Speakers

Abbie Lawrence-Jacobson

Program Director at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan

Abigail Lawrence-Jacobson, Ph.D., LMSW, is an ethnographer, qualitative researcher, and photographer whose work supports nonprofits and foundations. In addition to conducting needs assessments and program evaluation research, she facilitates Photovoice projects that give voice to marginalized or at-risk populations. Two of her recent Photovoice exhibits ...
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Abbie Lawrence-Jacobson

Dr. at (self-employed)

Abigail Lawrence-Jacobson, Ph.D., LMSW, is an ethnographer, qualitative researcher, and photographer whose work supports nonprofits and foundations. In addition to conducting needs assessments and program evaluation research, she facilitates Photovoice projects that give voice to marginalized or at-risk populations. Two of her recent Photovoice exhibits ...
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Adrienne Maree Brown

Principal at Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute

adrienne maree brown is author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds and the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements. She is a writer, social justice facilitator, pleasure activist, healer and doula living in Detroit.

Agaiotupu Honnen, she/her

Board Co-Chair at UTOPIA

Isyss Agaiotupu Honnen is a Pacific Islander queer trans femme from Samoa. She is a fa’afafineist, descendant of celestial navigators, cat mama, and lover of all things Pasifika. Isyss is the Community Engagement Coordinator for TRANSform Washington and the Finance Associate for Pride Foundation. Isyss ...
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Arianne Shaffer

Director/Communications Director at Indie Philanthropy Initiative/Kindle Project

Arianne Shaffer is the Director of the Indie Philanthropy Initiative, facilitator of the EDGE Funders Alliance Global Engagement Lab and the Communications Director at Kindle Project. She is passionate about supporting a radical shift to the status quo of philanthropy with creative grantmaking practice, community, ...
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Biz Ghormley

Director of Operations and Member Services at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)


Bridget Clark Whitney

Executive Director at Kids' Food Basket

Bridget Clark Whitney is the Founding Executive Director of Kids’ Food Basket (KFB), a childhood hunger relief organization providing daily evening meals, or “Sack Suppers” to food-insecure children in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Holland. During Bridget’s 16-year tenure, from college intern to Executive Director, KFB ...
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Bré Anne Campbell

Trans Sistas of Color Project -- Detroit at Executive Director

Bré Anne Campbell is the Executive Director of the Trans Sistas of Color Project – Detroit. She is a board member of PWN USA, a National Advisory Board member of Positively Trans and a member of the 2016 Brown Boi LGBT Executive Director Training. She ...
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Charmel Gaulden

Vice President of Public Safety Grants at Baptist Community Ministries

Charmel Gaulden is the Vice President of Public Safety Grants at Baptist Community Ministries. Ms. Gaulden develops strategic grantmaking initiatives and supports grantees working to build a safer and more just region. Ms. Gaulden has managed over $3.6 million in strategic grants and contracts. She ...
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Deanna Norcross

Senior Associate at Mosaic Strategies

Deanna-Marie Norcross is a senior associate at Mosaic Strategies. She specializes in creating effective messaging and implementing digital strategies for local and national organizations. In her past role as program coordinator at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University, she oversaw ...
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Donna Murray Brown

President & CEO at Michigan Nonprofit Association

Donna Murray-Brown is the President and CEO for Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). She leads the strategic direction and overall operations of MNA’s affiliates and programs. MNA is a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector by offering services, resources and systems nonprofits ...
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Edgar Villanueva

Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at Schott Foundation for Public Education

Edgar Villanueva is the Vice President of Programs and Advocacy of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. Edgar has significant philanthropy experience, beginning his grantmaking career in 2005 as a Senior Program Officer at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, a $600 million health equity-focused ...
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Eric Marshall

Executive Director at Funders Committee on Civic Participation

Eric Marshall is the Executive Director of the Funders Committee on Civic Participation (FCCP) and possess years of leadership within the civic engagement, election reform and voting rights fields. He directed election administration and voting rights efforts at State Voices where he regularly worked on ...
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Erika Totten

