Liberty Hill’s September 8, 2013 “Change L.A.” party with a purpose is right around the corner.
Shawn Landres will receive Liberty Hill’s NextGen Award, given each year to an inspirational leader who invests time and raises funds to advance social justice in Los Angeles. Shawn, Co-founder & CEO of Jumpstart, is an entrepreneur who connects people, ideas, and resources at the intersection of innovation and social good. Tammy Bang Luu will receive Liberty Hill’s Wally Marks Changemaker Award, given each year to an individual whose work in the community illustrates Dr. King’s insight that while “the arc of history is long, it bends toward justice.” Tammy, Associate Director of The Labor/Community Strategy Center, is a much-admired community organizer and has been the co-host of the weekly one-hour radio show called Voices from the Frontlines on KPFK 90.7FM.
Since 2008, Jumpstart has harnessed research & publishing, convenings & education, and innovative funding vehicles to connect, inform, and empower more than 3,000 community leaders and more than 150 Jewish and interreligious initiatives around the world. Jumpstart’s latest initiative exemplifies its mission, under his and co-founder Joshua Avedon’s leadership, to help community leaders expand what they know, adapt how they think, and redefine what is possible: a groundbreaking series of research reports that highlights how the charitable contributions of American Jews, Protestants, Catholics, members of other religious communities advance the common good through poverty relief, health care, education, the arts, and civic & social
Shawn is a Los Angeles County Commissioner, appointed by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky to serve on the Quality and Productivity Commission. He co-chairs the Clinton Foundation Millennium Network Leadership Council, which inspires the next generation to address global challenges. Shawn pursues his commitments to social enterprise as a founding member of and advisor to The HUB LA and as an advisor to The Mother Company and InVenture. An inaugural Ariane de Rothschild Fellow, he is a member of the ROI Community and Bend the Arc’s Selah Leadership Network, and an alumnus of the New Leaders Project, which trains young Jewish professionals for civic service in Los Angeles.
Shawn’s commitment to social, cultural, and civic engagement was forged before he was born. Italian Catholic nuns reached across the religious divide during World War II to save the lives of his mother and her family, Jewish refugees from Czechoslovakia. Shawn’s late father, a child and adolescent psychoanalyst whose work took him from Reiss-Davis to the LA County Men’s Central Jail, dedicated his career to engaging with people beyond categories and labels. Family history taught Shawn that we must know the cultures in which and with which we live, and we must create relationships with people across sociocultural boundaries.
The past 25 years are testimony to that lesson: in the 1980s, Shawn started by organizing performances by Harvard and Westlake student musicians for seniors, cancer patients, and shelter residents. He spent his undergraduate years at Columbia testifying in Congress for student aid and debt relief for Gulf War veterans, shaping the youth message for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. It was Shawn who suggested to Bill Clinton that he use the Fleetwood Mac song “Don’t Stop,” as the campaign’s theme song. Later, he worked as a White House intern on policy planning for the Administration’s “Reinventing Government” initiative.
During graduate school, Shawn combined social anthropology postgraduate research at Oxford with civic renewal work with Jewish communities and Rotary Clubs in postsocialist Slovakia, and advocated for student voting rights while president of the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Students Association. He has co-edited four books and published award-winning articles and essays that advance intergroup understanding.
In the 2000s, Shawn’s work continued, connecting progressive evangelicals and Emerging Church leaders with innovative Jewish partners; fostering Muslim-Jewish solidarity at the Progressive Jewish Alliance, Abrahamic Faiths Peacemaking Initiative, and NewGround; helping build IKAR, a
social justice-infused Jewish spiritual community in Los Angeles; and advancing the dignity and equality of LGBT people in Jewish community and religious life through board leadership at Jewish Mosaic and Keshet. Shawn’s leadership was instrumental in effecting the merger of those
two organizations, forming the central address for LGBT inclusion within the American Jewish community.
Today Shawn works to facilitate effective conversations and strengthen networks to address questions of intellectual, political, and moral urgency, and generate collaborative solutions that help repair the world. His faith-based social innovation work has earned extensive media attention, from The New York Times and Chronicle of Philanthropy to GOOD.is and FastCo.EXIST. Just a year after Jumpstart’s launch, the Forward named Shawn one of America’s 50 most influential Jewish leaders.
Shawn and his wife Zuzana Riemer Landres live in Santa Monica, where they are being raised by their two young daughters. They are proud to be joining the Liberty Hill Advisory Committee, where they look forward to helping Los Angeles find creative ways to achieve ever greater equity for all.
Tammy Bang Luu is the Associate Director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center (LCSC), a multiracial, intergenerational
“think tank/act tank” based in Los Angeles. LCSC is home to the Bus Riders Union, building a vibrant mass movement of thousands of low-income bus riders advancing transportation justice from LA to DC; the Community Rights Campaign, addressing the school-to-prison pipeline and schools-as-jails culture in favor of building a positive, empowered learning environment; and the National School for Strategic Organizing, training new generations of conscious organizers. She has been a co-host on the Strategy Center’s weekly one-hour radio show called Voices from the Frontlines on KPFK 90.7FM, the Pacifica Station for Southern California. She served on the National Planning Committee for the US Social Forum in Atlanta 2007 and Detroit 2010. Tammy is also on the Coordinating Committee of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, advancing trans-local organizing and building grassroots internationalism. Tammy was named a “2011 Leader to Watch” by the Liberty Hill Foundation.