Reema Ahmad is a community organizer with experience in political, electoral, and issue-based campaigns. Reema was born and raised in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious family in Milwaukee. She credits her strong belief in civic responsibilities and community-built power with social activism growing up, as well as coming of (political) age post-9/11 in a tight-knit American Muslim community with a history of educational outreach. In her first job after college, working in government affairs, she saw firsthand the consequences of political dis-engagement on the ability of minority communities to see their concerns taken up by elected officials. Identifying a need, Reema collaborated with community leaders to found Project Mobilize, a 501(c)4 organization dedicated to increasing civic participation and representation from politically marginalized communities across Chicago. The effort increased political participation from American Muslim voters by 54 percent and saw 2 of its first-time candidates elected into local offices. Reema later joined Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, where she led the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment [PAVE] Coalition of 13 social service community-based organizations. She directed strategic community outreach for the Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia mayoral campaign in Chicago, mobilizing political support, money, and votes from across Middle Eastern, Asian, Arab, and Muslim American communities. More recently, Reema was campaign manager for a state representative race in Chicago and the second most diverse district in the country for a grassroots Asian American and Muslim American candidate. Reema is passionate about creating the authentic relationships and mutual investments between diverse communities that will be essential in the next 30 years as the U.S. becomes a minority-majority country. She firmly believes this job will be rooted in community organizing and driven by young people: paving the way for future generations to keep the baton moving forward.
Lela Ali is a proud immigrant from Egypt and a graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she received her Master’s in International Development Policy and Middle East Studies. Her research focuses on social network analyses of local Muslim, American-led networks in the south. Lela is the Co-founder of Muslim Women For, a grassroots organization led by Muslim women that started as a storytelling space and now works to center and advocate for Black, Brown, immigrant, and indigenous Muslim women through raising political consciousness, local organizing and collective healing, creating spaces for leadership development for Black and Brown women, and building coalitions across communities and movements in North Carolina. Lela is a vivacious community leader who brings rich experiences in community organizing and social justice advocacy, with expertise in voting rights, immigrant rights and justice, reproductive justice, and coalition building. In all of her work, Lela aspires to use research and data in social justice advocacy and direct action in order to create policy spaces that recognize the most marginalized of our communities.
Lisa Beem is an organizer, facilitator, and advisor with a passion for supporting people to take action and creating a just and equitable world. As a strategist and facilitator at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Lisa spent 4 years building partnerships across foundations, government, nonprofits and the private sector to increase equity in workforce development. Lisa honed in on the skills to develop relationships built on trust, shared values and respect. She supported staff to develop leadership skills and created a context of empowerment for her teams and working groups.
As a Bay Area chapter leader of Resource Generation, Lisa co-manages strategy and creates opportunities for more members to step into leadership roles. She manages the political education program and trains volunteers to lead anti-racism and anti-classism education groups. Lisa is in training with the Academy for Coaching Excellence to complete her Associate Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation. Lisa is thrilled to bring her passion for justice and skills in empowering others to Movement Voter Project.
SerahRose Bissell, owner of Aerialist Accounting, consults in Financial Management and Operations for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Brandeis University, a Certificate of Non-Profit Leadership from Boston University, and an MSA in Forensic Accounting from Bay Path University. The intersection of her original career in the performing arts and her subsequent fascination with financial systems and management gives her a unique consulting perspective. SerahRose also co-owns Sattva Center for Archery Training with her husband and is a Level III USA Archery Coach. She lives in Greenfield, MA with her husband and two children.
Eric has been an organizer for the past 22 years, starting on campus at the University of Wisconsin. Co-founded United Students Against Sweatshops in late 90s and organized students nationwide around international and domestic labor issues for several years. Organizer with SEIU since 2001. Led property services organizing in Florida for 10 years including a two-month strike of University of Miami janitors and groundskeepers in 2006 to form a union and a successful organizing drive of UM’s food service workers in 2013. Director of SEIU Florida State Council starting in 2014, working to build a statewide community union and political strategy with SEIU members and community allies. Now focused on working with labor, community, and political organizations to build progressive infrastructure across Florida toward a long-term vision of economic and governing power.
