Changing Hearts and Minds: What Inspires Trustee Catherine Pino’s LGBTQ+ Advocacy

In honor of Pride Month, we sat down with Trustee Catherine Pino, co-founder of D&P Creative Strategies and one of our newest board members. Along with her wife Ingrid, Catherine has dedicated her life and her work to advocating for change in LGBTQ+ communities across the nation. As a Latina, she’s especially passionate about building bridges between Latino and LGBTQ+ communities.

Read on for our in-depth conversation with Catherine on her LGBTQ+ advocacy, and why intersectionality and authentic community listening are essential for meaningful change.

Community Foundation: You’re a co-founder of D&P Creative Strategies, a DC-based strategic consulting firm focused on inclusive and equitable advocacy. What initially inspired you to co-found D&P? 

Catherine Pino: I have to say that it was really our love and desire to change the world. [My wife] Ingrid and I wanted to build a bridge between the Latino and LGBTQ+ communities. We knew there was a great deal of homophobia within the Latino community, and we felt compelled to try and change that narrative. We wanted to create an entity that would allow us to work on various of projects and issues. We were really adamant about being out and open about our love and who we were.

CF: In what ways have you seen these values show up in your work at D&P and beyond?

CP: Ingrid and I both have this sense of responsibility to improve conditions for marginalized [populations]. We always have the interests of the communities we represent at the forefront of our work to ensure they aren’t left behind. Our passion for what we do shows up in a variety of ways, including when we advise corporate executives on diversity, equity, and inclusion and corporate giving strategies. It also shows up in our advocacy on Capitol Hill. 

It shows up in our film work, which we describe as a labor of love. We've produced six documentaries for HBO and PBS on identity. People telling their stories helps change hearts and minds.

Another way these values show up is through our political work. In 2008, Ingrid and I created PODER PAC, a political action committee dedicated to supporting Latina candidates as they run for Congress. After Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic primary, we created the PAC after traveling around the country as surrogates and meeting all these incredible Latinas who shared stories with us about how difficult it was to secure the resources they needed to run for office. 

CF: You’ve done a lot of work in the LGBTQ+ space through an intersectionality lens, especially through your work on the Board of the Arcus Foundation. Can you tell us about some of the LGBTQ+ projects or initiatives you’ve spearheaded that have stuck with you? Why?

CP: One of my favorite projects of all time is Familia es Familia—Family is Family. We created a national education campaign to work on anti-bullying discrimination, family unity, and gay marriage. When we worked on this—before marriage equality—there was a lot of distrust between mainstream LGBTQ+ groups and Latinos. Many felt that Latinos and Blacks were more likely than whites to oppose same-sex marriage. Ingrid and I felt strongly that if we shared stories of LGBTQ+ Latinos, our family members and community members would be more accepting.

We were able to garner the support of over 25 national Hispanic organizations and partners, and created strong allies. We traveled across the country to various Hispanic conferences, held workshops, and talked to Latinos about our community. And we created lots of online resources, including videos of celebrity LGBTQ+ couples talking about anti-bullying and discrimination. 

This campaign was highly instrumental in changing hearts and minds about acceptance of LGBTQ+ family members and, frankly, about marriage within the Latino community. It was beautiful to see how the Latino community grew and came around on many of these issues. 

CF: Based on this work, how would you define “intersectionality?” 

CP: Intersectionality really challenges us to look at how intersecting social identity, particularly minority identities, relates to systems and structures, inequity, and discrimination. It helps us make sense of how race, class, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, gender, religion, and so much more can overlap and affect how others perceive you. 

Take me, for instance. I’m Latina, a woman, and a lesbian raised by a single mom in a very low income, conservative Catholic family. Intersectionality is the way all of our multiple identities and dimensions intersect and, at least for me, embracing them.  

CF: In what ways might we leverage this approach to create change for our LGBTQ+ neighbors in our region? 

