Learning Along the Way

Our grantees are called upon to lead their organizations, weave networks, and strengthen social movements. These inspiring profiles celebrate their work: the challenges they face and the important lessons they’re learning while they work to make a positive difference.

Nadine Smith

| in Gay & Lesbian Rights

Lessons from Florida’s Defense of LGBT Rights

Equality Florida Co-founder and CEO Nadine Smith talks about the challenges facing the movement, and how her state has achieved pro-LGBT wins in a tough climate.

Nadine Smith is co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In this video, the Florida native recalls…

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Daniel Torres

| in Immigrant Rights

Director of Immigrant Integration, State of California

The son of Mexican immigrants, Daniel Torres is leading California’s efforts to ensure that the state’s 10 million immigrants are welcome and can find opportunities to thrive.

How does your life experience shape the work you do? The experience of growing up in an immigrant family and community shaped how I see my work. The values that my parents held also informed my view of world. My par…

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Jose Antonio Vargas

| in Immigrant Rights

CEO and Founder, Define American

The Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of Define American and #EmergingUS reflects on the value of curiosity and empathy, and about what it will take to change the politics of immigration.

Where are you from? Manila, Philippines. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? A hardboiled egg and a Starbucks venti iced coffee with soy milk. Where do you call home? Los Angeles, where my shoes are,…

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Meng So

| in Immigrant Rights

Director, Undocu­mented Student Program at U.C. Berkeley

Meng So works with undocumented students at Cal. He talks about the role of love in his work, the need for authentic voices in social movements, and his (unfulfilled) NBA dreams.

Where are you from? I was born along the Thailand/Cambodia border in a refugee camp and migrated to the Bay Area with my family and parents when I was two. Where do you call home? Home is my family. It’s a feelin…

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Evan Wolfson

| in Gay & Lesbian Rights

Founder, Freedom to Marry

Before he leaves on a "post-victory vacation," Evan Wolfson shares some of the inspiration that sustained the fight for marriage equality. And what he wants on his tombstone.

Where do you call home? NYC Who are your heroes? Abraham Lincoln. Franklin Roosevelt. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dan Foley, my non-gay Hawaii co-counsel. Maurice Tempelsman (the man who won the heart of Jackie Kenne…

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