As a National Organizer at Resource Generation for four years, Iris developed the skills to mentor, fundraise and organize young people with wealth who care deeply about social justice. She then started her own business to make more impactful one-on-one change for philanthropic leaders and individual donors. Iris is a certified coach (CPCC) in the Co-Active model.
Iris is excited to join the MVP team to help donors boldly fund the grassroots organizing that will help win 2020 election, and to support donors to take on political giving for the long-haul. We got this!!
Regina has been serving in leadership roles at social justice non-profits, electoral campaigns, and film impact companies for over 15 years. She has led political, policy, film impact, and organizing teams at organizations like Planned Parenthood, the L.A. LGBT Center, Freedom to Marry, Blue State Digital, Brave New Films, and Shella Films (UNREST, 2017). She has a speciality in persuasion messaging around divisive issues, deep canvassing, building and managing strong grassroots teams both online and offline to make concrete change, and designing and implementing issue and candidate campaigns that deal with economic, racial, health, and environmental justice. She is a Los Angeles native who has a B.A in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College and currently lives in Boise, ID.
Robbie Dunning is a poet, performer, artist and educator who works with MVP to support operational work, as well as develop and maintain graphics. Born and raised in rural Virginia, Robbie believes in the power of representation, storytelling, and creative community. They prize working with writers and performers of all ages to help hone their craft and clarify their stories. Robbie holds a Bachelor of the Arts in the Study of Women and Gender from Smith College. You can find their design work woven throughout the Movement 2016 Annual report and a variety of MVP logos and presentations. More information on their poetry and performances can be found here.
Elizabeth Fernandez is a writer, communicator, and longtime activist who has spent years supporting immigrant communities, LGBTQ rights, domestic violence survivors, the labor movement, civic engagement, and more. Born and raised in South Florida to immigrant parents, she developed a deep passion early on for creating change in her community that drove her to service. She’s worked with broad coalitions of nonprofits and community groups on voter education and GOTV campaigns, led online mobilization efforts that have garnered worldwide attention, and has helped register thousands of new voters while serving on the board of Engage Miami, a nonprofit dedicated to youth civic engagement. Through her volunteer work, she has supported a wide range of nonprofits, including Women in Distress, Code for Miami, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Her experience includes more than a decade of working in communications, publishing, and media, including previously serving as communications manager for Florida Immigrant Coalition and FLIC Votes, communications director of SEIU Florida, and managing editor of The New Tropic. She’s also been selected for fellowships with the New Leaders Council, the Center for Community Change Action, and the ReFrame Mentorship program. Currently, she and her wife live in Orlando, Florida.
Shakira Ferrell is a social entrepreneur and veteran strategist dedicated to expanding ecosystems of support and committed partnerships for impact-driven domestic and international organizations focused on veritable systems change. Her work centers on building responsive, agile fundraising infrastructure, and creating near and long-term strategic plans that help lead organizations from an early growth stage to maturity and sustainability.
Shakira serves as an advisory board member to Open Architecture Collaborative, a global network of local chapters inspiring ownership and civic engagement in traditionally marginalized communities and reimagining place-based solutions by facilitating participatory community design and delivering small build services in partnership with the local communities.
John executes the daily operational and financial needs of Movement Voter Project and its many programs. He holds a B.A. in Business from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where he also studied Social Thought & Political Economy. He has nearly 20 years of management experience in different industries. John is originally from Texas, but grew up in Cambridge where he first developed a love of coffee and a commitment to social and environmental justice. Outside of work John is an endurance athlete and lives with his family in Northampton, MA.