CP: Intersectionality means listening to others, examining our own privilege, and asking questions about who may be excluded or affected by our work. It means taking measurable action by intentionally including other voices and acknowledging the contributions of marginalized individuals. We must recognize that there are multiple forms of systemic discrimination or barriers to opportunity and multiple forms of prejudice that prevent LGBTQ+ people of color from being successful.

As a community foundation, the most important thing we can do is listen and respect the voices of those impacted by issues, be inclusive, and invite people into discussions to incorporate different perspectives. 

CF Why did you decide to join The Community Foundation’s board? 

CP: Most of my foundation experience has been at the national level, so I was genuinely excited to join an organization focused on local issues. I honestly believe that community foundations play a critical role in engaging the community, building community capacity, expanding financial capital, and educating the public about philanthropy. There isn’t always an understanding of the importance of giving, especially in minority communities. Ingrid and I try to do as much as we can to educate our communities about the importance of philanthropy. I believe that if you educate young people about philanthropy and about giving back early on, it will help become part of their world throughout their lives.

CF: Finally, what do you think lies ahead for us in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, and social justice—as a region and a nation?  

CP: I still really believe we need the Equality Act. Many states don't have laws to protect people who are vulnerable to discrimination in key areas of life. I'm also really concerned about the anti-trans legislation popping up and in various states across the country. It’s been a record-breaking year for anti-trans legislation. 

We need to be fierce advocates for trans and LGBTQ+ rights, especially for young youth of color. The Trevor Project recently published their annual survey on LGBTQ+ youth mental health, and 52% of all transgender and nonbinary young people reported seriously contemplating suicide in 2020. We’re just losing too many of our LGBTQ+ young people, and it breaks my heart. It’s really critical to provide mentorship and leadership for future generations.

A Drive for Justice: Local Asian Leaders Share Their Stories

Leading With Service

Trustee Veronica Jeon considers entrepreneurship—and service—core foundations of her career.

 “I am a product of entrepreneurial parents, [and] I’ve always played a part in giving back. I’ve been blessed and fortunate to do that in my community where I live, work, and play,” she says. 

As President and CEO of VSJ, Inc, a minority, woman-owned public relations and strategic communications firm, she serves clients across the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. “Your success is our passion” is VSJ’s mission—a charge that also fulfills Veronica’s personal passion for service. 

Veronica also serves as the Chair of the Prince George’s County Advisory Board and as an executive committee member of our Emerging Leader’s Impact Fund in Prince George’s County, helping determine the focus of grantmaking and rallying resources to deepen impact in the County. 

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, she shares what inspires her to continue to serve in philanthropy in our region—especially in this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. 

“As we continue to emerge in Prince George’s County and beyond, I am committed to effectively grow the culture of philanthropy by advocating and leading initiatives; partnering to elevate and engage in philanthropy on all levels locally and regionally; and, mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders,” says Veronica. “As a servant leader in this pivotal time in our nation’s history, I am of the belief that we all must lead in such a way to make others better as a result of our presence. And, in doing so, making sure that impact lasts in our absence.”


Empowering Others Towards Action

The Asian American Lead Youth Council, a group of high school and middle school AAPI youth who advocate for diversity and racial equity, is working hard to combat gentrification in DC’s Chinatown. A VoicesDMV Community Action Awards winner, the Council is leading efforts to uplift residents’ stories to raise awareness of the negative impacts of gentrification. Stories are shared on their project-dedicated website, and in their petitions for change to city leaders. 

Maricarmen.jpg

“The main reasons that inspire me to continue to lead and invest in AAPI-focused work are the opportunities to inspire other scholars to fight for what they are passionate about and to spur change in my community,” says Maricarmen, AALEAD Youth Council member. “This work is so important because current social and political issues have created massive tension in communities, where voices are no longer heard. [It] allows the public to learn and spread awareness about the issue at hand.”

