Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life

GWCJL Speaker Series: Societal Divisiveness and The Threat to Our Democracy


September 18, 2022    
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Michael Johnston is currently President of the Lubetzky Foundation as well as Chief Philanthropy Officer for Daniel Lubetzky, founder of KIND SNACKS.  Both his current work on empathy building and his experience as an “end of life doula” inform his thinking. He examines why declining societal empathy is one of the greatest challenges facing philanthropy and our American democracy and its institutions today, when it’s hard or uncomfortable and also while retaining a sense of humor.

The goal is to create respectful communities in which we listen to one another, encourage hearty debate, question our biases and assumptions, assume positive intent wherever possible, reserve judgment and allow space for people to learn from their mistakes.

Michael has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, as President/CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and as CEO of the United Way of Western CT.  He also oversees the management of several distinctive initiatives, including “Starts With Us.”

Michael has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, an MBA from New York University and a BA from Drew University.  He is working on a book about philanthropy’s role in repairing our broken democratic system.

With gratitude to our generous Speaker Series sponsors Gloria and Marty Greenstein and the Rene Bloch Foundation.

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