Activist Video Archive

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Marge Tabankin

Part One

Part Two

Marge Tabankin was born in Newark and attended the same High School as that famous and controversial chronicler of Jewish life, Philip Roth. When she was 15, she heard Tom Hayden speak about his community organizing in Newark and the presentation was like a honing device that set the course of her professional life.

A reporter and student activist at the University of Wisconsin, Marge joined SDS and later, as President of the National Student Association, was one of only 300 Americans invited by the North Vietnamese to visit North Vietnam. Her education also included training with Saul Alinsky, the founder of modern community organizing.

She headed the privately funded Youth Project, was Executive Director of Americorp's VISTA under the Carter Administration and had her first foray into big league philanthropy when she was Executive Director of the ARCA Foundation, managing and leveraging the philanthropic giving of Nancy Reynolds and her family.

Already a consultant to Barbra Streisand and her philanthropy, Marge came to Los Angeles and soon became the director of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee. She formed her own consulting company, Marge Tabankin and Associates, advising private family foundations, individuals and corporations with their strategic philanthropy and political giving.across the United States.

“Everything that is tearing us down today will become a memory, and this memory will be shared as an anecdote or a story or a poem or a play or a warning. It will be shared with another human being, who will then understand that he is not alone in his sadness. This is why we show up for others and tell our tales and listen to others. The great congregation meets daily, and you are someone’s angel today.”

-Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom

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