The board of directors of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, a private foundation in Washington, DC, elected two new members at its June 1 board meeting: Winell Belfonte, CPA and partner at CohnReznick, and Tori O’Neal-McElrath, vice president of external affairs at Demos.
On June 1, the Meyer Foundation’s board approved 75 grants totaling nearly $3 million to support work that advances racial equity in the Greater Washington region, including grants to support new collective action efforts in Arlington, Virginia and Germantown, Maryland; and cross-sector community organizing efforts around affordable housing in DC.
Last week Rick Moyers, the Meyer Foundation’s vice president for programs and communications, informed me and our board that, after 14 years of tremendous service, he will be stepping down from his position in mid-July.
At last Thursday’s Meyer Foundation board meeting, I informed the board that I’ve decided to step down from my role as vice president for programs and communications effective July 14.
In the second year of implementing our strategic plan, and in the early stages of integrating racial equity into all aspects of our work, the Meyer Foundation is looking forward to supporting new work that addresses shared community goals in housing, education and employment, and financial security. We are also eager to increase support for current grantees who have the appetite and capacity to expand their work and accelerate progress toward those goals.
With mixed emotions, I’ve made the decision to transition from the Meyer Foundation to accept a position with another organization. I have deep respect for the work we do, and in my role as a program officer have had the privilege of engaging in important conversations with grantees, colleagues in philanthropy, and in the broader community around affordable housing, employment and education, and financial stability. I’ve broadened my network of DC-area leaders I admire to include talented and thoughtful executive directors leading our grantee and prospective grantee organizations.
Groundbreaking study shows positive impact of Meyer’s capacity-building grants on nonprofit financial growthCapacity-building grant programs are intended to boost a nonprofit’s effectiveness, and with 77 percent of staffed grantmakers funding such efforts,* many in philanthropy must believe that investments produce positive outcomes for grantees. Until now, however, research in this area has been limited, making it difficult to assess the impact of this support beyond a typical grant period.
My own career has allowed me to see the field of youth development from various angles. I know that no matter the approach to support, when you meet a young person where they are, it serves as a solid foundation for growth. As Meyer continues to hone in on our approach to youth development, we hope to grow right along with our partner organizations and the youth they serve.
Visiting the NMAAHC helped me understand how shallow and superficial a treatment black history had been given in the history classes and textbooks of my childhood.
Today, decades after my mother’s family came seeking refuge, the future of many hopeful refugees and immigrants is in limbo. As the daughter of an immigrant and a refugee, it’s especially painful for me to see families and children detained in airports, or sent back to the countries they’re fleeing. I’ve been thinking a lot about those families –their pain and their fears. And I’ve been wondering where are the silver linings?