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Social Justice Fund for Ventura County to Host Fundraiser

Noted actor and activist Martin Sheen will be the keynote speaker during the “Currents of Change” fundraiser sponsored by the Social Justice Fund of Ventura County. The event will be held on Sunday, May 4, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the historic Camarillo Ranch. (Courtesy of MartinSheen.net)

By Tim Pompey

The Social Justice Fund for Ventura County will host 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 is hosted by the Ventura County Community Foundation.

“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.”

The Social Justice Fund provides grants for local social justice causes, including recent projects such as the “Rooted Futures: Growing Change” Project sponsored by The Abundant Table, the “Fields to College Campaign” run by the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, and the “One Tribe Anti-Bullying Project” through the Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation.

In addition, they host social justice summits and sponsor bus tours in which they invite people to meet representatives from other social justice organizations. They also provide via their monthly meetings an important resource for networking and collaboration among social justice organizers.

The fundraiser will feature 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.”

The festivities will include a gourmet buffet lunch and a live and silent auction featuring such unique items as a ride-along with Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams and a tour and lunch with California State University Channel Islands President Dr. Richard Rush.

“Currents of Change” is an annual event and one of the organization’s primary fundraisers. Now in its fifth year, the name points toward the fund’s mission, which according to Small is to see “a change in solving social justice problems in the community.”

While Small doesn’t consider her organization to be political in the direct sense, she does think that the Social Justice Fund has an overall political and social impact. “We stand up for areas that we think are not right, especially related to such things as access to education,” she said.

Small believes that if anyone has an interest in social justice, the Social Justice Fund provides many ways to get involved in community activism. “It’s a good opportunity for people who are interested and want to be involved in making positive changes in the community,” she explained.

It is one of the largest donor-led funders for social justice programs as well as one of the largest social justice educators in the county.

The cost of the fundraiser is $75 per person. Sponsorships are also available starting at $250. Reservations can be made through their website at http://www.socialjusticefundvc.org.

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 or for advance table and ticket sales, contact Cristina Gonzalez at (805) 983-4849 or email her at cristina@socialjusticefundvc.org.

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