Capitalizing Bien Vivir & The Good Life Pledge Economic Healing Through Return, Repair & Restoration

StartingUpGood Magazine
9 min readDec 4, 2020


By: Brady Press

This post is part of a series highlighting sessions from the SOCAP 2020 Virtual Global Impact Summit. Continue reading for information on impact investing and the future of capitalism.

Key Takeaways

  • Our current financial system is designed to be extractive and exploitative. It doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s the way it is operating right now
  • We need to give assets, wealth, land, control, ownership, etc. back to BIPOC communities. The origins of our country — African enslavement, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, native genocide, land theft, persecution of refugees and immigrants, etc. — are wrong and have created a deep need to rebuild wealth in the communities
  • It’s important to use the tools of finance to empower communities rather than assume that the people who currently hold resources know what’s best


To address the converging crisis facing humanity and the planet, and to undo the wealth inequality that has generated so much harm in our world, transformative and bold action must be taken to return productive assets to the communities most harmed by the current economy. This session presents a dialogue with two innovators who are advancing integrated capital strategies to collectively return, shift and mobilize over $3 billion in assets toward creating a restorative and regenerative economy through building community wealth and power.



Regan Pritzker, Co-Founder, Kataly Foundation

  • President and Co-Chair of the Investment Committee at the Libra Foundation; works with her family to move assets in alignment with real progressive radical values in philanthropy and political giving
  • A leader within the overall transition movement, taking leadership from communities to move progressive wealth holders and philanthropists to rethink their ethical framework for private investment

Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Beneficial State Bank (a certified B Corp)

  • A leader in service and restoring social justice and environmental well-being; active in numerous social enterprises and philanthropic endeavors
  • Founding Director of Tomcat Ranch Educational Foundation, which is working to build a sustainable food system with folks who haven’t had access to capital and resources

Session Notes

Taj James (TJ): What is it going to take for everybody to be able to access the good life?

Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Beneficial State Bank (a certified B Corps)

  • We need to give stuff back to the BIPOC community — assets, wealth, land, control, ownership, etc. I realized at an early age there was something seriously wrong in the origins of our country and later realized that was African enslavement, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, native genocide, land theft, persecution of refugees and immigrants, etc.
  • I will always be learning, but I have tried to experiment in various sources of capital, starting with banking and looking at how access to loan capital could rebuild wealth in the communities that have been hurt the worst
  • From a philanthropy standpoint, I shifted in the early 2000s to focus on good food, good money, good energy and establish organizations and companies at the heart of those important and overlapping sectors to gain the insights of actual actors in those systems
  • From there grew Beneficial State Bank, Radical Impact Partners, Bright Path Capital Partners, Tomcat Ranch Educational Foundation and Ranch and numerous political organizations including Next Gen America, Need to Impeach and ultimately a presidential campaign
  • We learned a lot, but all of these organizations were white led because we started them and operated them for some time. This led me to think about: how do we shift not just loan and philanthropic capital but equity capital, venture, private equity? By simply giving it back — making equity grants, pledging donor advised fund assets in support of bond financings
  • How can we get capital back to communities from which it was stolen and give them back the control they deserve?

Regan Pritzker, Co-Founder, Kataly Foundation

  • I grew up in wealth privilege, but had a bit of a reckoning when my parents started the Libra Foundation in 2005 — our family asked each other, how do we represent our values in philanthropy?
  • I was reticent — didn’t want to be defined as a wealth holder or donor; didn’t see myself reflected in my concept of philanthropy
  • As a Foundation, we focused on human rights, and I was inspired by the grantees. Eventually I found my place and became interested in the responsibility that I had as a steward of this wealth, whether I liked it or not
  • I increasingly became exposed to the history of genocide and the invention of whiteness to justify racial capitalism and began thinking about how we are investing this money that is in an endowed foundation
  • The more I looked into investing for social justice or human rights, etc. the more impossible it seemed. Our current financial system is designed to be extractive and exploitative and it doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s the way it is operating right now
  • I’m continuously trying to step into the power that I have and use it responsibly to push the field of philanthropy forward and ultimately transform the systems of our economy because you can’t separate out environmental health and wellness from the wins you make in gender equity or incarceration without looking more holistically at the systems that we’re working inside of
  • I had already decided to give away $10 million in a way that was working in partnership with movement leadership and to move that capital not into an endowment but in a way that would really transfer into either community-governed projects or land ownership or regenerative projects that could help build wealth and power and cultural wellness
  • I found out in 2018 that I would be inheriting $445 million — so I am giving this money away through a foundation structure, but we think of it as a transitional container for that project and have been trying to experiment with different ways to move decision making to communities that are closer to the issues we’re trying to address
  • My role as a trustee and founder of this project is to be talking to this community of funders and investors about rethinking the ethical framework and the risk assessments that we do. If we want to live in a world of justice, peace and equity then we can’t play by the same rules
  • We’re always expecting other people to take on the risk and accumulate income generation and wins that will accrue back to us as the wealth holders and investors

TJ: Both of you do a great job of grounding your work in listening and taking direction from community partners. Who are some of the people and what are some of the places that have inspired you to help move forward? And why do you think doing this work through relationships is so critical?