Through their work with Chinatown residents, youth leaders have developed meaningful, inter-generational relationships with community members. They’ve facilitated partnership conversations and presentations with groups, and had the opportunity to get to know those directly affected by Chinatown’s rising housing costs. 

“Something that inspires me to continue to lead and invest in this work is definitely my culture and background. Oftentimes Asian Americans in settings such as schools are seen as timid or not assuming of a leader. I aspire and live to prove that wrong. I want to be a role model and norm breaker for people out there and give my fellow Asian Americans inspiration as to what they can achieve even in a society filled with ignorance today.” – Jerry, AALEAD Youth Council member.

A Drive for Justice

The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) works to empower Koreans and Asian Americans as change-makers in their communities. Through expanding AAPI voting power; developing a new generation of youth and immigrant leaders; and building a sustainable movement organization, NAKASEC is forging a new future for Korean and Asian Americans.

As one of our Resilience Fund grantees, we were proud to partner with NAKASEC during the height of COVID-19 to help support individuals excluded from federal relief.

“Right now the spotlight is on AAPIs because of increased reporting of interpersonal discrimination, harassment violence towards AAPIs. None of this is new though to us. And while our communities are in focus - even for horrible reasons - this has created opportunities for AAPIs to re-assert belongingness, think about solutions to address the conditions behind the ‘anti-Asian hate,’ and expand the conversation to institutionalized oppression,” says Sookyung Oh, NAKASEC Director.

“People of Asian heritage have always played a central role in leading campaigns and movements for change in solidarity with others. I see this drive for justice among AAPIs who want to fight for change, but didn’t always have a political home or community to be grounded in. That’s what inspires me to lead NAKASEC Virginia. We want to be a place of connection and growth for AAPIs and this work is more important than ever.”

‘Investing in Our City’s Future:' New Board Members Reflect on Service

Over the past several months, The Community Foundation has welcomed several new members to our board, with expertise ranging from arts management, to civil law. We’re thrilled to work with these inspiring leaders—and excited to introduce them to you! Read on to learn about their backgrounds and what they’re most excited about in joining The Community Foundation family. 

Rachel+Goslins.jpg

Rachel goslins

With over 25 years’ experience in the cultural sector, creative industries, social impact and law, Rachel Goslins is the Director of the Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian Institution. In that capacity she is responsible for all aspects of developing and implementing plans to reopen the building, closed to the public for over a decade, as a space to explore creativity, innovation and the future. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, an advisory committee to President Obama on cultural policy, from 2009 until late 2015.

“I am so thrilled and honored to join The Community Foundation board—especially in this moment of inflection for the organization. With Tonia and Katherine at the helm, coming out of a robust strategic planning process and the lessons of a tumultuous year, which reinforced our mission and value to the communities we serve, we are poised to do even greater things. I am committed to do whatever I can to help build and grow the legacy of this dynamic foundation.”

Ron.jpg

Ronald Machen

Ronald Machen is a partner at the law firm of WilmerHale. He serves on the firm’s Global Management Committee and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Investigations and Criminal Litigation Group. He is an experienced litigator, having tried more than 35 cases to verdict, who specializes in complex criminal and civil actions. He also routinely helps clients navigate high-stakes, crisis situations that garner the attention of multiple regulators, Congress and private litigants.

“Having spent a large portion of my career devoted to improving public safety, I am very excited about becoming a board member of The Community Foundation and serving my community in a different capacity. There are so many pressing challenges our society faces today—homelessness, income and racial inequality, job preparedness, lack of educational opportunities for our youth, just to name a few.  I look forward to working with my fellow board members of the foundation to attack these and other issues in order to  improve the quality of life for all residents of the greater Washington region.” 

catherine+pino.jpg

Catherine Pino

Catherine M. Pino is Founder and CEO of D&P Creative Strategies, a certified Latinx, LGBTQ, Veteran and Women’s business enterprise she and her wife, Ingrid Duran, created in 2004. Catherine’s aim is to advance corporate, philanthropic and legislative efforts that mirror her deep passion and commitment to social justice and civil rights issues. Catherine has extensive experience working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, where she developed an expertise for designing and evaluating programs that target underserved populations

