Inside MCF

Marguerite Casey Foundation Announces Addition of Seven New Board Members

May 3, 2021

Leading Community Organizers, Culture Makers, and System Changers, Including Stacey Abrams, Join New Marguerite Casey Foundation Board

SEATTLE (May 3, 2021) — Today, Marguerite Casey Foundation is excited to announce the addition of seven new board members. Each new board member will bring a fresh perspective on fulfilling the core mission of the foundation — creating greater freedom for leaders who can increase community power and help bring about a truly representative economy. The slate of new board members also represents the Foundation’s commitment to racial justice, both in its work and in its leadership.

New members include:

  • Stacey Abrams, Nonprofit and Political Leader
  • Ellis Carr, President and CEO of Capital Impact Partners/CDC Small Business Finance
  • Janeen Comenote, Executive Director of National Urban Indian Family Coalition
  • Marisa Franco, Executive Director of Mijente
  • Ian Fuller, Co-Founder and Partner of WestFuller Advisors
  • Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change
  • Zeke Smith, President of Empire Health Foundation

“Philanthropy has received a once in a generation mandate to support leaders who are building a multiracial democracy and representative economy,” says Marguerite Casey Foundation President and CEO, Dr. Carmen Rojas. “Rebuilding the Marguerite Casey Foundation board is an emphatic response to that mandate. We are following the lead of those who know how to hold corporations accountable for their impact on society, make our government more democratic and effective, and create a culture of equity and justice in society at large.”

“As the nation prepares for the next phase of survival and recovery, it is essential to invest in organizations with local footprints, civic competence and the trust of the communities they work in,” says new board member and Founder of Fair Fight Action, Stacey Abrams. “From vaccine distribution to economic recovery, how the philanthropic network targets its contributions will determine how many are left behind or included, and what kind of leadership will emerge in the years ahead. ”

“Marguerite Casey Foundation has both a deep commitment to racial justice as well as a demonstrated commitment to building organizing capacity within the movement,” says Color Of Change President, Rashad Robinson. “MCF understands that racial justice is a transformative force in society, mobilizing people at every level of society to bring about the policy and culture changes that will create a more just society for everyone.”

These seven individuals are filling board vacancies due to board term-limit expiration and will be joining existing board members Rami Nashashibi, Angela Diaz, Melody Barnes, Jack Thomas, and Chad Boettcher.

“I’m excited to serve on Marguerite Casey Foundation’s board. The institution’s powerful mission compels us to support visionary leaders and organizations that strengthen communities and breathe life into our democracy,” says board member and co-director for policy and public affairs of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia, Melody Barnes.

As organizers continue to tackle the clear threats and challenges facing communities across the country, Marguerite Casey Foundation’s new board is positioned to take bold action and think creatively about the role foundations can and should play as we collectively work to advance racial justice and build a representative democracy and economy.

Marguerite Casey Foundation’s new board will take bold action and think creatively about the role foundations can play to advance racial justice and build a representative democracy and economy.


About Marguerite Casey Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation supports leaders who work to shift the balance of power in their communities toward working people and families, and who have the vision and capacity for building a truly representative economy. Marguerite Casey Foundation believes people should be more than just represented in our democracy and economy—their representation must include the ability to shape the forces that affect their lives.

Connect with Marguerite Casey Foundation on Twitter and Facebook.

Marguerite Casey Foundation Announces Addition of Seven New Board Members

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