Director of Membership & Communications

Erika Hawthorne (she/her) is the Director of Membership and Communications for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. Erika is an empathetic leader passionate about human development and dismantling oppressive systems to create a more just society. With over 10 years of experience in arts, funding, and member engagement roles, Erika leverages her expertise to build authentic relationships, facilitate collaboration, and work to address social justice issues, especially in the nonprofit sector.

Erika began her career as a teaching artist and moved to Washington, DC to complete her BA in Communication and Culture at Howard University. She continued working in grants management, event planning, and community engagement roles with the DC Trust, Bainum Family Foundation, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. While completing her MA in Arts Management and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at American University, Erika served as an equity research consultant for the Arts Education Partnership (AEP). She continued working with AEP as an engagement specialist, managing outreach and engagement for over 140 organizations and a growing network of individual affiliates.

Currently, Erika serves as an Executive Board Member for the Arts Administrators of Color Network, where she helps build community among artists and arts administrators and advocates for equity in the arts. She also provides project management support for Leading Changemakers, a consulting firm focused on racial equity in nonprofit arts leadership. 

As a former EPIP DC Steering Committee member, Erika led engagement efforts with local members, including hosting a panel on the history of race and wealth creation in philanthropy. Erika is thrilled to return to the EPIP community in this new role as Director of Membership and Communications. 

Outside of work, Erika enjoys painting, listening to music, checking out local arts and culture events and spending quality time with her husband, David.


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  • Storme Gray
    published this page in Staff 2022-01-05 16:09:15 -0500