Liza Finkelstein

Liza Finkelstein

Liza Finkelstein is first and foremost the mother of two, Olivier (15) and Tia (17). Her formative professional years were spent teaching ESL, English and Literacy intervention in Hunter’s Point and the Mission district for SFUSD. She has continued to work toward high quality, equitable education for all by serving, for almost a decade, on the advisory board of New Leaders, a national non-profit that recruits and trains catalytic leaders for transformative change in underserved urban public schools. Liza is deeply committed to education as the fundamental civil right’s issue of our time and has just co-launched FULCRUM (www.fulcrum-oakland.org), an Oakland based education non-profit, focused on disrupting and repairing the ROOT of education inequity for Oakland’s (and all) students by pushing K-12 systems to adopt evidence-based foundational literacy practices for all.
Liza has also been working full-time (needs a clone!) on protecting and expanding our democracy in deep collaboration with Focus 2020 co-creators (Soon to become Focus-Democracy). Together they raised $19 million dollars and 10,000 people from the exponential grassroots movement that started with a coffee in downtown Berkeley on September 11, 2019.
Since 2005, when she experienced a “financial event” that challenged her to question her identity as an educator, Liza has struggled to bring together her values, work, historic financial illiteracy and the knowledge that she could use her socio-financial privileged position to expand the leverage she could have in the change that is so critical and urgent.
She is honored and humbled to join ICI in an effort to bring her focus, financial power, proximity, skills and knowledge into closer alignment with the work she so urgently wants to do for a just society.