Person

Jennifer Rainin

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Philanthropist and filmmaker

Jennifer Rainin is a left-of-center filmmaker and philanthropist from the San Francisco Bay area. She is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation that is named for her father. In addition to the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, she is the co-founder of the Curve Foundation, a foundation that focuses on lesbian issues. [1]

Rainin was also an opponent of the administration of President Donald Trump. She signed a letter denouncing his immigration policies in 2017. [2] In 2021, in the wake of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, she signed a letter that denounced political violence. The letter placed the blame for the riot and other political violence on Trump. [3]

Early Life

Jennifer Rainin is the daughter of Kenneth Rainin, who made the bulk of his fortune in the medical supply industry. She received her masters degree from St. Mary’s College in 1993. [4] She then received her doctorate from the University of Chicago, and went to work as a teacher and literacy specialist. [5] In addition to being a teacher, she was a working actress. [6]

In 1997, she married Chris Patterson, then a vice president in a brokerage firm in New Orleans. [7] They had two kids but later divorced. Rainin later came out of the closet as a lesbian. [8]

Also in 1997, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a disease that also affected her father. [9]

Kenneth Rainin Foundation

In 2008, after the passing of her father, Jennifer Rainin helped launch the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. She has worked as CEO of the foundation since then. [10]

When Kenneth Rainin died, he left the bulk of his estate to the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. However, the vast majority of the money was given in installments. In the foundation’s first year, it only gave away about $1 million, which was a small portion of his estate. [11] Reflecting her father’s life and interests, the mission of the foundation is to support medical research, especially related to inflammatory bowel disease, and the arts. [12]

Opposition To Donald Trump

In 2017, Jennifer Rainin signed a letter on behalf of the foundation that opposed an executive order issued by President Trump barring travel to the United States by nationals of certain countries. The letter also opposed increased deportations and stricter enforcement of immigration law. Finally, the letter also declared its opposition to policies that would “affect the rights” of women, African-Americans, the LGBT community, and others. [13]

Also in 2017, she published a blog post on the foundation’s website that accused President Trump of encouraging racism, hatred, intimidation, and violence. She then linked to a post from the controversial left-progressive Southern Poverty Law Center. [14]

In 2021, she signed a letter on behalf of the foundation that attacked then-President Trump and blamed him for fanning the flames of political violence in the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. The letter also blamed President Trump and other Republicans of promoting conspiracy theories and denying the legitimacy of President-elect Joe Biden’s election. [15]

Other Ventures

Rainin has contributed money to several left-of-center causes and candidates. She donated $2,300 to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and $2,700 for her 2016 presidential campaign. In 2019, she donated $1,000 to the left-of-center PAC Fair Fight, which was established by defeated 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D). [16]

In 2008, Rainin was one of the founders of Sweet, a “voluntourism” company geared towards lesbians. The company combines volunteer opportunities with fun and relaxation in the places they visit. [17]

Rainin is also a filmmaker. She is the producer of Stage Left (2011), which examined the history of San Francisco Bay theater; Two Spirits (2009), which examines gender identity among Native Americans; and Homeroom (2021), which examined the Oakland government school system. [18]

She is the director of Ahead Of The Curve (2020) which tells the story of her wife, Franco Stevens, and her founding of Curve, a lesbian-interest magazine. The movie inspired the two of them to create the Curve Foundation, which helps lesbians connect with each other and increase their visibility. [19]

References

  1. “Jennifer Rainin.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://krfoundation.org/about/who-we-are/staff/jennifer-rainin/#:~:text=Jen%20Rainin%20launched%20the%20Kenneth,outside%20of%20philanthropy%27s%20traditional%20circles. ^
  2. “Joint Foundation Statement On Immigration.” Zellerbach Family Foundation. February 2017. https://zff.org/2017/02/joint-foundation-statement-on-immigration/. ^
  3. “Jerome Signs On To Letter Condemning Political Violence.” Jerome Foundation. January 11, 2021. https://www.jeromefdn.org/jerome-signs-letter-condemning-political-violence. ^
  4. “Jennifer Rainin, Graduate Of The Reading Leadership Program ’93, CEO Of Rainin Foundation, Provides $3 Million Grant To Oakland USD.” Saint Mary’s College. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/jennifer-rainin-graduate-of-the-reading-leadership-program-93-ksoe-ceo-of-rainin-foundation-provides. ^
  5. “Jennifer Rainin.” Crunchbase. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jennifer-rainin. ^
  6. “Jennifer Rainin.” Crunchbase. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jennifer-rainin. ^
  7.  Steger, Pat. “THE SOCIAL SCENE—A Fairy-Tale Beginning / The Wedding Was In The ‘Castle.’” SFGate. November 12, 1997. https://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/THE-SOCIAL-SCENE-A-Fairy-Tale-Beginning-The-2796385.php. ^
  8. “Philanthropy And Family A Sweet Combination.” Mombian. September 30, 2008. https://mombian.com/2008/09/30/philanthropy-and-family-a-sweet-combination/. ^
  9. “Jennifer Rainin.” Crunchbase. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jennifer-rainin. ^
  10. “Jennifer Rainin.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://krfoundation.org/about/who-we-are/staff/jennifer-rainin/#:~:text=Jen%20Rainin%20launched%20the%20Kenneth,outside%20of%20philanthropy%27s%20traditional%20circles. ^
  11. Wolfe, Dawn. 2021. “Five(Ish) Questions For Jennifer Rainin, CEO Of Arts And Education Funder The Rainin Foundation — Inside Philanthropy.” October 28, 2021. Inside Philanthropy. https://web.archive.org/web/20211028184032/https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/10/28/5-ish-questions-for-jennifer-rainin-ceo-of-arts-and-early-ed-funder-the-rainin-foundation. ^
  12. Wolfe, Dawn. 2021. “Five(Ish) Questions For Jennifer Rainin, CEO Of Arts And Education Funder The Rainin Foundation — Inside Philanthropy.” October 28, 2021. Inside Philanthropy. https://web.archive.org/web/20211028184032/https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/10/28/5-ish-questions-for-jennifer-rainin-ceo-of-arts-and-early-ed-funder-the-rainin-foundation. ^
  13. “Joint Foundation Statement On Immigration.” February 2017.  Zellerbach Family Foundation. https://zff.org/2017/02/joint-foundation-statement-on-immigration/. ^
  14. Rainin, Jennifer. “We Must Not Be Silent.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation. August 25, 2017. https://krfoundation.org/we-must-not-be-silent/. ^
  15. “Jerome Signs On To Letter Condemning Political Violence.” Jerome Foundation. January 11, 2021. https://www.jeromefdn.org/jerome-signs-letter-condemning-political-violence. ^
  16. “Browse Individual Contributions.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Jennifer%20Rainin. ^
  17. “Philanthropy And Family A Sweet Combination.” Mombian. September 30, 2008. https://mombian.com/2008/09/30/philanthropy-and-family-a-sweet-combination/. ^
  18. “Jennifer Rainin.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://krfoundation.org/about/who-we-are/staff/jennifer-rainin/#:~:text=Jen%20Rainin%20launched%20the%20Kenneth,outside%20of%20philanthropy%27s%20traditional%20circles. ^
  19. “Jennifer Rainin.” Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Accessed January 31, 2022. https://krfoundation.org/about/who-we-are/staff/jennifer-rainin/#:~:text=Jen%20Rainin%20launched%20the%20Kenneth,outside%20of%20philanthropy%27s%20traditional%20circles. ^
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