How do you identify yourself?
Queer, femme, Black, immigrant, woman.
Tell us about a past experience that inspires the work you do today
I once worked for a youth-led non-profit that built the leadership and power of LGBTQ youth of color, ages 13 to 24, many of whom were homeless or low-income. Each year, every class of youth organizers would raise dozens to thousands of dollars from their friends and communities, shattering the false myth that homeless queer youth aren’t powerful and resilient. That’s why I do the work I do today because I know that my communities – the ones are too often the most marginalized – are powerful and doing important work to address structural oppression, to build social movements across identities and location, and to create liberation in our lifetimes.
What change do you hope to see in philanthropy?
There’s a new generation in philanthropy who are more responsive and accountable to the needs of movements and communities led by black and brown people, queer and trans people, and low-income people. They are trying new models, giving multi-year flexible funding, funding to non-501(c)3’s, spending down, creating rapid response movement funds, impact investing, engaging individual donors of conscience, and engaging in community-led grantmaking. I envision this growing and becoming more of the norm. I envision a philanthropy that isn’t afraid anymore – that can step bravely into taking risks and funding community-led social justice efforts, advocacy efforts, and cutting edge culture-change work.