Second Annual Culver City Nonprofit Convening and Awarding of Nonprofit Transformation Prize

On the right, Dr. Ira Diamond, Founder and CEO of Shoes for the Homeless, receives the 2021 Nonprofit Transformation Prize from Culver City Mayor Alex Fisch at the Culver City Nonprofit Convening. The Convening was held via Zoom on February 25, 2021.

Local nonprofit leaders came together virtually on February 25, 2021, for the second Culver City Nonprofit Convening and the presentation of the second annual Nonprofit Transformation Prize to Shoes For the Homeless. Representatives of more than 230 nonprofit organizations based in Culver City were invited to convene via Zoom for panel discussions on topics such as the future of philanthropy and anti-racism work in the nonprofit sector.

Speakers included Founder and Executive Director of the Wende Museum, Justinian Jampol, the President and CEO of the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Wendy Garen, and CSU Northridge professor Allen Lipscomb. Thomas E. Backer, PhD., a member of the Wende Museum’s Board of Directors, moderated the convening.

The Nonprofit Transformation Prize is awarded every year to a Culver City nonprofit that serves vulnerable community members in a transformational way, such as starting an innovative new program or expanding the scope of their outreach. This year the Prize was presented by Culver City Mayor Alex Fisch to podiatrist Dr. Ira Diamond of Shoes for the Homeless. The prize includes a $5,000 grant, funded for the first four years by a gift from Dr. Thomas Backer, who called Dr. Diamond “a true leader in Culver City. Dr. Diamond founded Shoes for the Homeless, which has a very successful and creative model for getting both cash donations for new shoes and gently used shoes. They work with a number of nonprofits serving homeless people to distribute the shoes, including Upward Bound House and Culver Closet in Culver City. Shoes for the Homeless also works with homeless service agencies across the country.”

The 2021 Prize was selected by a blue-ribbon committee of Culver City community leaders including Joanna Brody, Jim Clarke, Rich Hibbs, Carmen Ibarra, Janet Levine, Thomas Wilson, and Debbi Winter.

Last year’s prize was awarded to the Achievable Foundation. The Convening was hosted by the Wende Museum in a virtual format in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to an in-person gathering once again in 2022.

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