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Our Story

Launched in August 2019, the Black Funders Network of the Bay Area was established to organize soulful, inclusive, and rewarding environments for funders and philanthropy professionals to learn, strategize, and re-energize to best support Black communities and organizations across disciplines.

We aim to create opportunities that ensure Black funders (and their allies) have an abundance of financial resources, information, confidence, and positional power to support Black-led organizations and initiatives. As a LinkedIn-based community, we use the platform to stay engaged with our members, send reminders for programs, updates, and share other relevant information.

Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Courtesy of NCG

Inspired by the 25-year legacy of our predecessor organization, Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy,  our partnerships with the ABFE and NCG also help inform our efforts to support Black-led foundations and philanthropic professionals.

Our Team

Our team works collaboratively, across generations, and with a love for different and unique perspectives on how to best fulfill our mission and stay true to our values.

James W. Head - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Board Co-Chair

James W. Head

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” 

Raquba LaBrie - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Raquiba LaBrie

Board Co-Chair

“ I do the work because racial justice and social justice feed me intellectually, politically and spiritually.”

Steve Barton - Board Memeber - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Steve Barton

Board Member

 “Being in the field is critically important to inform resources, knowledge, access, and expertise getting to Black communities.”

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Paula Ambrose

Board Member

“I believe in the truth of our connectedness as a community.” 


Byron Johnson

Board Member

"In order to invoke change in our community, we must first actively participate in educating ourselves on our collective needs"


Sande Smith

Board Member

"The power of Black philanthropy must be multiplied for us to secure the fuel to keep fighting."


Dakarai I. Aarons

Board Member

"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up"

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Board Member

Anitra Smith

“ My joy and liberation is deeply connected to being of service to my community.”

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Cedric Brown

Founding Member

“Servicing Black communities is not only my responsibility, it is also self-renewing.”

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Summer Jackson

Managing Director

"Black giving matters because narratives matter. Black philanthropy ensures that black lives are viewed as more than warehouses for charitable guilt."

Zoe Broussard

Program Manager

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“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” 

The Black Funders Network - Our Community

Our Commitment

We are intentional, progressive, and unapologetically dedicated to serving and advocating for multifaceted Black communities in the Bay Area. We are committed to our core values, which guide our work and decision-making as an organization.

Love of Black People

We love and value Black people, Black culture, and Black history. 

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Safety and Inclusion

We create inclusive environments in our Network activities so that all participants feel welcomed, validated, comfortable, and able to enjoy their authentic selfhood. 

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Thinking Big

We are bold in our approach by holding space for radical imagination and possibility both within and outside the limits of our current systems and institutions.

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To serve as strong advocates for Black communities, we must be active, accountable, and collaborative partners who work to understand the needs articulated by our communities.

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Connection to Community


We act with foresight, strategy, and boldness, even amid headwinds.

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Human Dignity

We believe that all people deserve to be valued and have access to the resources needed to reach self-actualization.

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We are committed to learning and evolving to best fulfill our mission.

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"I serve because I believe in the truth of our connectedness as a community, when one of us is harmed, all of us are harmed. I also know I cannot confront the challenges we face alone; I need to walk, run, push, and pull along with others for the victory we seek. To quote an *African Proverb:  If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. And, I would add celebrate together when you arrive!"

Paula Ambrose


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