Why We Can't Wait

Thursday, May 6th, 2021, 6:30 pm PT | Virtual Reception begins at 6:00 PM PT

This year’s virtual event is hosted by Grammy-nominated recording artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist John Forté. Joining him on the mainstage is President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.Chip Bergh, in conversation with CEO of FORTUNEAlan Murray. Musical performances include Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, Michael Franti, John Forté, and Andy Grammer. This is one event you won’t want to miss!

Join buildOn students, Bay Area corporate leaders, community activists, and artists as we explore the question, “How can we urgently work towards a more just and inclusive world?” All proceeds power our service-learning programming in Oakland, empowering students to take on the most pressing issues in their communities through direct action.


More and more, I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King wrote these words in 1964, and they still resonate today. The pandemic and racial justice movement of 2020 laid bare the inequality in every corner of society, from education to healthcare to public safety. But as we move into an era of restoration, we have a chance to use this time to rebuild a more just and inclusive world.

Hosted by John Forté

John Forté, first recognized for his work with the multi-platinum hip-hop group ‘The Fugees’, is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist. John will be emceeing our event and providing a musical performance that you won’t want to miss. (Photo credit: Lara Forté)

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Featuring Music and Conversation from Special Guests:

Bob Weir and Wolf Bros.

Bob Weir is one of the founding members of the legendary Grateful Dead. Since establishing the band in the Bay Area in 1965, Bob has become one of rock’s finest and most distinctive rhythm guitarists. In addition to a stellar musical career that earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Association, Bob has teamed up with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a Goodwill Ambassador for the agency’s work to end poverty while fighting climate change. Bob will share a performance with his project Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, featuring Don Was, Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti, and Greg Leisz.

Michael Franti

Michael Franti is a globally recognized musician, humanitarian, activist, and award-winning filmmaker revered for his high-energy live shows, inspiring music, devotion to health and wellness, worldwide philanthropic efforts and the power of optimism. Throughout his multidecade career, Franti has earned three Billboard No. 1’s with triumphantly hopeful hits “Sound of Sunshine,” “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “I Got You,” as well as five Top 30 Hot AC singles, nine Top 25 AAA Singles and three Billboard Top 5 Rock Albums. Franti will return to buildOn’s Bay Area event this year with a song which will no doubt having you dancing in your living room.

Chip Bergh of Levi Strauss & Co.

Chip Bergh is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Levi Strauss & Co., one of the world’s largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear. Throughout his career, Bergh has and has run large global businesses and brands in the United States, Asia and Europe. In April 2019, Chip was named one of the World’s Greatest Leaders by FORTUNE Magazine, coming in at No. 16, and has been widely recognized for his position on values-driven leadership. Chip Bergh will be joined in conversation with Alan Murray, CEO of FORTUNE

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Support Youth Serving Our Community

Through buildOn’s Service Learning Programs, students in some of Oakland’s most under-resourced high schools are empowered to take on the most pressing issues in their communities through direct action. By helping seniors, the unhoused, and younger children, buildOn Oakland students are learning to lead by first learning to serve. These same students have also worked side-by-side with community members to construct schools in some of the poorest countries on the planet. Historically, buildOn engages 550 students every month across Oakland, who to date have contributed more than 337,000 hours of service to our Bay Area community.  What’s more, 98% of students who participate in buildOn programming graduate high school.

Join us as we celebrate our buildOn Oakland students:

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Have a question about the event?

Please contact Kristen Milliron at kristen.milliron@buildon.org for additional information about attending or sponsoring this event.