Founder at Unchained Visioning

Erika Totten (she/they) is a dynamic facilitator, trainer, activist, healer, spiritual life coach, and community builder from Washington, D.C. committed to the movement for Black liberation and the evolution of our collective consciousness. She is the founder and director of Unchained Visioning, a core member ...
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Francesca Larson

Partner at Mosaic Strategies

Francesca Dulce Larson is a partner at Mosaic, a digital advocacy firm, and [IN]Mosaic, a coworking community for progressive organizations. With a background steeped in grassroots organizing, Francesca specializes in working with organizations and foundations to build technology that empowers movements. Her work has had ...
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Heather Lord

Senior Fellow at Stanford University Center on Philanthropy & Civil Society

Heather has 20+ years of experience in the philanthropic, social enterprise and corporate sectors. She was a program strategist at a Rockefeller Foundation new media startup, did a tech startup in the 90’s dot.com boom, launched the Whitney family's center for diplomacy and social justice, ...
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Ingrid LaFleur

Director of Social Impact at Detroit Blockchain Center

Ingrid LaFleur is an artist, activist, and Afrofuturist. Her mission is to ensure equal distribution of the future, exploring the frontiers of social justice through new technologies, economies and modes of government. As a recent Detroit Mayoral candidate and founder and director of AFROTOPIA, LaFleur ...
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Isaiah Oliver

President & CEO at Community Foundation of Greater Flint


Jade Vogelsang

Community Organizer, Sex Worker Advocate & Artist at House of Eclipse

Jade Dynasty is a Seattle-based sex worker; survivor, and thriver. She works as a dancer and multi-disciplinary performing artist nationally. She organizes and advocates for trans womxn of color and provides an often unheard and unrecognized perspective of growing up experiencing sex trafficking as well ...
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Janean Couch

Program Director at Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Janean Couch is a Program Director at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Janean has a key leadership role in proactive grantmaking and initiating new prototypes for activities in alignment with the Foundation’s North Star. Before joining GRCF Janean spent nine years at Grand Valley State ...
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Jennifer Lockwood Shabat

President and CEO at Washington Area Women's Foundation

Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat is the President and CEO of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to mobilizing the community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington, DC metropolitan region have the resources they need to thrive. Lockwood-Shabat joined The ...
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Jessica "Decky" Alexander

Professor of Applied Drama; Director of Office of Academic Service-Learning; Faculty Associate of Jewish Studies at Eastern Michigan University

Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander currently serves as EMU’s Director of the Office of Academic Service-Learning. Her creative and scholarly endeavors include: the use of the theatre for faculty development; community performance; community art and activism, and academic service-learning. In 1997, Alexander founded EMU’s CloseUP Theatre Troupe, ...
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Jessica "Decky" Alexander

Professor & Director of Academic Service-Learning and Faculty Associate Graduate School at Eastern Michigan University

Jessica ‘Decky’ Alexander currently serves as EMU’s Director of the Office of Academic Service-Learning. Her creative and scholarly endeavors include: the use of the theatre for faculty development; community performance; community art and activism, and academic service-learning. In 1997, Alexander founded EMU’s CloseUP Theatre Troupe, ...
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Jillian Rosen

Vice President of Community Investment at Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF)

As the Vice President for Community Investment, Jillian oversees AAACF’s grantmaking programs, community initiatives, and partnerships. After earning her BA in anthropology from the University of Maryland, Jillian worked in the nonprofit sector where she had the opportunity to work on issues that she is ...
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Jordan Sanchez

Strategic Partnerships at Philanthropy Unbound

Jordan leads business development and market strategy for Philanthropy Unbound. Jordan began his career in banking and finance holding roles in wealth management, corporate treasury, and finance at JPMorgan Chase. Following this, Jordan worked with the Clinton Foundation as the Senior Account Manager for the ...
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Katie Van Dusen

Community Investment Associate at Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation


Kevin Peterson

Program Coordinator at Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy


Kim Dempsey

Deputy Director, Social Investment Practice at The Kresge Foundation

Deputy Director, Social Investment Practice, Kresge Foundation Kim Dempsey is deputy director of the Social Investment Practice at The Kresge Foundation. In that role, Kim works with Kresge program teams and external borrowers, financial intermediaries, banks and policy makers to identify areas where lack of ...
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Kiti Phillips