Dr. Franklin is the President of Ktisis Capital through which he serves as a strategic advisor to a mix of progressive individual donors, families, foundations and philanthropic collaboratives including the Movement Voter Project, Peterffy Foundation, Conflict Transformation Fund, and the Progressive Political Power Fund. He also serves as the W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. As holder of the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy, he engages in research, teaching, service, and thought leadership to explore and advance the field, nationally and internationally. He serves as board chair of the Proteus Fund; co-founder and chair of the Solidaire Donor Network; and on the boards of the Threshold Foundation and Michigan Civic Education Fund. He is an advisory board member of Our LGBT Fund at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and is a member of the Smithsonian’s Philanthropy Working Group, Threshold’s High Impact Documentary Funding Circle, Democracy Alliance, West Michigan Progressive PAC, and WINGS: Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support. Prior to his appointment as the Kellogg Chair, he served as Executive Director of Bolder Giving, an organization that inspired people to give big & take more risks with their philanthropy and was credited by Melinda Gates as an inspiration for the billionaire Giving Pledge. He received his PhD in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he also held an appointment for ten years as an award-winning adjunct professor teaching about philanthropy and social change.
Michael Gast is a social justice donor organizer and fundraiser. Michael got his start with Resource Generation (RG) in 2002 when he attended his first Making Money Make Change Retreat. Since then, he has organized thousands of young people with wealth to use their resources and privilege in support of equity and justice, moving tens of millions of dollars towards social change causes nationally and internationally. He spent 6.5 years as a staff person with RG, first as Family Philanthropy Coordinator, organizing young people involved in their families’ funds, and then as Co-Director and Associate Director. Since leaving RG in 2014, Michael has been Interim Development Director at generative somatics (gs) and with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) as well as a development consultant with both Thousand Currents and Chinese Progressive Association. In these positions, he has led highly successful individual donor campaigns, helped build major donor programs from the ground up, and supported and trained leaders in making successful individual fundraising asks. Currently, Michael is working with Justice Funders to help East Bay Community Foundation develop a new model for progressive donor organizing inside a community foundation. Michael is a 5th generation San Franciscan, and lives in Oakland with his wife and three year old son.
Rachel is an organizer, activist, political nerd, and systems thinker who is passionate about shifting power and resources to the grassroots. Her professional experience spans a number of fields; most recently, she was Co-Executive Director at a sexual and domestic violence crisis center, and has worked in nonprofit management and operations, political campaign management, social science research, experiential education, and risk and crisis management. Rachel has also co-founded several local social and racial justice groups, and serves on the boards of Asylum Access, an international refugee rights organization, and the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. in history and gender studies from Macalester College and M.A.s in urban planning and international affairs from Tufts University and its Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Originally from central Illinois, she now lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts with her pit bull, Lionel Richie.
Reign is a Black feminist organizer, digital communicator, and content creator from Florida. Their passion for social justice was ignited in college following the murders of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. While holding space for these injustices, Reign also saw the need for increased visibility of Black womxn and marginalized genders in social movements.
While obtaining her B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Communications, Reign dedicated her research to interrogating the role of social and traditional media in shaping public narratives about violence against Black womxn. Through volunteer and paid work, Reign has combined theory and praxis to facilitate decolonization and diversity and inclusion processes for nonprofits to create support for marginalized groups. In her free time, Reign grounds herself by cooking, traveling, blogging, and spending time outside.
Riley Hewko (they/them) is a nonbinary, transqueer, Latinx, activist, organizer, prison abolitionist, and reproductive justice movement lawyer. Prior to joining Movement Voter Project, their work centered anti-oppression and creative community lawyering addressing issues of gender, sexuality, and harms caused by our child welfare and carceral systems. Their legal compliance experience began with their own social entrepreneurship as co-founder of the Incarcerated Parents Project at the Washington Defenders Association and law student-led Incarcerated Mothers Advocacy Project in Seattle, Washington, and as a founding board member of Surge Reproductive Justice. Serving as an Equal Justice Works fellow at Legal Voice, an If/When/How fellow at the National Women’s Health Network, a California Changelawyers fellow at the Transgender Law Center, and policy analyst at Justice Strategies, they have extensive national and local policy and legal experience. They are most proud of their campaign alongside currently incarcerated and returning parents to pass the 2013 Children of Incarcerated Parents Bill in Washington State, making sweeping changes to prevent parent/child separation caused by the child welfare system. They are a Gates Public Service Law Scholar and graduate of the University of Washington School of Law and board member of Beyond the Binary Legal.
