AJWS Bay Area: What’s Happening

April 2017

I recently met with a couple who are considering joining AJWS and Jim and Cathy Koshland on our South India Study Tour next February, and presented them with a description of our grantees and the incredible work they are doing.

“How do you know it works?” they asked me.

How do we measure impact? The question is very important. Why would someone invest in a company or property without believing in the long-term strategy of the investment? Measuring impact is just as important in philanthropic investments, and AJWS has a team that focuses on just that.

Our Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation team continually evaluates the effectiveness of our grantmaking and collects meticulous data to learn patterns of success and challenges. For example, we have learned that our grantees are most successful when they are part of broader social movements. Ninety-six percent of our grantees engage in advocacy, and 79 percent are members of national or international networks that help take the lessons learned in a specific environment and offer best practices to help others create lasting change.

We empower our grantees to take a leadership role in building social movements, whether they come from small, start-up size organizations or are more established. We work to create a consciousness that change can be more effective if it builds on the support of strong coalitions.

On June 11th, AJWS will convene a luncheon to honor long-time AJWS donor and human rights activist Terry Winograd at the Stanford Faculty Club. I hope you will come, celebrate Terry and hear a keynote address from Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liberian peace activist, and AJWS grantee.

But I also hope you will stay for a 90-minute seminar immediately afterward that will explore how we, as donors and supporters, can ensure the measureable and sustainable impact of our philanthropy. Together, we will analyze how AJWS engages its grantees and what we expect from them. Finally, we will glimpse into the future and discover what are our next big challenges and goals. To be listed as an event sponsor on the invitation, please respond here by Tuesday, April 25th.

There is no experience so transformational in understanding and appreciating our courageous and visionary grantees as witnessing their work and hearing their stories. As I mentioned at the beginning, Jim and Cathy Koshland are leading a cohort from the Bay Area to South India. Please consider joining Jim, Cathy and AJWS on this incredible adventure.

Thank you for being part of this great work,

Alon Shalev
Executive Director, San Francisco and Western Region

AJWS Bay Area Upcoming Events

AJWS Global Justice Luncheon and Seminar

Investing in Women and Girls
Join us for a special luncheon to honor philanthropist and human rights activist Terry Winograd, and be inspired by AJWS’s commitment to changing the lives of women and girls in the developing world. The luncheon will feature a keynote address from Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liberian peace activist and AJWS grantee. Following the luncheon, the seminar will feature a panel of human rights experts who will discuss AJWS’s investment model and theory of change.

Sunday, June 11
Luncheon 11:00-1:00, Seminar 1:30-3:00
Stanford Faculty Club

Please contact Stephanie Aron at saron@ajws.org with any questions.
To be listed as an event sponsor on the invitation, please respond here by Tuesday, April 25th.

Buy Tickets

Books Beyond Borders Peninsula

The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India’s Young, by Somini Sengupta
When author Somini Sengupta, who emigrated to California as a child, returned to her native India as the bureau chief for The New York Times, she found a vastly different country. The new India was defined as much by aspiration as by the structures of sex and caste. The End of Karma explores these changes through the lens of young people: a woman who becomes a Maoist rebel; a brother charged for the murder of his sister, who had married the “wrong” man; a woman who opposes her family and hopes to become a police officer. Driven by aspiration—and thwarted at every step by state and society—they are making new demands for equality of opportunity, dignity for girls, and civil liberties.

Tuesday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m.
At the home of Jim and Cathy Koshland
Address provided upon RSVP


India Study Tour

February 18-25, 2018
Join AJWS and Jim and Cathy Koshland on an unforgettable trip to India. Together, we will see tikkun olam in action and meet grassroots groups working to protect the lives and lands of India’s people. Over the course of one remarkable week, we will engage in dialogue with local leaders and intellectuals who will offer insights into the unique challenges of securing human rights in this complex country.

For more information, please visit the India Study Tour page or e-mail us at studytours@ajws.org.