Who We Are

The DC Fund was initiated in 2010 by a number of volunteer community activists and donors to support projects in communities of color in the District of Columbia.  We’re currently staffed and run by volunteers. Our founding Board of Instigators was inaugurated in July 2011.

 

Current Board Members:
(affiliations listed for identification purposes only)

Brigette Rouson

Brigette brings over 25 years’ experience building nonprofit effectiveness toward a just society. Her practice advances systems change through facilitation/training, leadership development, action research and speaking. She serves the public interest sector (nonprofits and government) working independently and with RoadMap (www.roadmapconsulting.org), the premier network of social justice consultants – serving on its core team and racial justice action team. Using an intersectional lens to support power-sharing, she directed a $4 million collaborative at Ms. Foundation for Women, co-authored Embracing Cultural Competency and created the Cultural Competency Institute to promote equity.

She played a key role in forming Diverse City Fund, and Train the Movement (offering training/facilitation to strengthen racial justice activism). Brigette has taught at universities in Philadelphia and DC, worked as a journalist covering Capitol Hill, and done public policy advocacy as an attorney for a national association.

Brigette is a graduate of Howard University (B.A.), Georgetown University (J.D.), and University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. studies). She continually cultivates skill and enriches perspective through communities of practice such as Art of Transformational Consulting, Gestalt Center for Organization Systems Development, and Shannon Leadership Institute.

 


Photo of Caitlin DuffyCaitlin Duffy

Caitlin has over five years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including direct service, education, research, and advocacy. As senior associate for learning and engagement with the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), she coordinates webinars and conference presentations and serves as the organizational link to the movement for environmental and climate justice. A native of New Jersey, Caitlin’s introduction to organizing began with a youth-led anti-Big Tobacco initiative for which she was a statewide leader. She later grew strong relationships with local Central American communities, inspiring her college research and extracurricular leadership on immigration and the rights of migrants. Caitlin holds a M.A. in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs from American University’s School of International Service and a B.A. in Spanish from The College of New Jersey. In addition to her work with the Diverse City Fund, she is a lead coordinator for the DC TimeBank and a member of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy DC Steering Committee. She is passionate about the study of race and racism, a plant-based lifestyle, and recycling.

 

Cathy MealsCathy Meals

Cathy Meals is a DC area native who has been a donor to the Diverse City Fund and a member of its Board of Instigators since the Fund’s inception in 2011. She got her start in social justice organizing by working on the living wage campaign at Swarthmore College, from which she graduated in 2004. For nearly ten years, she was a researcher in the labor movement, supporting strategic organizing campaigns in the healthcare and retail industries. She works at the District of Columbia Public Library and is a Master of Library & Information Science candidate at the University of Maryland. At UMD, she is a Research & Teaching Fellow at McKeldin Library.

 

Elizabeth Falcon

Elizabeth Falcon is excited to join the board of the DC Fund after years of giving! She grew up on a dairy farm in Fauquier County, Virginia and is proud to make DC her home. Currently, Elizabeth is the Executive director of DC Jobs with Justice. Elizabeth has always had a passion for social justice, which found a home at American University, where she studied International Relations and Philosophy and learned how to facilitate a consensus meeting, design a flier, and plan a direct action. Elizabeth spent three years working and volunteering on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, sparking an interest in housing, the history and future of the deep South, and the race relations of volunteerism. Elizabeth participated in the Anne Braden Anti-Racist Organizer Training Program for white social justice activists run by the Catalyst Project in 2009, before returning to Washington, DC.

 

Kristina Gray-Akpa

Kristina Gray-Akpa has supported a wide range of social justice efforts in DC for many years. Currently, she is a Program Director at Grantmakers In Health, where she works to educate, advise, and connect funders addressing health equity. She got her start leading youth development and youth organizing campaigns with DC high school students.

 

Rebecca Lemos-OteroRebecca Lemos-Otero
Over a decade ago, Rebecca was asked if she would like to do a small gardening project with a group of kids in a local community center. From that point on, the DC native grew to see urban gardening as a way to combine her interests in art, community participation and everything green. In 2009, Rebecca incorporated City Blossoms with partner Lola Bloom. Since then, City Blossoms has become a leader in kid- and community-focused urban agriculture in the area, supporting over 40 green spaces, designing teaching tools and training for local and national organizations, and compiling a bilingual early childhood curriculum, Our First Harvest/Nuestra Primera Cosecha. Rebecca has a BA from Fordham University, an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, and was recently included in the 50 under 50 list of food heroes by Elevation DC.

 

Sheri BradySheri Brady

Sheri Brady is the Senior Associate for Strategic Partnerships at Aspen Forum for Community Solutions. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Sheri served as a Senior Policy Fellow at Voices for America’s Children. In that role, Sheri helped Voices members strengthen their advocacy support and expand state-level efforts to address the needs of at-risk children by delivering technical assistance and training to member organizations on various aspects of advocacy strategy, as well as developing capacity building and learning opportunities for members. In addition, she managed a policy portfolio on child welfare while providing internal consultation and management on a variety of policy issues.

She was previously the Director of Policy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she provided foundation-wide leadership and consultation on policy and advocacy grantmaking, working across programming units to develop policy funding priorities and make connections that supported the larger organizational mission. Her prior work also includes serving as Director of Policy at the National Council of Nonprofits and Program Director at the Center for Policy Alternatives. Sheri received and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wheaton College in Norton, MA and her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

 

Sylvia Robinson, Emergence Community Arts Collective (ECAC)

bio coming soon!

 

 

Instigators Emeritus:

Alicia Sanchez Gill, Andrew Willis Garcés, Burke Stansbury, David Krakow, Dominic Moulden, Ayize Sabater, Jessica Solomon, Jess Champagne, Jordana Fraider, and Julia Howell Barros

 

Please see our list of grantees to see members of our Grantmaking Teams for each grant round.