Korina is a graduate from Arizona State University with a BS in Human Communications and a minor in Political Science. She often shares her personal story of navigating the education system as an undocumented/DACA student because her journey to finish college led her to the world of community activism and organizing. It was in the tight knit community of social justice organizing in Arizona that she found her calling as a community organizer and where she found her new chosen family. Korina served as Campaign Manager for the Instate for DACA and the Let Dreamers Drive efforts, two important advocacy campaigns in her state to help move the rights of immigrant youth forward.Her passion for education equity led her to co found Undocumented Students for Education Equity and to mentor undocumented college students on the power of organizing. In 2016 she was part of the historic BAZTA Arpaio movement which helped successful end the reign of the infamous sheriff. Her most recent endeavors have included working on state wide and city electoral campaigns as a Field Director and Advisor. She enjoys writing during her downtime and is published by several online publications and most recently in a collective of social justice resistance essays. “Doing work with a sense of purpose is important to me, and I am fortunate to have the privilege to pursue this type of work that fills my soul everyday” – Korina Iribe
Shelby is passionate about operationalizing strategies that build grassroots progressive power. Shelby comes from project management at Movement Strategy Center and has nearly a decade of experience building operational infrastructure and systems for emerging social justice organizations. Shelby values radical collaboration and operational integrity and actively explores how movement infrastructure can be nimble, responsive and people-centered. Shelby believes the centralization of indigenous people and wisdom is critical to environmental and social justice movement building and is continuously inspired through her work cultivating power with Native organizers. Shelby holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Dartmouth College and is Board Treasurer of Native Youth Leadership Alliance. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Shelby is originally from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and currently resides in Austin, Texas with her best friend Nebula, a beautiful mutt rescue from Taiwan.
Jillian is the current Mayor Pro Tempore of the City of Durham, a long-time community organizer and activist, and a mother of two. Jillian is a co-founder of Durham for All, an organization working to build a multi-racial, cross-class, political vehicle in Durham. She is also on the national board of Local Progress, a network of progressive local elected officials, and co-chair our state chapter. Jillian is also active in the labor movement and was one of nearly 1,000 people arrested in 2013 as part of North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement.
Jane is a writer, editor, and political organizer who lives in Brooklyn, New York. Originally from Chicago, she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has called NYC home for almost 20 years. In her writing career, Jane has produced content for major entities, agencies, and events such as Rockefeller Center, Red Bull, YouTube, the Guggenheim, Coachella, the Brooklyn Flea, and the City of New York; as a journalist she has been published by NPR, NY Post, Time Out, New York Magazine, and dozens more. Her concentration has always been on social justice issues, art and culture, and food and travel. Jane is also the organizer of BK Swappers, a Brooklyn-based larder swap and food-community gathering. The 2016 election galvanized her as a philanthropist and organizer, inspiring her to both be more generous in her own political giving and motivate others to do the same. Jane joined the team at Movement Voter Project in early 2019, and works with donors and volunteers in NYC and across the country.
Zakiya proudly hails from the tiny island of Bermuda. She identifies as a Black, lesbian, immigrant parent. Over her 19-year career, Zakiya has led teams of individuals and projects in the nonprofit sector; for private institutions; local governments; as well as for quasi-non-governmental organizations across Alabama, Chicago, Bermuda and New York City. Guided by her training, and experiences as a clinical therapist, her work in recent years has centered around the the mobilization of resources to advance LGBTQI rights, through the lens of race and gender, and has included the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Zakiya is a founding board member of OUTBermuda, and currently serves as their Deputy Director. She also serves on BYP100’s inaugural C3 board of directors. Zakiya and her wife live in Brooklyn, where they are raising their 6-year old son—who is Black boy joy, and magic.
