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Storytelling, Identity, and Social Impact

Date: Apr 24, 2024


Location: San Francisco, CA

Storytelling, Identity, and Social Impact Register

April 24 @ 8:00 am 8:30 am UTC+0

Join us for an inspiring evening as we explore the intersection of identity, storytelling, and social impact. Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is the first openly gay woman to scale the Seven Summits (including Everest); her story of redemption and resilience has inspired thousands around the world. Jen Rainin produces media that centers strong LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary people to increase visibility and spark change. In a conversation moderated by Kristin Hayden, we’ll explore how who we are shapes the stories we tell, and the power those stories have to change the world. Forward Global member A. Sparks will contextualize this conversation in the LGBTQ+ funding space, and the broader question of who gets to decide which stories get told. 

After the panel and Q&A, Forward Global and Global Philanthropy Forum members are invited to a private reception celebrating Lesbian Visibility Week. 


5:30pm – Registration 

6:00pm – Panel + Q&A

7:00pm – LGBTQ+ (and Allies!) reception for Forward Global & GPF members


Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is the first openly gay woman to scale the Seven Summits (the highest summit on every continent). As a child, she endured a period of sexual violence that would haunt her for much of her adult life. Nearly 30 years later, while attending an Ayahuasca ceremony in Peru, she had a vision of reconnecting to her inner child and the two of them walking in a valley surrounded by mountains. This propelled her incredible journey documented in her memoir In the Shadow of the Mountain, which is being turned into a film starring Selena Gomez. As Elizabeth Gilbert writes: “In climbing the Seven Summits, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado did nothing less than take back her own life—one brave step at a time. She will inspire untold numbers of souls with this story, for her victory is a win on behalf of all of us.”

Jen Rainin is the founder and CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Jen established the SFFILM Rainin Filmmaking Grants, which has become the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US. She co-founded Frankly Speaking Films to produce media that centers strong LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary people to increase visibility and spark change. She focuses her filmmaking on building community, deepening understanding of social justice issues and telling great stories. With her wife, Franco Stevens, Jen co-founded The Curve Foundation the only national nonprofit that champions LGBTQ+ women and nonbinary people’s culture and stories.

Kristin Hayden is an acclaimed social entrepreneur and executive leader who has spent her career developing, empowering, and investing in underrepresented youth and women leaders. Ms. Hayden was recognized as an Ashoka Fellow after founding OneWorld Now!, a global leadership program for underrepresented youth. She is a champion of diversity and inclusion, women’s leadership, political representation, and financial inclusion. She is the founder and host of Our Money Power, a podcast for women who are ready to stand in their money power and invest with their values.  

A. Sparks is deeply committed to promoting equity based on her experience as a queer, multi-racial, next-generation, woman in the field of philanthropy. She is Executive Director of Masto Foundation, a US-based family foundation rooted in the Japanese-American community. Sparks has led initiatives to make the field of philanthropy more accessible for young people, BIPOC individuals, and members of the LGBTQ community, including founding Queer Leaders in Philanthropy.

In Partnership With

Global Philanthropy Forum is a convener and community of multi-sector funders dedicated to making philanthropy ‘fit for purpose’ in our dynamic and rapidly changing world. Through thoughtful and cutting edge programming, purposeful connections and collective insights, we foster a community of global leaders dedicated to pushing the philanthropy sector forward to ensure the conditions for all to prosper.

Forward Global is a community of individuals and families who use their resources strategically to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. We are a diverse, collaborative community dedicated to learning, community, and action, activating resources in pursuit of a world that works for all people and the planet.