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Celebrating 20 Years of Breaking the Cycle of Poverty.


Recognizing 20 years of leadershiP

Kirsten E. Lodal

In January 2019, after serving as LIFT’s CEO for 20 years, Kirsten Lodal moved into a new role of Founder and Senior Advisor. LIFT began as an idea during her sophomore year of college in 1998 and has become one of the foremost anti-poverty organizations in the country. Under Kirsten’s leadership, LIFT has created positive outcomes for more than 100,000 families and established itself as a national model for more effective and human-centered social services.  Along the way, Kirsten has become a leading advocate for re-thinking and modernizing the design of America’s anti-poverty programs, spreading LIFT’s message from the White House and Capitol Hill to the NBC Nightly News, the PBS Newshour, CNN and The New York Times.

Kirsten has received numerous honors for her work on behalf of families, including the National Jefferson Award for Public Service, established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as our nation’s “Nobel Prize for community and public service” and the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award for young Americans committed to public service. She is an Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Pritzker Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, a Kresge Foundation NextGen Human Services Fellow, and a member of the New America/Bloomberg Shift Commission on the Future of Work. She serves on numerous boards, including the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a program working to restore childhood to children living in shelters and DC Greens, a non-profit focused on advancing food justice in our nation’s capital.

Kirsten is a graduate of Yale University and the Executive Management Program at the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Jeff Himmelman, a writer and musician, and their three young daughters, Billie, Joni and Celia.


Welcoming LIFT’s new ceo

Michelle Rhone-Collins

LIFT is proud to welcome our new CEO, Michelle Rhone-Collins. Michelle joined LIFT in 2012 as the Founding LIFT-Los Angeles Executive Director. Under her leadership, LIFT-LA has become the organization’s largest and most financially successful operation. Michelle also seeded many of the program innovations that are now core to LIFT’s nationwide program model, most notably the focus on an intergenerational approach to breaking the cycle of poverty that targets parents and children in the formative early childhood years. In 2017, Michelle was promoted to Chief Cities Officer, overseeing all of LIFT’s regional operations and serving on the national Executive Team. In this capacity, Michelle was instrumental in developing LIFT’s current strategic plan, which offers a bold vision to extend LIFT’s direct services to 25,000 more parents and children and to launch a systems change strategy to reach the nearly 6 million families with young children living in poverty in the US. In January 2019, Michelle was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Michelle’s career has been defined by standing up for equity and access for disenfranchised individuals and communities. Prior to joining LIFT, Michelle spent nearly 20 years leading youth and community development efforts in New York and Los Angeles. She began her career working with homeless and runaway teens as part of the University Settlement House in NYC’s Lower East Side. From there, she served in senior leadership roles at the Citizens Committee for New York City and the Beacon Community Center. She then moved to Los Angeles and led the New Vision Partners Youth Institute and, later, The Children’s Nature Institute.

Michelle is a sought after public speaker and thought leader. Recent features and appearances include Variety magazine, LA Magazine, NPR’s Marketplace and the 2018 United State of Women Summit. She is a Senior Fellow at both the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the USC Marshall School of Business. Michelle also serves as an Expert Advisor to the Gross Domestic Potential (GDP2) collaboration between UCLA, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the RAND Corporation.

Michelle received her BA in Psychology from Duke University and Masters of Education in Psychological Counseling from Teacher’s College/Columbia University with a focus on racism, racial identity and mental health. She lives in Los Angeles, CA, with her husband, Joseph Collins, the Executive Director of C5LA, and she is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Jeilani and Mikel, her ultimate source of motivation and inspiration.


Musical Performance by Three-Time Grammy Award Winner Ben Harper

Sounds by DJ Reborn

DJ Reborn is a trailblazing, international DJ, sound collage artist, hip hop theater musical director and arts educator. She has spent the last two decades utilizing her passion for music and her skills as a DJ within these worlds to make an impact. Reborn has a myriad of impressive accomplishments including her time as a DJ/creative writing mentor for teen girls at Urban Word NYC, DJ instructor and curriculum designer for Dubspot and as a mentor at The Lower Eastside Girl’s Club.

In the music world, she has opened shows for The Roots,John Legend,Bilal and Erykah Badu. In the art world she has spun for celebrated artists Kara Walker, Wangheci Mutu, Carrie Mae Weems and Sanford Biggers. She has deejayed on BET and for the live telecast of the NAACP Image Awards as well as the MSNBC telecast of the One Nation Rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. She has graced many stages including The Kennedy Center, The Apollo and The Sydney Opera House in Australia. In the theater world she has provided live soundscapes for activists Eve Ensler’s V-Day project and Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People and was the musical director and DJ for Will Power’s FLOW as well as the tour DJ for Russell Simmons Tony award winning Def Poetry Jam. DJ Reborn recently conceived,created and performed a theater piece about and featuring all women DJs.

Her ability to rock sets for diverse crowds and events ranging from clubs to galas to weddings allows her to continue to build a unique and dynamic resume that sets her apart from many in her field.

She is currently the opening DJ for Ms. Lauryn Hill’s world tour.

Honoring our upLIFTing Legacy Award Recipients


Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine


Ben and Jaclyn Harper

Honoring our upLIFTing Founders Recipients


Presenting Sponsor


Platinum Sponsors

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Gold SponsorS

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Susannah & Jon Budington

Gina & Brooke Coburn

Heather & Chris Cox

Susan & Larry Hirsch

Will Darman & Lizzie Holt

Ali & Brian Kreiter

Dele Oladapo

Ellen & Patrick Pinschmidt

Arlene Ford & Christopher Reynolds

Esther & Steve Rotella

Brian & stephanie spector



Marne Levine & Philip Deutch

Brendan & Claudine Hanley

Michael Gilligan & Anne Helgen

Jan & Elizabeth Lodal

Kunal & Anita Modi

Eileen murray

Nancy Jacobson & Mark Penn

David McCormick & Dina Powell

Cassie & Billy Rahm

John & Rachel Rodin

Sheila & Willy Walker

Molly Day & Will Yu


Located in Washington, DC, The Anthem is the city’s premiere entertainment venue and 2018’s number one club in the world, rated by Pollstar.