Since 2006, Tony Mack has consulted to grassroots organizations, providing strategic support around what is now called integrated voter engagement — electoral organizing, policy advocacy and grassroots base-building. Since early 2017, he has also been advising progressive donors around 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) funding strategies. From May – November of 2016, Tony ran a coordinated campaign of New Hampshire’s c3 and c4 base-building organizations to increase turnout among the lowest turnout voters in the state’s urban communities. From 2012 to 2016, Tony served as Director of the Massachusetts’ State Voices affiliate, the MA Voter Table, a network of community-based c3’s doing civic engagement organizing in low-income communities and communities of color. From 1998-2005, Tony worked for Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, first as an organizer and then regional director, organizing residents of low-income communities and progressive coalitions around economic justice issues and elections. Previously, he spent five years working in international development, as a consultant and program officer collaborating with non-governmental organizations in Latin America. He has a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University.
Jamila Martin is a founding Co-Director of 482Forward, an education organizing network in Detroit. She was born and raised in Boston, MA, and graduated from Harvard with a BA in Government. After organizing in college with United Students Against Sweatshops, she became a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Jamila spent the next decade organizing parents, students, educators, and community members in Detroit to win strong and equitable public education. Jamila loves dogs, pizza, and home renovation shows.
Alex is an engineer and designer based in Madison, WI. He has built sites and web tools for progressive organizations across the country. Before Alex started focusing on pixels, code, and data, he worked as an organizer, researcher, writer, and cook. He holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from Brandeis University. When Alex isn’t in front of a computer screen, you might find him singing songs, baking treats for his friends and family, walking in the woods, or watering his 70 houseplants.
Tom is a long-time progressive whose work has focused on the not-for-profit sector for more than 30 years. He works with executives, boards, and other leaders to plan more effectively and build strong management systems and habits. He also has experience in the technical aspects of management including information systems, financial management, and business process re-engineering.
Since September 2018, Tom has focused a majority of his time supporting MVP as a part-time consultant and full-time volunteer. He co-leads the Eastern MA MVP local team with Tony Mack. Tom and a team of MVP volunteers innovate around house parties and other efforts to help spread the word about MVP and organize networks in order to fund the local groups organizing across the country. He also helps develop tools and systems for use across MVP.
Tom received his Masters in Management from the Heller School at Brandeis University in 1989, and earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Environmental Education in 1984.
Yulissa (She/Her/Ella) is a fierce advocate for the environmental & climate justice social movements in the United States and Puerto Rico. Her experience is rooted in community organizing, movement building, and dismantling systems of oppression. Yulissa seeks to support social movements through accompaniment and looks to continue shifting traditional philanthropy’s ways to one that recognizes, centers, and trusts indigenous, afro-descendant, queer, and frontline experience and knowledge.
She is a first generation diaspora Boricua who grew up in Orlando, FL. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Behavioral Sciences and Art History and a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Central Florida. When not working she enjoys quiet walks among the trees, foraging and making herbal medicines, and dancing to all kinds of Caribbean music.
Mary Kate Mueller is passionate about building data systems and operations that accelerate organizational success and promote internal and external collaboration. Mary Kate received her B.A. in Global Studies with a minor in International Relations from LIU Global College, where she studied languages and decolonial frameworks and perspectives on global issues such as forced migration and interreligious conflict in twelve countries on five continents. Mary Kate comes with over seven years of experience in supporting local grassroots organizations across the globe with behind the scenes operational support. Creating art, playing violin, and drinking coffee are the fuel to her fire.
