March 21, 2019

Welcoming Two New FJE Coordinating Committee Members

The Funders for a Just Economy welcomes Andre Oliver and Marissa Guananja to its Coordinating Committee, the leadership body of the program.

Andre OliverAndre Oliver was appointed senior program officer at the James Irvine Foundation in 2014. He played an instrumental role in developing –and now manages –the Foundation’s Fair Work initiative, which aims to expand the voice and influence of low-wage workers on the issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. Andre also led the Foundation’s Leadership Awards program from 2014 to 2018.

He brings more than two decades of experience in the public policy and advocacy arenas, holding senior positions within philanthropy, political consulting, and government. Prior to joining Irvine, Andre was a senior strategist for one of the nation’s leading political consulting firms, with a deep involvement in California’s ballot initiatives, statewide, and local elections. Previously, he was Director of Communications for the Rockefeller Foundation, and served in various roles within the Clinton Administration, including Special Assistant to the President in the Office of Public Liaison, and Director of Communications and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Peace Corps.

Marissa GuananjaMarissa Guananja is a program officer for Family Economic Security at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, Marissa is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities aimed at creating conditions in which children can develop, learn and grow.  She works closely with staff to ensure integration and coordination of efforts.

Prior to joining the foundation in 2015, Marissa served as the director of CONNECT (operated by The Neighborhood Developers) in Chelsea, Massachusetts. In this position, she managed staff and committees to carry out CONNECT’s mission of moving families in poverty to economic stability. Marissa has also held various positions with Neighborhood Developers, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and served as a board member with Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.

We are honored that they have joined FJE in this capacity alongside Alejandra Ibañez (Woods Fund Chicago, FJE Co-Chair), Marjona Jones (UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, FJE Co-Chair), Shona Chakravartty (Hill Snowdon Foundation), José García (Ford Foundation), Emma Oppenheim (Open Society Foundations), Anna Quinn (NoVo Foundation), Adriana Rocha (NFG), and Bob Shull (Public Welfare Foundation).

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February 28, 2020

NFG Newsletter - February 2020

February is Black History Month and, in this newsletter, NFG honors Black resistance. Given the persistence of structural racism and the legacies of segregation, NFG has mobilized philanthropy to support POC-led organizing for equitable development since our start 40 years ago. Through our member-led and local advisor-led programming, we are lifting up how Black communities are reclaiming land ownership and addressing the racial wealth gap through grassroots power building.

At the beginning of the month, NFG’s Amplify Fund staff and steering committee spent a day with local organizers, non-profit leaders, and organizations in Charleston and Edisto Island, South Carolina — one of Amplify’s eight sites. Both national and local grantmakers learned alongside some of Amplify’s grantees, including the Center for Heirs’ Property PreservationLow Country Alliance for Model CommunitiesCarolina Youth Action Project, and South Carolina Association for Community and Economic Development, which are bringing together Black, Latinx communities and youth in the region to fight for community power, land rights, and environmental justice in the face of corporate power, criminalization of communities of color due to gentrification, and land theft.

This week, NFG’s Democratizing Development Program (DDP) hosted a two-day Health, Housing, Race, Equity and Power Funders Convening in Oakland, California. Over 100 participants grappled with how anti-Blackness and xenophobia fuel the complex housing & health crisis and community trauma, and heard examples of concrete organizing wins led by Black women from Moms 4 Housing and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. Organizers from around the country urged grantmakers to significantly invest in long-term general operating support, community ownership models, POC leadership, and 501(c)4 funding for Black, Indigenous, and POC communities engaging in policy and systems change around housing affordability and justice. 

From Amplify’s funder collaborative to the DDP convening’s planning committee, funders organizing other funders has been a key part of our work. Funder members: how are you stepping up as an organizer and moving more resources for power building in Black, Indigenous, and POC communities? We invite you to connect with NFG staffprograms, and upcoming events — including our National Convening — and be part of our community where we bring funders together to learn, connect, and mobilize resources with an intersectional and place-based focus. 

Onwards,
The NFG team

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January 23, 2020

NFG Newsletter - January 2020

Animated fireworks with the text "40 Years Strong"

This year marks NFG's 40th anniversary. During our early years, NFG was one of the few spaces in philanthropy specifically focused on people of color-led, grassroots organizing, and power building as the key to effective social change strategies. Today, NFG continues to be many funders' political home at a time when moving resources to struggles for justice is critically important: communities of color are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis, growing wealth and income inequality, and climate change; white nationalist backlash is rising; and our democracy is profoundly threatened. NFG is a space to draw support, deepen relationships, and find co-conspirators as we propel philanthropy to shift power and money towards justice and equity.

In 2020, the NFG network is continuing to explore structural racism in health and housing, racial capitalism, migrant worker justice in rural areas, reimagining community safety and justice, and more. We will also return ‘home’ to NFG’s founding city — Washington, D.C. — for our 2020 National Convening.

As we celebrate 40 years, our dynamic community of grantmakers and grassroots leaders is what makes us strong. This newsletter spotlights The Libra Foundation, an NFG member that shares our commitment to organizing funders in moving more resources to frontline communities and movements.

Keep reading below for more opportunities to engage with NFG. Whether you are new to NFG or a long-time member, we look forward to collaborating with you to accelerate racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.
 
Onwards,
The NFG team

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