Leading progressive philanthropists and community organizers gathered on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of North Star Fund, New York’s foundation supporting grassroots activism for equality, economic justice and peace. The gala, held at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers, included 550 guests and raised $860,000 for North Star Fund grants and technical assistance programs. “We’ve shattered our fundraising record; our grantees are racking up victories all over the city. This is an amazing moment for us to foster fairness, opportunity and compassion in every corner of New York City,” said North Star Fund executive director Hugh Hogan.
Mayor de Blasio said, “For more than three decades, the North Star Fund has helped ensure that the grassroots organizations that serve and protect our communities have the resources they need to carry out their important work. I applaud the Fund for their ongoing commitment to working with organizations dedicated to giving every New Yorker a fair shot, from fighting to protect civil liberties to combating income inequality.”
Guests, who included Nation Magazine Publisher and Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel; Vince Warren, President, Center for Constitutional Rights; Matthew Waldman, President, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU; Mark Green, former Public Advocate, and Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service, agreed.
Cynthia Nixon said, “What North Star Fund does is crucial to the future of the city. That’s why I’m delighted to support them. They invest in the grassroots activists who safeguard basic rights, like high quality public education, for millions of New Yorkers and they have kept social justice issues high on the city’s agenda for a generation.”
Honorees included Peggy Saika, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy; Dr. Gail Furman, psychologist and a founder of the Democracy Alliance, and William Traylor, President of Richman Housing Resources LLC and a former housing official in the Bloomberg Administration. Communities United for Police Reform was honored for its campaign to end discriminatory policing practices and Brooklyn Food Coalition received an award for its commitment to Lunch 4 Learning which would feed an additional 110,000 New York City kids next year.