Originally from Ciudad Juarez, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Myrna Orozco immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 4. She has been organizing locally and nationally for over a decade and has joined MVP as Director of State Partnerships. Before joining MVP she worked as the Sanctuary Communications and Organizing Associate for Church World Service (CWS), where she helped coordinate the National Sanctuary Movement. In this capacity Myrna worked with coalitions across the country and provided training and technical assistance for those engaging in Sanctuary work. She also began a leadership development program for people directly impacted and continues to carry on some of that support in her current role at MVP. Myrna has also served in various capacities with immigrant rights organizations, serving as the Associate Director for the United We Dream Network (UWD) and as board president for the Immigrant Justice Advocacy Movement (IJAM). IJAM is the only immigrant-led, interfaith, community organization that is solely focused on immigration issues in the Kansas City metro area. She is a recipient of various awards including the prestigious Ohtli Award presented by the Mexican Embassy as well as the First Annual John Backer Award from Church World Service for outstanding advocacy for immigrants’ and refugees’ rights. Myrna currently resides in Houston, TX.
Carolina is originally from Coahuila, Mexico and at the age of 4 migrated with her family to Southeast Texas. She began organizing in her rural town to create solidarity between marginalized communities and has organized nationally and locally for 10 years. Before joining MVP, she served as the Education Equity Manager for the United We Dream Network (UWDN) where she led national and local campaigns to increase access to higher education for undocumented immigrant youth. Prior to that, she served as the Own the Dream Coordinator and led national DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs in Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, and Arizona. In 2013, she co-founded the Houston site and chapter United We Dream Houston to serve, empower and organize families beyond DACA. Due to immense curiosity and commitment to her community, she has worn many hats in the movement including trainer and data manager. She graduated from Lamar University with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish and lives in Houston, Texas.
Kati Sipp is the Principal of New Working Majority, a consulting firm. She is also the editor of the blog Hack the Union, which focuses on the intersections of work, organizing and technology. Prior to her work with NWM, she served as the Managing Director for the National Guestworkers Alliance. She founded the Pennsylvania affiliate of the Working Families Party, and spent nine years working for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, serving as the statewide Political Director and Executive Vice President of the local.
Kati began working with SEIU in California in 1997, where she was an internal organizer, working with classified school employees. She left California in 1999 to move back to the East Coast, and worked for the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, where she organized mothers who were affected by changes in the state’s welfare policy. After leaving PUP, she spent time as the director of the Jobs with Justice affiliate in Philadelphia, before going back to SEIU.
Kati is the proud mother of Alina and Isaac. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.
Eugenio Smith, a Wisconsin-born social justice advocate, brings over 14 years of community and political organizing, social justice education, training and facilitation, leadership development and organizational coaching experience to their consulting work. Eugenio, who uses they/them pronouns, currently supports leaders and social justice organizations to create engaging educational and political campaigns that forge results by lifting up intersectional frameworks with high-impact skills building. Eugenio served the reproductive justice movement as Capacity Building Manager for Western States Center where they worked with organizations to be more inclusive for all and to become reproductive, LGBTQ, immigrant and racial justice champions. Prior to Western States, Eugenio was Program Director at Equality Utah, where they worked to advance LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy. Before moving west, Eugenio worked for Equality Maryland, focusing on coalition building, leadership management, community education, and organizing for transgender inclusive nondiscrimination policy, the DREAM Act, and marriage equality in the legislature and at the ballot box.
Naomi Sobel has ten years of experience in the donor organizing and social change sectors. A writer, organizer, fundraising coach, and queer Jewish femme, she grew up in New York and now lives in Boston. Most recently, Naomi spent five years on staff at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, raising funds from individual donors to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. Naomi serves on the board of a family foundation, the Tikkun Olam Foundation, and on the steering committee of Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue; she also spent two years on the planning committee for Making Money Make Change, an annual gathering where approximately 100 young people explore issues related to wealth, privilege, philanthropy, and participation in grassroots movements for justice and equality. Naomi holds an AB in Gender Studies and Jewish Studies from the University of Chicago and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University.
