27 Oct Words Matter: Our New Titles
As we carry out our trust-based grantmaking approach, we always consider how we show up in community as much as where and to whom our funding goes.
In our region, Black, Mexican, Arab, and Indigenous communities have experienced immense harm over the past several decades due to historical disinvestment, racist policies, and health inequities that we have seen illuminated by the devastating and disproportionate impact of the COVID pandemic. We cannot deny the role that philanthropy has played in perpetuating this harm. As we continue our journey to advance racial and health equity in our region and move towards racial and health justice, we are looking inward and reflecting on how we can do better.
We are dropping the term “officer” from the titles of staff members that closely engage with community in their work. The word “officer” comes with a long history of surveillance, extraction, harm, and control enacted upon community which is diametrically and spiritually at odds with the type of relationship we want to build with our grantee partners and BILPOC community members. Words hold power and, while it may seem like a small change, it is an intentional commitment and approach to relationship-building and co-creation with our partners to create healthier, thriving communities in our region.
While we recognize the inherent power dynamics that exist between a funder and a grant recipient regardless of title, Healthy Communities Foundation strives to be community-centered and community-engaged in the stewardship of our region’s resources. That perspective, strengthened by our Board and Staff’s lived experience and strong connections to our region, grounds us and how we view our role as a philanthropic institution today and in the future.
Below we recognize our Staff’s new titles and how their work contributes to our Foundation’s mission, vision, and core values.
Tina Ramirez Moon is now Senior Program Manager of Healing and Resilience. In her role, Tina seeks to integrate well-being into the Foundation’s capacity building framework to support the ways that organizations align their policies, operations, and culture. She also examines how healing via culturally grounded principles and practices can play a central part in cultivating healthy organizations and dynamic leaders in our region to achieve our mission and vision.
Gillian Knight is now Program Manager of Learning and Evaluation. Gillian focuses on developing the framework by which we use insights from local community leaders to inform our strategies and influence our journey towards achieving health equity in our region. She leads the Foundation’s process of understanding what is happening in community, how it impacts our region’s health and well-being, and what it needs to thrive.
Jackie Rodriguez is now Director of Communications. In her role, Jackie explores how strategic communications can amplify the power and influence of community stories, our grantee partners’ work, and our Foundation’s approach to creating change in our region’s long-term health and well-being and the broader philanthropic sector.
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