NEW YORK – The Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) is pleased to announce that Lavastian Glenn will join the Foundation as its Director, Racial and Economic Justice. In her new role, she joins the Foundation’s leadership team working to advance solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and growing inequality. Glenn brings nearly two decades of experience leading racial and economic justice through community-based problem solving and philanthropic strategy across the South. She will begin her position on November 1, 2018.
“Lavastian is an authentic leader with strong relationships in communities and across philanthropy from decades of experience building strategies for racial and economic justice. She has supported and advocated for some of the most equitable and innovative work in the South that is now capturing national attention. She deeply understands how gender intersects with poverty and race to amplify the social and economic exclusion of women of color and that despite this, women of color are leading the most successful strategies to end inequality and the climate crisis,” said Sharon Alpert, President and CEO of the Foundation. As Director of Racial and Economic Justice, Lavastian’s integrated approach and experience leveraging grantmaking and impact investments will further refine our work to build wealth, increase income, and end mass incarceration, using all of our resources for impact.”
Most recently, Glenn served as Program Director at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which works to alleviate poverty and increase social and economic justice in 11 Southern states. There, Glenn led a significant portfolio that brought together funders, community partners, and nonprofits to envision, design, and implement programs that build power, wealth, and racial justice in communities.
"This is a time when racial and gender injustice, the reality of climate change, and the need for government accountability are undeniable,” said Glenn. “It is encouraging to see leaders in philanthropy build institutional capacity to better understand how all these forces are currently operating to create an unprecedented threat to humanity and the social fabric of this country. Now more than ever, social movements and marginalized communities need allies in philanthropy who understand the history and complexity of shifting culture and changing systems of oppression. NCF is well positioned to play a leadership role by sharing what the Foundation learns over time.”
Prior to joining the Babcock Foundation, Glenn served as Executive Director of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods (NBN), a grassroots support organization in North Carolina. During her tenure, she expanded NBN’s program activities beyond neighborhood grantmaking to include grassroots organizing, leadership development through the Neighborhood Institute for Community Leadership, technical assistance/project development support, and simultaneous English-Spanish language translation. Before NBN, Glenn served in program roles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Forsyth County and at Grosvenor Neighborhood House.
Glenn received a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Wake Forest University and participated in a number of local, regional, and national trainings, including NeighborWorks, the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Crossroads' Dismantling Racism, the North Carolina People’s Coalition on Giving, the Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellowship (2007), and the ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellowship (2012). She currently serves on the board of Neighborhood Funders Group and as a co-chair of Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a collaboration of funders that advocates for increased investments in the South for structural change and equitable outcomes for low-wealth communities.
Rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice, the Nathan Cummings Foundation is committed to creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society. The Foundation focuses on finding solutions to the two most challenging problems of our time – the climate crisis and growing inequality – and aims to transform the systems and mindsets that hinder progress toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all people, particularly women and people of color. Leveraging a nearly half-billion-dollar endowment, which it has committed 100 percent of to investing that aligns with its mission, the Foundation has awarded nearly $500 million in grants over the last 27 years to support social movements, organizations and individuals pursuing justice for people and the planet.