“I am so honored to join The Community Foundation familia, and to be part of this incredible organization that does vital work in our community. I am especially looking forward to working with the board under our President’s leadership to guide the staff on the implementation of The Community Foundation’s new, thoughtful, and very bold strategic plan. I am excited to see the fruits of its success as we lead with racial equity and inclusion to strengthen our most vulnerable communities in the area, particularly our immigrant community.”

archie+smart.jpg

Archie Smart, Founder, DKR Insights

Archie has counseled political campaigns, global corporations, NGOs, and trade associations to use technology to solve modern communications challenges. A veteran of Madison Avenue, political campaigns, and tech startups, Archie builds offensive and defensive narrative strategies to enhance reputations and influence audiences using data, analytics, and advertising technologies.

Before founding DKR Insights, Smart was an Executive Vice President at MSL / Publicis Groupe, where he was responsible for managing global client engagements.

“Washington, DC is a beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity for people everywhere, yet many living in the shadow of the Capitol dome struggle for genuine equality. When I joined the board of The Community Foundation, I committed to helping our community achieve the ideals our city represents to the world. I am looking forward to learning from the staff as we make investments in our city’s future.”

'What Does Being African American Today Mean To You?' 3 New Board and Staff Members Share

We are excited to welcome several new staff and board members to The Community Foundation family! And, this month, we’re also excited to celebrate them for Black History Month.

Get to know some of our new Community Foundation community members members, and learn what, to them, being African American means in today’s current climate.

Denielle.png

Denielle Pemberton-Heard

Denielle Pemberton-Heard, Community Foundation board member, is a seasoned executive search, talent development, and legal professional. She’s currently Chief Legal Officer and a shareholding Managing Director with Diversified Search Group, a woman-founded search firm that recruits leadership through a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens.

Denielle feels that now, more than ever, she has the opportunity to showcase overlooked leaders - and to improve opportunity and equity in the workforce.

In honor of Black History Month, we asked Denielle to reflect on what, in this moment, being African American means to her - and how this shapes her work at The Community Foundation, and beyond. 

“The Washington DC metro area is now my adopted home and I am honored to support organizations serving the people who are the heart and soul of this greater community. I never forget the enslaved people who were by law not permitted to learn to read or vote but nevertheless they are responsible for building by hand many of the landmarks we admire. We can’t forget them and that keeps me and my family focused on trying to do our best every day. “

image001.jpg

Marcus Braxton

For Marcus Braxton, our new Managing Director of Operations, systems change is second nature. Marcus has over 15 years of experience helping nonprofits and philanthropic organizations enhance internal operations to elevate their success and impact. 

He’s passionate about using his operational skills to create fair and equitable internal systems, a mission he says “ultimately influences how organizations show up in society.” In honor of Black History Month, we asked Marcus to reflect on his work, at The Community Foundation, and beyond.

“I’m motivated by a desire to not only help others, but really to be of service to others, which I believe is more impactful than just seeking to ‘help.’ In doing so, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of several high-impact organizations who have really worked to change systems that create inequities. I’m excited to bring that experience here to The Community Foundation to support the organization and community overall.”

Picture1.jpg

Eliana Barnett

Eliana Barnett, Executive Assistant, joined The Community Foundation in December of 2020 to support President and CEO Tonia Wellons. She’s always been passionate about working with mission driven organizations, and hopes to continue serving those in need.

In honor of Black History Month, we asked Eliana to reflect on what, in this moment, being African American means to her - and how this shapes his work at The Community Foundation, and beyond.

“Being an African American in this moment means having to negotiate for our humanity. Although we’ve seen attacks against the African American community in the past, it’s blatantly being shown now. It’s been hard and demoralizing watching people who look like me constantly being attacked. 

