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“If you really want to know what makes change, it’s women seeing a need and stepping in to do it.”
Jing Lyman is an ageless innovator who has spent a lifetime stepping in to make change happen as a maverick community leader, activist and volunteer. Jing’s passion for building strong communities began in 1964, when she helped mobilize a mid-Peninsula effort to defeat Proposition 14, which would have made it legal for property owners to discriminate on the basis of race.
Jing then turned her activism to ensuring gender equity and economic security, serving as a founder or as a board member of an impressive list of philanthropic organizations: the Career Action Center, Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Women’s Business Enterprise and Women & Philanthropy. She served for seven years as a trustee of the Rosenberg Foundation and has served since 1983 on the board of Enterprise Community Partners.
Jing has had a staunch ally in her husband of nearly 65 years, Dick. Together they provided seed funding for the Women’s Foundation of California. “The Foundation saw early on that you needed to reach out to wonderful grassroots organizers at the local level. They were on the ground floor and have led by their growth, success and effective programmatic focus. It’s been absolutely brilliant.”
Through all of her work, Jing has broken new ground for others. “Jing has been my mentor and dear friend for 25 years,” states former President and CEO of Ms. Foundation Sara Gould. “Her creativity, curiosity and passion for living are a constant source of inspiration for me.”
Jing has also been a tireless champion of the need for funding of girls and women’s programs nationwide. “Back when I was first getting started on women’s business ownership, I read an article that said ‘Women go into business as a way of life and men go into business as a strategy.' Women’s philanthropy is like that, too—it’s much more than a job. It’s about contributing through women to their families and whole communities.”