The purpose of the Advisory Council is to decide on the grant criteria and the distribution of grants from the Emergent Fund. There are currently nine members on the Advisory Council, with the majority being leaders of color who have experience working with communities threatened by the current political and social climate.

The Advisory Council reviews applications to the Fund and authorizes grants on a frequent and rolling basis.

Council members may not nominate an organization they founded, work for, or for which they serve on the board – and must recuse themselves for a vote on a grant recommendation made for any such organization.


Jenifer Fernandez Ancona

Jenifer is Vice President, Strategy & Member Engagement at the Women Donors Network. As Director of Strategic Communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, Jenifer helped to launch and grow progressive online organizing initiatives focused on communities of color, including and She also served as a Senior Advisor to progressive donors Steve Phillips and Susan Sandler, as a consultant to the Democracy Alliance, as a top legislative aide in the California State Assembly, and as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times.


Kat Conour

As a psychotherapist in private practice, Kat is passionate about working with undocumented Latinx immigrants, the LGBTQ community, social entrepreneurs, and activists, helping them to resolve trauma, and to feel more empowered in themselves and as change agents in the world.  Her work has historically ranged between program and curriculum development, fundraising, event-planning, direct-action, and coalition-building - primarily in support of migrant justice, LGBTQ and women’s equality, and indigenous rights.  More recently, Kat was a core organizer and producer of the first ever women’s gathering with the International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, which convened a diverse group of 400 women-identified folks in prayer and council over Spring Equinox and World Water Day. She is an active member of the Threshold Foundation and is committed to bringing forward an anti-oppression, social justice lens to all her engagements and collaborations.


Betsy Fairbanks

Betsy serves as President/CEO of the Fund for Nonviolence as part of a longstanding commitment to work on behalf of its donor. Formerly associated with the Resource Center for Nonviolence/Eschaton Foundation for 21 years, Betsy Fairbanks established the Fund for Nonviolence in 1997. In 2000 she initiated the Tides Death Penalty Mobilization Fund, an activist/funder collaborative.  As of 2015, the fund has provided over $7 million to state-based organizations working on death penalty abolition and reform efforts.  Since 2000 she has been active with Funders for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, including participating in an extensive, field-wide process to develop a comprehensive strategy to abolish the death penalty, and now collaborates with Themis Fund, which has replaced FADP as a vehicle for funder coordination with the field. Betsy spent six years as a board officer with Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation; all other board members had lost a family member to murder and/or execution and oppose the death penalty in all cases. 


Cristina Jiménez

Cristina is Co-Founder and Managing Director of the United We Dream Network. Originally from Ecuador, Cristina came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. Cristina has organized immigrant youth and workers for the passage of pro-immigrant policies at the local and national level for the past 9 years. She was recently named among Forbes “30 under 30 in Law and Policy,” one of “21 immigration reform power players” and one of 5 non-profit leaders who will influence public policy by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. She co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College, was an immigration policy analyst for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and an immigrant rights organizer at Make the Road New York. Cristina holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Queens College, CUNY.


Lateefah Simon

Lateefah is the President of the Akonadi Foundation, based in Oakland, CA. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Rapid Transit. Prior to this, she was a program director at the Rosenberg Foundation. Lateefah has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service. She was named “California Woman of the Year” by the California State Assembly, and also has been recognized by the Ford Foundation, the National Organization for Women, Lifetime Television and O Magazine.


Charlene Sinclair

Charlene is Director of Reinvestment for the Center for Community Change, which works with CCC grassroots partners to combat generational disinvestment in communities of color. She is also the founding director of the Center for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy (C-RRED) and the program coordinator for the Interfaith Organizing Initiative. A community organizer for over 20 years, Charlene has helped national and local organizations develop grassroots organizing and political strategies. Charlene is pursuing a doctoral degree in social ethics from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. One of her main areas of interest is dismantling mass incarceration by uniting faith conviction and spirituality in social activism.


Loan Tran

Loan is a queer, gender non-conforming writer and organizer based in Durham, NC where they serve as the Director of the Youth Organizing Institute and Communications Director for the Southern Vision Alliance. They are also on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center. Loan has worked on issues of migrant justice, LGBTQ liberation, economic and racial justice and for an end to all interpersonal violence. As a high school student, they co-managed the “Drop the i-word” campaign in Charlotte, NC to challenge media representation of undocumented immigrants and organized as a part of the March On Wall St. South Coalition that mobilized thousands to protest corrupt politics and corporate greed. Loan has spoken at the Historic Thousands on Jones St. (HKonJ) mobilization and has had their writing, commentary and experience featured on Black Girl Dangerous, Waging Non-Violence, {Young}ist, New York Times and The Advocate, among others.  Loan envisions a movement for liberation and justice to be one that leaves no one behind so one day we can all be our authentic selves, lead full lives and be free.


sam vinal

Sam Vinal is a documentary and narrative filmmaker, and founder of Mutual Aid Media LLC, an emerging Los Angeles based production house. Sam graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2010 and began his career in documentary filmmaking that year when a director hired him to shoot a film on HIV/AIDS in Zambia. Since then, Sam has been traveling and telling stories through a socio-political lens. He uses film as a means to combine his passion for the beautiful struggle and the power of art. He is an active member of Solidaire Network.



Shireen is the Director of the Security & Rights Collaborative at the Proteus Fund, which partners with individual donors and foundations to support a diverse field of Muslim, Arab and South Asian advocacy organizations. Prior to this, she was Executive Director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, DC. Her focus was on improving the understanding of issues and policies impacting the Muslim Community in the media and among policy makers, and on developing strategic partnerships.