengrants Fund

Urvashi Vaid, former Executive Director, The Arcus Foundation


Be sure to register TODAY for the full conference and 10th Anniversary Gala!

Check-out this video of highlights from EPIP 2010 National Conference: