Liberty Hill Foundation

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Liberty Hill Foundation is based in Los Angeles.

IPS partner

Liberty Hill Foundation is a partner organization of the Institute for Policy Studies[1].


The 'Liberty Hill Foundation received grant funds from the McKay Foundation in 2006.


2006: Liberty Hill founders (l to r) Anne Mendel, Win McCormack, Sarah Pillsbury, Larry Janss

When Liberty Hill began in 1976, it was a "daring new foundation that turned philanthropy on its head. Today it is a national leader in social justice that other organizations watch and emulate".

Liberty Hill's goal was never charity. It is change.

Four young people - Sarah Pillsbury, Win McCormack, Anne Mendel, Larry Janss - had the "guts and vision to launch this experiment. They invented an organization that would underwrite the delicate and difficult work of long-term social change by investing in grassroots community organizing and leadership. Liberty Hill raised expectations and eyebrows."[2]

Since then, organizing and advocacy powered by Liberty Hill has changed national policies, launched movements, transformed neighborhoods, and nurtured hundreds of outstanding local leaders.

Liberty Hill Firsts

In 1980, we were first to fund dockworkers suffering from White Lung disease. Our support sparked the national movement to regulate asbestos and win compensation for millions of exposed workers.
In 1994, we were first to fund a movement for living wages. Our early investment sparked new laws that raised wages for 25,000 poverty-wage workers and moved them across the poverty line. Our continued investments have won wage increases for hotel workers, taxi drivers, grocery workers, garment workers and other hard-working men and women.

In 1996, Liberty Hill was first to fund LA’s new environmental justice movement. Every Californian breathes easier as a result. We’ve won millions in pollution reduction programs, as well as new regulations to protect the health of Californians most exposed to pollution’s deadly consequences.

In 2001, our long-term investments in student-led school reform resulted in a L.A. Unified School District commitment to overhaul course offerings at L.A.’s lowest-performing schools. Without Liberty Hill, thousands of students would continue to graduate high school without the courses required for college admission.

Liberty Hill Strategy Session

Shane Goldsmith, Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson

On January 20 2018, Liberty Hill Foundation's Advisory Council "participated in a strategy session led by Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson on building a just Los Angeles and how we can resist the attacks from Washington on our communities while solving pressing problems such as homelessness, climate change, racism and criminalization of our youth."[3]

Annual Upton Sinclair Dinner

NAKASEC Annual Upton Sinclair Dinner Compilation

The Liberty Hill Foundation hosts an annual "Upton Sinclair Dinner." From an article about the Upton Sinclair Dinner:[4]

"In 1983, the first Upton Sinclair Award was presented to Emmy-winning actress Loretta Swit, known for her portrayal of Major Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan” on the highly-rated TV series, “M*A*S*H”. The award was presented by actor and activist Mike Farrell best known for his role as Captain B.J. Hunnicutt on M*A*S*H. Other honorees throughout the years include film legend Harry Belafonte; award-wining directors Oliver Stone and John Singleton; Emmy-winning actor and former Screen Actors Guild (SAG) president Ed Asner (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Lou Grant”); Emmy-winning actress Alfre Woodard (“State of Affairs,” “Desperate Housewives”); Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen (“Melvin and Howard”) along with her husband, Emmy winner Ted Dansen (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “Cheers”); as well as writers/producers Ed Burns and David Simon (co-creators of “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street”), plus Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas and Congresswoman Karen Bass – just to name a few."


The 2018 honorees include Congressman John Lewis and Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch.[5]


In 2017, the Liberty Hill Foundation honored actress Ana Ortiz, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and philanthropists Susan Genco and Mitch Kamin "for using their celebrity and philanthropy to influence social change and advance social justice." Honorary co-chairs included Mayor Eric Garcetti and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland.[6]


The 2016 honorees included Robbie Conal, Fran Jemmott and Benjamin Goldhirsh.[7]


The 2015 honorees included Michele Prichard and Frank Gilliam.[8] Illegal immigrant activist Erika Alvarez spoke at the Upton Sinclair Dinner 2015.

Meeting with Karen Bass

On November 12, 2016 the Liberty Hill Foundation posted a photo of Congresswoman Karen Bass with author Nancy Cohen on Facebook.

On November 12, 2016 the Liberty Hill Foundation posted a photo of Congresswoman Karen Bass with author Nancy Cohen on Facebook.[9]

United Against Black Genocide

A 1983 Liberty Hill Foundation grant for $1,000 went to support United Against Black Genocide: “United Against Black Genocide is an organization formed to voice the concerns of the Black community of South Central Los Angeles over inadequate health services in the neighborhood and the chokehold deaths of residents at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department. UABG is concerned about the pattern of these deaths, in which 14 of the 17 victims have been young Black men, and believes that they are a result of racist attitudes and practices of the police department. This grant was provided to help establish the organization’s office and to promote better health care in the Black community.” Liberty Hill allies have long focused on police violence against Black Angelenos, most recently through our Rapid Response Fund for Racial Justice.[10]

Board of Directors 2018

Board of Directors

The Liberty Hill Foundation lists it's "Board of Directors" as follows as of January 25 2018:[11]

Advisory Council

The Liberty Hill Foundation lists it's "Advisory Council" as follows as of January 25 2018:[12]

Board of Directors 2009

Board members as of 2009[13];

Advisory Board

Advisory board as of 2009:[14]

2011 Advisory Board

Kafi Blumenfield, wife of California State Representative, Bob Blumenfield, is the President and CEO of Liberty Hill Fund in 2011.[15]

External links


  3., accessed January 25 2018
  4. Upton Sinclair Awards Honor Hollywood Insiders and Celebrity Activists Who Influence Social Change, accessed January 25 2018
  5. 2018 Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, accessed January 25 2018
  6. 2017 Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, accessed January 25 2018
  7. 2016 Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, accessed January 25 2018
  8. 2015 Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, accessed January 25 2018
  9., accessed January 25 2018
  10. [1]
  11. Board of Directors, accessed January 25 2018
  12. Advisory Council, accessed January 25 2018
  14. Liberty Hill website: Advisory Board
  15. Liberty Hill Fund Staff List. Accessed 06/02/11