Lisa is a lifelong activist who started out at age 16 as a rural youth organizer for Young Democrats of Oregon. She is known for her outstanding contributions to the environmental movement in Russia, where her 30th birthday was celebrated on national TV.
As Principal of Philanthropy Vision – a consultancy for family foundations and individual donors – since 2002, Lisa is focused on the question of “gaps,” where a little bit of money, strategically applied (to a group you’ve probably never heard of!) can swing everything. Lisa has been giving workshops on political giving for progressive donors since 2016.
Lisa has also advised larger philanthropies such as Hewlett Foundation, John and Wauna Harman Foundation, Global Greengrants Fund, Changemakers, and Women’s Funding Network. She is part-time Executive Director at Callison Foundation, which funds educational equity and senior services in the Bay Area. A Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and a Certified Coach, Lisa holds a B.A. from Amherst College.
Lisa brings passion, irreverence, and an adventurous perspective to her work. A fan of the path rarely taken, each summer she designs and attempts a unique, solo off-trail backpacking route across the Sierra and back. She lives in Oakland, California.
Billy has more than 25 years of experience in journalism, philanthropy, organizing, and social entrepreneurship, and has advised hundreds of donors to strategically invest tens of millions of dollars in hundreds of organizations and initiatives in 48 states, often with crucial seed funding to start, to scale, to launch c4s and PACs, and to voterize their work. He prides himself on talent scouting, offering nurturing support and coaching, and facilitating a spirit of strategic collaboration. Over the years his work, in partnership with many others, has helped to swing hundreds of close local, state and Federal elections and to pass hundreds of progressive policies. Founding and building Movement Voter Project (and its c3 counterpart, Movement Voter Fund) has been the culmination of decades of work to support movements and progressive electoral and social change.
Before MVP, Billy co-founded several efforts, including Gamechanger Networks, League of Young Voters, Generational Alliance, Ready for Warren, Solidaire Network, Coffee Party, VOTE MOB, Student Power, and Rebuild the Dream. He has consulted with numerous organizations including the 2008 Obama Campaign, MoveOn.org, Rock the Vote, the Ohio Democratic Party, and Green For All. He is the author or editor of six books on social change and his writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, The Nation, and Vibe. He has been invited to speak widely, including at Stanford, Yale, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and MIT’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. His work has received numerous honors, including a Firecracker Book Award for “Best Political Book of the Year,” “Best Feature Story” from the National Association of Professional Journalists’ Chicago Headline Club, The Source Magazine’s “Power 30”, Utne Magazine’s “Utne Visionary”, Finalist for “Organizer of the Year” with the New Organizing Institute, and a “21st Century Innovator” award from Midwest Academy. Originally from Chicago, Billy lives in Western Massachusetts with his family and two children (who out-organize him on a daily basis).
The core of their work focuses on the lived and inherited experiences of women of color and queer + trans people. Over the years, Syd has worked extensively with young women, queer folks + emerging artists as a counselor and coach, as well as a philanthropic advisor and giving coach to families + young inheritors working to align their resources and power with social justice values. They are the author of several books and curriculum on philanthropy and healing justice, such as: The World Belongs to Us: Young Women, Leadership + Philanthropy (2003), Legacy + Innovation (values based giving in families) (2007), and Release: A Bulimia Story (2018). In the early 2000s, Syd served as a Senior Program Officer at the Women’s Foundation of California then later joined Changemakers as their Program Director. Syd also was on the board of Resource Generation for several years and was an early contributor to the racial justice and donor of color organizing work with RG.
In all areas of their work, Syd supports individuals and communities in balancing the energies of their bodies that are rooted in trauma, limiting beliefs and negative emotions that may be creating internal resistance to a sense of wholeness, spiritual well-being and liberation.