Earlier today, we gathered Independent Sector members for our Annual Business Meeting and Members Town Hall. In addition to having a wonderfully generative conversation about the A Seat at the Table campaign, where we aim to establish more long-term connections between nonprofits and government, the membership elected four new board members and welcomed new executive leadership.
Board members serve a critical role in each of our organizations – whether foundations, nonprofits, or community-based organizations – as stewards of resources and clear-eyed leaders in times of crisis or opportunity.
Independent Sector, as an organization that spans and represents the entirety of our civil society, takes profoundly seriously how our own Board represents the community we serve – in mission, expertise, and lived experience. The election of new board members is one way to step into a moment of renewal and recommit ourselves to the mission of the organization. As a voluntary board, each of these leaders is going to spend time over the course of years steering this organization, not just for IS members, but for the entire nonprofit and philanthropic community. As a former IS board member myself, I can say it is both a tremendous responsibility and a distinct honor.
Before I tell you a little bit more about our newly elected board members, I want to acknowledge each of our outgoing board members who have served the organization over several years. Independent Sector staff and members thank Antony Chiang, who brought a wide range of expertise, including deep perspective on how philanthropy could reimagine the use of its resources, beyond grantmaking, in service of racial equity; Henry Timms, who was a constant thought partner on creatively driving impact and channeling us to not be beholden to institutional limitations in our thinking; and Terry Mazany, who chaired our first Community Building Committee and has been an enthusiastic leader on reimagining the ways we engage and build community through Upswell and our Fellows program.
I especially want to thank Jeff Bradach, who has served as the Board Chair for four years. In that time, he has been a true gift to the organization and the entire sector, as he’s brought the full weight of his expertise and brilliant intellect into co-creating Independent Sector strategies.
We all owe these four leaders a debt of gratitude for their time and service.
And, of course, there is immense opportunity in the vacancies left by these incredible leaders. I am thrilled that our members have voted the following new directors onto the board: Ann Mei Chang, CEO of Candid, who has decades of multi-sector experience and an exceptional understanding of the power that technology can unleash in serving the common good; Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, who empathetically leads the exploration of how civil society can be a transformational force for healing divisions; Adam Russell Taylor, president of Sojourners, who has a unique combination of public policy acumen and an understanding how the faith community across the U.S. can be a force for good; and Manuel Pastor, distinguished professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, who brings decades of experience at the intersection of social justice, systemic change, and social and economic theory.
Independent Sector and our entire community will be stronger for their contributions on the board, and we are excited to enter a new phase with them at the helm.
Finally, I want to welcome a valued member of the board who will be now stepping into the Chair role: Fred Blackwell, president and CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, who has deep experience in government and philanthropy, and long-standing leadership impact in the pursuit racial equity and justice. His practical wisdom and focus on population-level results will be an invaluable framing as he leads our board and organization.
Please read our press announcement for more information about these formidable leaders and our other officers.
As we head into the end of 2021, and then a new year, we remain steady in our commitment to leading our organization and our sector through continually unprecedented times. The biggest brunt of the global pandemic may be behind us, but the its effects and the ongoing crises of systemic injustice, economic inequality, and climate change persist.
We are committed to advocating, building community, and addressing our collective impact – alongside you – as we strive to build a healthy and equitable sector and nation. We especially thank those of you who have joined Independent Sector and have continued as members throughout the years. Your generous support ensures we have the resources and collective wisdom necessary to do the critical work ahead.
Together is the only way forward.