Program Officer, Access to Medicines and Innovation Initiative at Open Society Foundations

Kiti Kajana Phillips is a program officer for the Access to Medicines and Innovation Initiative of the Open Society Foundations Public Health Program. Prior to joining Open Society in 2014, Kiti served as director of Global Health Strategies, where she advanced clients’ advocacy and communications ...
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Madelyn Schorr

Content Associate at Exponent Philanthropy


Manuela Arciniegas

Associate Program Officer at Andrus Family Fund

Manuela Arciniegas is the Associate Program Officer for the Andrus Family Fund, where she manages the capacity building initiative and a national community organizing portfolio. Manuela brings over 15 years of experience in social justice, community organizing, youth development, and cultural arts education. She is ...
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Marco Antonio Quiroga, He/Him/His

Director at Contigo Fund

Marco currently serves as the Director of the Contigo Fund, an initiative which emerged in response to the horrific Pulse nightclub massacre targeting LGBTQ people of color. Contigo is a grassroots, community-driven, and nationally leading philanthropic model that supports social, racial, economic, and gender justice ...
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Margaret Lowry

Special Projects Director at Arab American Institute

Margaret Lowry is the Special Projects Director for the Arab American Institute, where she develops and supports policy, programmatic, and communications initiatives, and leads the organization’s decennial census efforts. Currently, she serves as a member of the steering committee for the Census Information Center network, ...
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Matthew Downey

Director of Nonprofit Services at Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University

Matthew Downey has worked in the nonprofit sector as a consultant, program manager and development officer for nearly 20 years. Presently, Matthew serves as the nonprofit services program director for the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University where he oversees the Johnson ...
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Megan Armentrout

Program Associate at Incarnate Word Foundation

Megan Armentrout is a Program Associate at the Incarnate Word Foundation in St. Louis, MO. Her areas of focus at the foundation include community-based grantmaking, food access and community development. Megan graduated from Saint Louis University with her Masters in Social Work (MSW) and devotes ...
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Meredith Freeman

Fisher Foundation


Mikaela Seligman

Achieve Mission

Mikaela is the Executive Director of AchieveMission. She has spent most of her career focused on achieving the full integration of equity-informed leadership and talent practices to enable nonprofits and philanthropy to get results, in partnership with community. Mikaela has served as a founding charter ...
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Monica Jones

Founder at The Outlaw Project

Monica Jones is a Black transgender advocate who also advocates for the rights of sex workers and low income women of color. She holds a degree in social work from Arizona State University. She has advocated at the United Nations in Geneva and New York, ...
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Nathalie Al Zyoud

Senior Mediator at Communities in Transition (CIT)

Nathalie is the founder of Communities in Transition (CIT) and currently works as CIT's Senior Mediator. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of conflict management, both domestically and internationally. Nathalie mediates inter-ethnic, inter-religious and agro-pastoral conflicts as well as workplace, commercial, ...
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Omari Rush

Executive Director at CultureSource

Omari Rush has a continually expanding role of service as an artistic administrator and community leader. He has served as vice chair of the governor-appointed State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, as a member of national advisory committees for the Kennedy Center ...
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Ragina Arrington

Strategic Partnerships at Philanthropy Unbound

Ragina leads the Community Development efforts for Philanthropy Unbound. She began her with City Year Philadelphia and curated yearly community and civic engagement events for 1,000+ people, implemented a series of service-learning programs for 250 students, and also managed multiple cohorts of AmeriCorps members. She ...
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Rajasvini Bhansali

Executive Director at Thousand Currents

Rajasvini Bhansali is the Executive Director of Thousand Currents and a passionate advocate for participatory grassroots-led social change and movement building. Through Thousand Currents, she has learned through direct relationship with movement leaders in Africa, Latin America, Asia and North America. In a wide-ranging 20 ...
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Renee Joslyn

