Nakisha M. Lewis
Nakisha M. Lewis is the Director of Civil, Human and Women's Rights at the AFL-CIO. She is an experienced philanthropic and political impact strategist with deep roots in community organizing. She comes to the Labor Movement after more than twenty years organizing for racial justice, women’s rights and LGBTQ equality at the local and national levels. Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Nakisha spent ten years in philanthropy working with individual donors and foundations to develop grantmaking strategies that address inequities and strengthen marginalized communities. Most recently, she served as Program Officer and Senior Strategist for Safety at the Ms. Foundation for Women where she created a national portfolio for women and girls with a Black, queer, feminist lens. Her work on women’s rights also includes the co-founding of the #SheWoke Committee—the catalyst for the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls; established in 2016 and the co-convening of “Power Rising” – a national conference to build an agenda for Black women and girls.
Nakisha’s career and community engagement are driven by an unwavering passion for civil rights and justice. She is a longtime advocate and activist who has spent more than two decades supporting youth and grassroots organizing across movements. She has worked on a range of justice issues—from education and fair housing to welfare and workers rights. She is a writer, speaker and lifelong community organizer who has worked on national campaigns like “Why We Can’t Wait and “Black Lives Matter.” She helped to organize the “Black Life Matters Freedom Ride” to Ferguson, MO in September of 2014 and is co-creator of the Philanthropic Action for Racial Justice—an effort to organize philanthropic practitioners around a shared vision for racial justice and investment in Black communities that centers the needs and experiences of Black women, youth and LGBTQ people.
Nakisha has served on the boards of Resource Generation, Project Hip Hop, New York Blacks In Philanthropy and Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy. She is a transformational leadership coach and is committed to developing opportunities for increased diversity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector by advancing the next generation of social change leadership. She is published in several periodicals and nonprofit journals, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post and NBC News. She also makes regular media appearances on outlets like CNN, Mic. News, NPR. Huffington Post Live and Essence Live.
Nakisha lives and works in Washington, DC.
Janet Sandoval is the Director, Corporate Social Responsibility for Avery Dennison and the Avery Dennison Foundation. Ms. Sandoval manages the Foundation’s grant programs, including the Global Grantmaking Initiative and the Avery Dennison Granting Wishes program.
She also provides support for the Avery Dennison InvEnt “Spirit of Invention” Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships to university students in China and India.
Ms. Sandoval oversees employee volunteerism activities – a critical focus of the corporation’s employee engagement initiative – and acts as lead for large-scale employee volunteer projects, such as Employee Giving Campaigns and Employee Volunteer Days.
Prior to joining Avery Dennison Foundation, she was a communications associate at The California Wellness Foundation, where she provided support in the areas of marketing communications and media relations.
She is an active member of Business for Social Responsibility, Environmental Grantmakers Association and Southern California Grantmakers. She has served as co-chair for the LA chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. In addition to EPIP’s Board of Advisors, she currently serves on the Board for Exceptional Minds, and the YMCA of Glendale.
Ms. Sandoval earned her BS in business with an emphasis in communications from the University of Phoenix. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their two children.
Richard Brown is a Vice President of Philanthropy at American Express where he oversees the company’s global giving programs under the Historic Preservation and Leadership giving themes, which includes the Partners in Preservation program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the World Monument Fund’s Watch List, as well as the American Express Leadership Academy. Additionally, Mr. Brown was a key presenter of the first-ever White House Forum on Nonprofit Leadership and plays a lead role in the Initiative on Nonprofit Talent and Leadership.
Previously the Corporate Secretary of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, Mr. Brown has also held leadership positions in corporate philanthropy at AT&T Wireless, the Toys R Us Children’s Fund, the Texaco Foundation and Altria.
Mr. Brown currently serves on the STRIVE Board of Directors; is a member of the Council of Foundation’s Corporate Committee, is a former board member of the Philanthropy New York, and the past president and current treasurer of the Foundation of the Westchester Clubmen. Mr. Brown is also a trustee of the Lincoln Fund — a Foundation that supports a wide-range of community-based programs in New York City. A graduate of Syracuse University, Mr. Brown has an MS Degree in Organizational Change Management at The Milano Graduate School at New School University in New York.
Morgan Shannon is currently fighting for communities of color at the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Morgan’s passion for uplifting people of color particular LGBTQ of color has allowed her to trying to building connections amongst various stakeholders including youth, advocates, organizers, and philanthropy.
Prior to joining EA, Morgan served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she worked with the Mississippi and New Orleans and Boys and Men of Color portfolios. She also served as Program Associate at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she supported the Health and Climate Justice programs. Morgan is deeply committed to youth development and racial equity, having worked in both and as frontline staff for CommonHealth Action and Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association in South West section of Atlanta, GA.
Senior Network Officer, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Elena Conley currently serves as the Senior Network Officer for the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (MRBF), a regional southern foundation whose mission is Moving People and Places out of Poverty. At MRBF Elena manages relationships and grant portfolios in Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia for the Foundation. She trains and supports network officers, supervises program associates, and serves on the program and management teams.
Before coming to MRBF, Elena was an organizer with the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, which focuses on economic and social justice issues. There, she led several teams and campaigns, including Beloved's civic engagement and get-out-the-vote campaigns, as well as their leadership development program.
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Elena moved to North Carolina to attend Guilford College, where she majored in Sociology and Anthropology, and double minored in Psychology and Religious Studies. While in school, Elena got her start in organizing and building inclusive communities, organizing Latino/a students to gain greater support and access. She also organized with various non-profit organizations, including the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC.
Caitlin Wagner Fisher
Director of Leadership Initiatives at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Caitlin Fisher is a leadership development practitioner and expert in network theory and management. She currently serves as the Director of Leadership Initiatives at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
. In her role, she oversees three leadership development programs offered to the Chamber’s membership: Women’s Leadership Program, Boston’s Future Leaders, and Executive Leadership Institute. Prior to her role at the Chamber, she spent ten years working for philanthropist Swanee Hunt, in her private family foundation, Swanee Hunt Alternatives. She most recently served as Acting Director of the Prime Movers program, a national fellowship program investing in social movement leaders—individuals who are changing the world in which we live: shifting cultural norms and policy as well as mobilizing people to get involved.
She’s been involved with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy for the last eight years. She helped revive the Boston Chapter serving as co-chair for five years and joined the national board in 2015. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair and oversees the Strategies and Initiatives committee’s work on EPIP’s strategic plan. She also serves as a senior adviser to the New York Community Trust’s Leadership Fellows program and a board member of Restaurant Opportunities Center United’s consumer engagement efforts, Diner’s United.
Program Officer, New York Women's Foundation
Bianca D. Alston is a millennial change agent and eternal optimist. She currently serves as Program Officer at the New York Women’s Foundation. Bianca comes to NYWF from the Arcus Foundation where she was Finance and Operations Assistant. In that role, she directly supported the Foundation’s operations, human resources and grants management teams. Prior to Arcus, Bianca served as the Membership and Program Assistant at ABFE. Bianca has been an EPIP member since 2014 and has served as an EPIP-NY Chapter Leader and on EPIP’s conference planning committee. She also serves on the Board for the New York Chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College. Bianca earned her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven and her Bachelors of the Arts degree in Philosophy from Spelman College. Bianca is native to and resides in Brooklyn, New York.