Even with all of this going on, it has shown me just how strong the African American community is and I’m proud to be a part of it. Seeing a powerful and well respected woman of color lead The Community Foundation gives me hope that I too can have a seat at the table.”

Also Welcoming…

Rachel Goslins, Director of the Arts & Industries Building at the Smithsonian Institution; Catherine Pino, CEO of D&P Creative Strategies; and Archie Smart, Founder of DKR Insights. Keep a look out for some special spotlights on these other new board members coming up!

Community Foundation Welcomes ‘Community Builder’ to Leadership Team, Celebrates New Staff and Staff Promotions

IMG_6246.jpg

We are thrilled to welcome Ronnie Galvin as our new Managing Director for Community Investment. Ronnie oversees The Community Foundation team responsible for community leadership and discretionary funding programs, leading with his experience in and passion for racial equity and reparative justice. Below, hear from Ronnie on his dedication to community building and inspiration for joining The Community Foundation.

I am a community builder. This is the case in my personal and professional life. This essential part of my identity emerges from growing up in a tightly knit, self-determined, mutually supportive and accountable Black community in Miami, Florida. It was a place where elders were revered; every child was cherished; there was no such thing as hunger or homelessness; and every Black life not only mattered, but was celebrated and exalted.

I was birthed and raised in a Black working class family. My father professionally served 22 years as an enlisted airman in the United States Air Force. My mother was a domestic worker—herself coming from a long line of Black women deemed as the 'helping class.' They are now in the realm of the ancestors among many who provide counsel, inspiration, and protection for me as I come to this work. 

I do this work in a space that has already been opened by my partner, soulmate, and collaborator—Dr. Yanique Redwood, President and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation. She is the fiercest, most tenacious, and consistent freedom fighter, lover of our people and lover of me that I know. We co-parent two young-adult children, Alana and Darren, who are both finding their way in the world.  

This feeling and experience of community is what inspires me.  It has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams and deepest longings. I am compelled to build and share this same experience with the Greater Washington Community Foundation Family, across the DMV region, and wherever our work takes us in this country and on the planet.

New Operations and Accounting Staff

Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed several new staff members to The Community Foundation family! We are excited to work with…  

  • Marcus BraxtonManaging Director for Operations. Marcus joined the organization in December 2020, and leads The Community Foundation’s work to enhance its internal operations, systems, and processes to ensure the organization has the infrastructure needed to continue its success and impact. We’ll feature more on Marcus in the new year, so stay tuned!

  • Akista Haywood, Staff Accountant. Akista is responsible for the payroll and supporting the Accounting staff. She has over 20 years of Accounting and Payroll experience, coming to The Community Foundation from JSI where she was Payroll Manager. 

Celebrating New Staff Roles

Several Community Foundation staff have also been promoted to new roles in the organization! Please join us in congratulating:

  • Melen Hagos, Senior Manager for External Affairs. In her new role, Melen helps build partnerships in the community, leading a variety of initiatives, including programs and grantmaking initiatives, and identifying key community alliances that will move The Community Foundation's work forward. Melen joined The Community Foundation in 2017 as a Community Investment Associate where she coordinated all competitive and discretionary grantmaking across the region.

  • Kathy Matthews, Director, Grants Management. In her new role as Director, she oversees all financial and administrative operations and functions of grant awards–and is responsible for financial reporting, budget oversight and grants compliance. She has held several prior positions within The Community Foundation that include Receptionist, Grants Management Associate, and Grants Manager.

  • Benton Murphy, Senior Advisor for Impact. Previously as AVP for Community Investment, Benton led The Community Foundation’s VoicesDMV initiative and managed a set of endowed funds, including the Spring Creek Fund, Joshua Community Fund, Catalyst Fund and LGBTQ+ Fund for Philanthropy. With more than a dozen years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, he also provides advisory services to donors and staff on effective grantmaking practices.

