Join your colleagues for an informal interview with Gara LaMarche, CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, moderated by the award winning journalist and public commentator Bill Moyers. Discussion will focus on pressing issues that the Obama administration is currently tackling, including immigration reform, financial reform, and health care.
Deepak Bhargava is Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives.
During his tenure as Executive Director, Mr. Bhargava has sharpened the Center's focus on grassroots community organizing as the central strategy for social justice and on public policy change as the key lever to improve poor people's lives. He conceived and led the Center's work on immigration reform, which has resulted in the creation of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a leading grassroots network pressing for changes in the country's immigration laws. He has spearheaded the creation of innovative new projects like Generation Change, a program that recruits, trains and places the next generation of community organizers, and the Community Voting Project, which brings large numbers of low-income voters into the electoral process. Mr. Bhargava has also overseen a dramatic internal transformation of the organization over the past years, resulting in a younger, more diverse board and staff, a new physical home at 1536 U Street, and greater focus of the organization's work on strengthening and aligning community organizations towards policy change.
Gara LaMarche is President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. He joined Atlantic in April 2007 to lead the organization through its final chapter as the foundation disburses its remaining $4 billion endowment and completes active grantmaking by 2016.
Before joining Atlantic, LaMarche served as Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI), a foundation established by philanthropist George Soros. LaMarche joined OSI in 1996 to launch its U.S. Programs, which focuses on challenges to social justice and democracy.
LaMarche previously served as Associate Director of Human Rights Watch and Director of its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996. He was Director of the Freedom-to-Write Program of the PENAmericanCenter from 1988 to 1990, when PEN played a leading role in campaigns to lift Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie and challenged restrictions on arts funding in the United States.
He served in a variety of positions with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), with which he first became associated at age 18 as a member of its national Academic Freedom Committee. He was the Associate Director of the ACLU's New York branch from 1979 to 1984 and the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas from 1984 to 1988. At the Texas ACLU, he led campaigns to provide adequate representation for death row inmates and oppose discriminatory treatment of persons with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic.
LaMarche is the author of numerous articles on human rights and social justice issues. He teaches a course in philanthropy and public policy at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, and was an adjunct professor at New School University and The John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
LaMarche serves on the boards of PEN AmericanCenter and The White House Project, as a member of the selection committee for the Sundance Documentary Fund, and on the Leadership Council of Hispanics in Philanthropy.
A Westerly, R.I. native, LaMarche graduated from Columbia College in New York.
Bill Moyers: Journalist, political pundit, former White House Press Secretary under President Lyndon B. Johnson.