Maria Cherry Rangel (she/they) serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Foundation for Louisiana. She is a cultural strategist, resource organizer, cultural producer, and equity coach. For over 15 years Cherry's work has helped transform organizations, ecosystems, and fields towards justice. As a resource organizer, Cherry’s advocacy has ensured that millions of dollars have been redirected to Southerners, BIPOC communities, and TGNC and queer communities. As Director of Strategic Initiatives for Foundation for Louisiana, Cherry launched FFL's arts and culture program, and utilizes her expertise in organizational growth, cultural strategy, racial justice, and LGBTQ organizing to inform Louisiana’s future. With Ron Ragin, she co-authored Freedom Maps: Activating Legacies of Culture, Art, and Organizing in the US South. With Sage Crump, she co-authored the forthcoming Queer (Re)public: a QTBIPOC Liberatory Artistic Aesthetics Framework for the Theater Offensive. Cherry was a 2018-19 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow and wrote her first arts grant at the age of 15 in support of her father’s application to be a folklife artist, and after that success, hasn’t stopped.
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