  •  Brittany Owens, Community Impact Associate. Brittany is the Technical Lead for grant applications, co-leads our racial equity and inclusion work, and provides support for fundraising with foundations. In previous roles, Brittany has gained experience lobbying and being a case manager with nonprofit organizations. 

  • Danielle Yates, Managing Director of Marketing and Communications. Danielle joined The Community Foundation in 2017 and brings more than 15 years experience leading marketing and communications programs for nonprofit associations. She leads the strategic vision and oversees tactical implementation of all communications and marketing programs across the organization. 

Learn more about our staff and their backgrounds here.

Community Foundation Welcomes New Advisory Board Members in Prince George’s County

The Greater Washington Community Foundation welcomes Joy Russell, Trey Proctor, David Iannucci, and Paul Monterio to its Prince George’s County Advisory Board. These individuals join a diverse group of passionate and dedicated advisory board members. They, along with their colleagues, are responsible for advising The Community Foundation on the challenges and opportunities specific to Prince George’s County, and sharing their knowledge on issues of community leadership for greater impact.

“These individuals share our deep commitment to improving the quality of life for Prince George’s County residents, and their work very much aligns with our goals to increase philanthropy and ensure equity and economic mobility,” said Amina Anderson, senior director for Prince George’s County at The Community Foundation. “We are honored they have chosen to serve the county by working with The Community Foundation, and we look forward to partnering with them so that each and every Prince Georgian has an opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

Meet our Newest Advisory Board Members

DSC_0465-2.jpg

David Iannuci, President and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation

David Iannuci was appointed as president and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation in December 2018, under County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. David oversees the County’s $50 million Economic Development Incentive Fund, which has leveraged over $1.1 Billion in private sector investments. He has played a prominent role with the County’s key initiatives such as the pursuit of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters, the new University of Maryland Medical Center, the Purple Line, and multiple Transit Oriented Development projects. David has served in many positions within state and local government. His previous positions include assistant deputy chief administrative officer for economic development, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, executive director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, and under former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, Chief Legislative Officer. David is a graduate of the University of Maryland School Of Law, a member of the Maryland Bar, and a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. A long-time resident of Prince George's County, he resides in Bowie with his wife and daughter.


Joy Russell, Chief of Staff, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks

Joy+Russell+Headshot.jpg

Joy Russell is a senior level executive with over 20 years of local government affairs, stakeholder engagement and management experience, directing major government, corporate, and nonprofit strategies and initiatives. Prior to her current role with Prince George’s County, Joy founded Jonathan Arnold Consulting in 2014 to work with clients with strategic advisory and stakeholder management needs. Joy also served as the SVP for community impact at the United Way of the National Capital Area where she led an annual social investment strategy of approximately $2.5 million dollars. Prior to joining United Way, Joy was vice president for external relations at the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC), where she played a key role in re-positioning the economic development organization with both government and business audiences. Joy began her political career in Washington DC's Mayor Anthony Williams' Administration. She was the Mayor's deputy chief of staff for community affairs, where she was responsible for the management of stakeholder and constituency relationships in the promotion of the Mayor's strategic goals and priorities. Joy holds a law degree from the University of Maryland and undergraduate degrees in political science and public administration from James Madison University.  

pmonteiro+official+head+shot.jpg

Paul Monteiro, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice President of External Affairs, Howard University

Paul Monteiro is a proud graduate of Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) having attended Adelphi Elementary, Buck Lodge Middle, and High Point High. He now serves as an At-Large member of the PGCPS Board of Education and Vice Chair of its Academic Affairs Committee. Paul worked at the United States Supreme Court and later served in the Capitol Hill office of Senator Barack Obama before transitioning to his presidential campaign headquarters. In 2009, Paul joined the White House staff as an associate director of the Office of Public Engagement and coordinator of the My Brother’s Keeper mentorship program for young men attending local high schools. President Obama later appointed him as the national director of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). In 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch designated him as head of the Community Relations Service at the U.S. Department of Justice. He is an incoming member of Leadership Greater Washington and on the Board of Governors of Wesley Theological Seminary. He is also a proud graduate of the University of Maryland and Howard University School of Law.