Regan Pritzker, Co-Founder, Kataly Foundation

  • Building a relationship is an ongoing process. How do you work through problems? How do you work through conflict? How do you represent the needs and interests of others when there’s conflicts or confusion?
  • It’s a place of vulnerability and the need to build trust is ongoing, especially as a white person who grew up with wealth privilege
  • We need an interconnected solution that also looks at a regenerative, restorative, caring economy that’s based on relationships, trust and deep democracy
  • Looking at the Kataly website is a good place to start. The Restorative Economies Fund represents the work our of CEO Amakka Ogbo and highlights all the grants we’ve made

Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Beneficial State Bank (a certified B Corps)

  • I grew up in a pretty white, segregated bubble. Relationships and meeting people with different experiences has been critical to my work. Through relationships, I’ve become involved in the Regenesis Project, Historic Calyborn Temple, Allensworth California — the first black community in California started by Colonel Allensworth as a vision of a black community built on mutual self-aid and self-determination that was then attacked by white supremacists, Felicia Gaston in Marin City who has been running youth leadership development programs for almost 30 years , Catherine Flowers — we just received a McArthur genius award for her incredible activism around the right to clean water and sanitation systems in Lowndes County, AL, etc.
  • We’re working on a Black History Month Project for the West to make sure we reveal the stories of Allensworth, Marin City, Port Chicago, Vanport, Portland, etc.
  • All of these communities have come together to share best practice and to provide inspiration to change the way we’re making resource shifts
  • We are going to continue making grants, particularly those that allow communities to develop their capital absorption ability, but we intend to shift assets so that those communities can hold their land in communal ownership and develop their business base with their own equity and build thriving communities, not just surviving communities

TJ: Is there more you can say about how the SOCAP community thinks about investment?

Regan Pritzker, Co-Founder, Kataly Foundation

  • It’s important to use the tools of finance to empower communities rather than assume that the people who currently hold resources know what’s best; don’t confuse your fiduciary responsibility with an inability to move resources permanently into the hands of others
  • Especially if you’re in a philanthropic setting, it’s your duty to stay close to mission. The tides are shifting; the time is now. You have permission to give that money away. You do not need to have a perpetual endowment, you do not need to give away only 5%. You can think bigger and do more.
  • On the investment side, we need to start thinking of ourselves as allies for social revolution and not as gatekeepers — it’s a mindset shift. What is the role you have to play in breaking us out of the internalized cultures and expectations that maintain the status quo?

Kat Taylor, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Beneficial State Bank (a certified B Corps)

  • The challenge I want to put out there is the one I’m trying to achieve myself — Tom and I took the Giving Pledge, but it needs to be more than that. I’d like to, hopefully, given the assets under my control, shift a third of them to community ownership so that the communities that have been hurt and harmed and that know how to heal themselves have the power to do that.
  • I have made a commitment of $100K to the communities I spoke of plus one more (the Friendship House New Village based on self-healing in San Francisco). To use them as an example, I’m giving $100K to their pre-development and capital absorption strategies to get the project ready to take over a block in the mission building treatment centers, tribal spaces, support services, etc. in coalition with black and brown communities and then to follow on the pledging of $1M of donor advised fund assets to a non-profit bond financing so that we can leverage that money 4–5 times out of my amount of low-cost capital
  • I’m doing this with 5 communities total including Urban Tale through Cooperative Richmond and Clayborn Temple efforts
  • I would love for 4 more donors to join me in this strategy of a $100K grant for capital absorption purposes and a $1M pledge of a DAF asset over a ten-year period to back that kind of access to low-cost capital which all wealthy people already have. We’re just opening up the finance markets in a more egalitarian way
  • Capitalism is part of the problem and if we don’t change it, it’s going to kill us all. We need to take back financial instruments to be public purpose and nature and community benefitting
  • I would also like to be part of policy moves to make it more possible for us to reenact long-standing business models and new ones, so that we can get to new definitions of property rights, like land should be owned communally and kept in the hands of those who steward it or the big natural monopolies of the world (Netflix, YouTube, Google, etc.) should be owned by platform cooperatives where each of us who shop, share, query, create content, etc. earn a tiny micro equity share so that when everybody owns a little bit of everything and nobody owns too much of everything, we thrive
  • I intend to be very busy on the policy and innovation front as well, in ally ship with black and brown communities who stand to benefit from changing these massive systems
  • Amakka Agbo, leader of the Kataly Foundation, has charged us with two things: disaggregating capital from capitalism, and wealth is something not meant to be accumulated but meant to be shared

Want to know more?

For more SOCAP content, visit full session recordings on YouTube or see here for other Starting Up Good summaries of our favorite recordings.



StartingUpGood Magazine

Supporting fresh entrepreneurial approaches to do good in the world. Check out our magazine: