Levi Strauss Foundation Pledges $1 Million To Protect Marginalized Communities

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 17, 2017

The Levi Strauss Foundation has long supported remarkable modern-day pioneers in the community. These are folks who powerfully embody our company’s values – originality, empathy, integrity and courage – and are on the front lines of driving social change in communities around the globe.

In today’s dynamic policy landscape, the foundation recognizes that it’s more important than ever to step up efforts to impact the most marginalized and underserved in communities touched by Levi Strauss & Co. That’s why it is making a commitment to give $1 million in grants specifically toward supporting organizations that protect the civil liberties of highly vulnerable communities across the United States and abroad, including immigrants, refugees, the transgender community and religious minorities.

“Now more than ever, we need the business community to be a positive force for social change in this country and the world,” said Daniel Lee, executive director, Levi Strauss Foundation. “Discrimination and stigma are anathema to our core values. This belief comes from our founder Levi Strauss—who was an immigrant himself—and still rings true today. America is at its best when everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their fullest potential, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religious preference.”

In these unequal times, the foundation saw a need to redouble its commitment. Funding will go towards education, advocacy, legal support and mobilization to protect the rights of the people in the most vulnerable communities.

“We live in a moment that only comes along once every few generations, where we are called to do more for each other and for progress,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations, and one of the foundation’s grantees. “The Levi Strauss Foundation’s grant is an example of the type of act of leadership needed to preserve and protect what we hold dear in our democracy, and engage the millions of people who want to do something positive, toward progress.”

Recipients include the following organizations:


  • Define American: Mobilizes the power of media and culture to shift the conversation about immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America.
  • Live Free: Trains faith-based leaders and law enforcement to protect the rights of the most marginalized in 20 cities nationwide.
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance: Extends “know your rights” training and legal resources to vulnerable immigrant women.
  • Restaurant Opportunities Centers United: Conducts education and advocacy to protect the rights of immigrants in the restaurant industry.
  • Transgender Law Center: Provides pro bono legal services to meet the mounting needs of the transgender community and build a cadre of advocates to organize against waves of discriminatory legislation at local and state levels.
  • United We Dream: Provides legal support, rights education and safety strategies to immigrant students across the country.

San Francisco Bay Area

  • Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus: Provides legal defense and education for Muslims, South Asians and immigrant students in the Bay Area.
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco: Provides legal defense, rights education and hate crimes prevention among the Bay Area Muslim community.
  • Just Cause – Causa Justa: Conducts “know your rights” trainings and extend pro bono legal representation within low-income immigrant communities in the Bay Area.
  • Mobilize the Immigrant Vote: Organizes town halls and walk-in legal clinics in cities with large immigrant populations across California.
  • Pangea Legal Services: Provides legal aid through local partners to detained immigrant populations across the Bay Area.


  • International Refugee Relief Assistance Project: Protect the human rights of refugees globally through legal counsel and advocacy.
  • Marie Stopes International: Support women’s health clinics in apparel sourcing communities.