Headshot+of+Trey+Proctor+%281%29.jpg

Gregory “Trey” Proctor, III, Vice President of G.S. Proctor & Associates, Inc.

Trey Proctor, III, has been with G.S. Proctor since June 2014. In those five years, he has emerged as a real asset in local, state and federal lobbying areas; particularly as it relates to areas of Energy, Utilities, Transportation and Infrastructure, Healthcare, Zoning and Permitting, and the many other client interests of G.S. Proctor. Trey graduated from Elon University with a BS in business administration with a marketing concentration and dual minors in economics and international studies. He immediately began his career as a Credit Analyst at Old Line Bank. Before being promoted to an Assistant Vice President position, Trey assisted the credit department in analyzing potential clients and loans and assisting with the real property valuations process. Trey has a strong commitment to community involvement and—in addition to contributing countless hours to community service efforts with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Heart of America, and the Alice Ferguson Foundation—serves on the Board of Directors for the College of Southern Maryland Foundation, Historic Sotterley and Leadership Prince George’s. He lives in Accokeek with his wife, Charlita, and their two daughters, Zauriel and Simile.

Community Foundation Welcomes Racial Equity Expert to Board, Bids Farewell to Longest Standing Member

Dr. Rashawn Ray, Brookings Institution Fellow, Professor & Executive Director at the University of Maryland

Pic_2020.jpg

Dr. Rashawn Ray, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution, is Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is also one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy.

He has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, Huffington Post, and NBC News – and, has published over 50 books, articles, book chapters, and nearly 20 op-eds. Selected as 40 Under 40 Prince George's County and awarded the 2016 UMD Research Communicator Award, Ray has appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC, HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, and Fox News.

Recently, we were excited to feature Dr. Ray in our inaugural VoicesDMV Social Justice Town Hall, presented by Wells Fargo: From Grief to Action, a conversation about racial justice and the concrete ways we can take action to support the black community. 

 “Hate groups in particular have increased in the United States by up to 100%. What we have to realize is there is a continuum of racial hate – and that is embedded in our social institutions. I am committed to moving us towards the needle of racial equity,” said Dr. Ray.


 Dan Mayers

IMG_2938.JPG

This fall, we bid a bittersweet farewell to Dan Mayers, the longest standing member of our Board of Trustees. Dan previously served as Chair of the Board of Trustees and of the Governance Board of The Community Foundation’s September 11 Survivors’ Fund. He also served as board chair of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee, Legal Action Center, National Child Research Center, National Symphony Orchestra, Sidwell Friends School, and WETA.

Dan and his wife Karen credit The Community Foundation with informing their philanthropy and introducing them to the region’s most effective nonprofits going back many years.

More and more, they have focused their philanthropy on groups serving low-income individuals and families. Dan helped to guide The Community Foundation’s Neighbors in Need Fund, established during the recession to strengthen the region’s safety-net providers and services, and the couple were major donors to the fund.

Together we can end homelessness

In 2018, in an incredibly gracious act, Dan donated $100,000 to begin the Dan and Karen Mayers’ Challenge. The Challenge aimed to raise $1 million for the Partnership to End Homelessness. We are thrilled to announce that we met the $1 million challenge during the first year of the Partnership. 

“In the past, homelessness was seen as an intractable problem,” says Dan. “Today, we have the leadership, tools, plan, and political will to end homelessness. The only thing missing is critical resources.”

“This is what community foundations do—they respond to community need,” adds Dan. “Time and again, I’ve witnessed The Community Foundation galvanize the generosity of concerned residents. I’ve seen compassionate people rally around urgent community needs, from natural disasters to 9/11 to the recession.”

We are so grateful to have worked with Dan, and for his years of service. Thank you for your investment in bettering our community.