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.”

anitra smith - Board Chair - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area
Anitra Smith headshot.jpg

Board Member

Anitra Smith

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

ruth williams - Board Member - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area
ruth williams - Board Member - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Ruth Williams

Board Member

“ I want to help address racial disparity in philanthropic institutions and support Black-founded and Black-led organizations.”

Online Community Manager
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Carena Ridgeway

Outreach and Engagement


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

Board Chair
Cedric Brown - Board Chair - Black Funders Network of the Bay Area

Cedric Brown

Founding Member

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

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.

Our Commitment - Love of Black People

Love of Black People

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

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Our Commitment - Safety and Inclusion

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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Our Commitment - Thinking Big

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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Our Commitment - Connection to Community

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

BFN Commitment - courage


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

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BFN Commitment - Human Dignity

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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BFN Commitment - Learning


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