Founder and Principal at Philanthropy Unbound

Renée Joslyn is the principal and founder of Philanthropy Unbound and the executive director of Soledad O’Brien’s PowHERful Foundation. In these roles, she leads the strategic vision and missions of these amazing organizations. Prior to these roles, Renée was director of girl’s and women's integration ...
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Rhonda Smythe, MPH, MS, RD

Program Officer at Missouri Foundation for Health

Rhonda Smythe is a Program Officer at Missouri Foundation for Health, working on childhood obesity prevention, access to healthcare, food insecurity, transportation, community development, and climate change issue areas. She participates in numerous statewide and local partnerships to improve the health of Missourians. A Registered ...
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Rhonda Smythe, MPH, MS, RD

Program Officer at Missouri Foundation for Health

Rhonda Smythe is a Program Officer at Missouri Foundation for Health, working on childhood obesity prevention, access to healthcare, food insecurity, transportation, community development, and climate change issue areas. She participates in numerous statewide and local partnerships to improve the health of Missourians. A Registered ...
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Richael Faithful

Folk Healer at Unchained Visioning

Richael Faithful (they/them) is a traditional healer, cultural worker, and healing justice practitioner with fifteen years of movement organizing and facilitation experience. Richael has studied, trained, and integrated restorative processes for over seven years, first as a community lawyer supporting anti-mass incarceration organizing, and more ...
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Ryan Canney

Program Officer, Children's Economic Security at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Ryan joined Wellspring Philanthropic Fund in 2016 after fifteen years of organizing and campaigning. Prior to WPF, Ryan ran a program to shift cultural norms and increase support for abortion access for UltraViolet. Ryan has run and led national field and digital campaigns on health ...
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Rye Young

Board Member at Funders Concerned About AIDS

Rye Young is the Executive Director of Third Wave Fund which supports and strengthens youth-led gender justice activism focusing on efforts that advance the political power, well-being, and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities. He has been with Third Wave since he was ...
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Samantha Sandoval

Manager of Programs and Grants at Latino Community Foundation

Samantha is a passionate and dedicated equity champion committed to liberating and channeling capital into under-resourced communities. In her current position as Manager of Programs and Grants, Samantha supports LCF’s fundraising, grantmaking, and programmatic initiatives. She is dedicated to social justice and advancing equitable strategies ...
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Stephania Ramirez

Director of Strategic Initiatives at California Community Foundation

Stephania Ramirez supports the president and CEO on special projects, including overseeing regional efforts in preparation for the 2020 Census. She previously led the foundation’s centennial campaign, celebrating the impact made by the California Community Foundation, its donors and grantees over the past hundred years. ...
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Storme Gray

Director of Programs at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy


Tamir Novotny

Executive Director at Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy


Tory Martin

Director of Communications and Engagement at Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Tory Martin is the director of communications and engagement at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. In this dual role, Martin partners with her colleagues on the senior leadership team to identify, implement, support, and promote the Johnson Center’s ...
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Travis Totten

Facilitator at Unchained Visioning

Travis Totten (he/him) is a lifelong energy healer using the practices of Qi Gong, and the ancient wisdom of herbs and plant medicines for healing spiritual and emotional imbalances. Embodying an herbal healing lineage expanding over 8 generations, Travis's teachings, are rooted in the plant ...
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Trista Harris

President & CEO at Minnesota Council of Foundations

Trista Harris is a passionate advocate for new leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Trista’s work has been covered by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, CNN, the New York Times, and numerous social sector blogs. She is also the co-author of the book How to ...
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Tyler Nickerson

Co-Founder & Partner at City Built Brewing Company

Tyler Nickerson is an independent consultant serving philanthropic, nonprofit, and public sector clients with nearly a decade in national and local leadership on the forefront of social change. Starting as a community organizer and policy advocate in Michigan, he has gone on to build an ...
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Vernetta L. Walker

Senior Governance Consultant at BoardSource

Vernetta Walker is president and CEO of Walker & Associates Consulting, and senior advisor on diversity, inclusion, and equity (DI&E) at BoardSource. With over two decades of experience as a nonprofit leader and consultant, Vernetta is passionate about helping organizations maximize their impact through exceptional ...
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