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Martin Sheen Keynotes at Social Justice Annual Fundraiser

Father Dennis Marrell. actor Martin Sheen, and Angeles Small, new Executive Director Social Justice Fund for Ventura County. Photo credit: Peggy Hunt

By Peggy Hunt

The Social Justice Fund for Ventura County hosted its annual “Currents of Change” Spring Fundraiser on Sunday, May 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the historic Camarillo Ranch.

The Social Justice Fund is an educational and grant making program created and guided by a “Giving Circle” of community donors. It was hosted by the Ventura County Community Foundation.

The fundraiser featured as its keynote speaker actor and activist Martin Sheen, best known for his roles in movies like “Badlands” and “Apocalypse Now,” and as President Josiah Bartlett on the TV show “The West Wing.”

Sheen told the audience, “Our stake in the future for people my age is very shallow now. I believe we should all donate our time and money to the Social Justice Fund for our children, our grand children and great-grand children.”

“If you want a legacy to last and be substantial, we must invest now in social justice and the people who are doing the work. It’s going to cost you something. If any good thing didn’t cost you anything, you would question it’s value.”

“I can not emphasize how imperative it is to contribute either with your shoe leather or pocket book.”

“ We are all interested in building a better world for our children.”

“The Social Justice Foundation contributes to building better children for a better world.”

The foundation awarded five grants for projects through 2013-2014 to the following: The Abundant Table, $7,000; The Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), $7,000; Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, $9,000; Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, $8,000; and One Step A La Vez, (youth) $9,000.

“Our mission,” said Executive Director Angeles Small, “is to help promote equality and inclusiveness in our county and to try and help organizations that are doing various types of social justice projects. We’re working in order to promote economic, social, and racial equality.”

When asked what social justice meant to her, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long responded, “Social Justice represents the core of all things human about being apart of the human race and human advocacy.”

Camarillo Ranch is located off of Mission Oaks Boulevard at 201 Camarillo Ranch Road, just east of Flynn Road and Highway 101. For more information log on to their website at

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