Board of Directors

Click a board member to navigate to their bio:

Anne McShiras
East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

Dana Kawaoka-Chen
Justice Funders

Gerald Mitchell
Independent Consultant

James Vamboi
Boston Ujima Project

Jenny Herrera
The Libra Foundation

Kathryn Gilje
Ceres Trust

Lindsie Bear
Humboldt Area Foundation

Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano
Justice Funders

Mateo Nube
Movement Generation

Nichelle Brunner
Borealis Philanthropy

Sha Grogan-Brown
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Valerie Jameson
Richmond LAND* (*Legal Action in Neighborhood Development)

Annie serves as Investment & Fundraising Director at the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, where she focuses on the use of finance as a force for good, centered on community control of capital. She works to actualize her bold vision of an economy where all people have enough to thrive by organizing capital holders to advance the equitable redistribution of wealth. Her experience comes from over 12 years as a fundraiser, storyteller, and business development strategist; across fields including student organizing, worker cooperative development, popular education, and transforming our financial system. A white queer organizer, Annie is dedicated to justice, abundance, and equity, and is committed to learning, unlearning, and growing as a lifelong practice. Annie’s tenet belief is that there are enough resources for everyone to thrive as long as those resources are distributed equitably. You can reach Annie at annie@ebprec.org.

As Co-Executive Director of Justice Funders, Dana Kawaoka-Chen partners and guides philanthropy in reimagining practices that advance a thriving and just world.  Dana leads with vision and is guided by relationships.  As a practitioner, Dana co-authored the “The Choir Book: A Framework for Social Justice Philanthropy,” and was a primary contributor to “Resonance: A Framework for Philanthropic Transformation.”  You can find her writing on a Just Transition for Philanthropy in Medium.

As founding Executive Director of Justice Funders, Dana grew the organization by aligning its strategy to the visions of movements working for racial, economic and social justice.  Dana’s leadership in facilitating a Just Transition for philanthropy by redistributing wealth, democratizing power and shifting economic control to communities has resulted in millions of philanthropic dollars being mobilized and aligned to build infrastructure for frontline communities to govern themselves.  For her work advocating for deeper investments in social movements and grassroots organizing, Dana was recognized by Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) in 2015 as one of twenty-five national “Leaders in Action.”

Dana has previously served in executive functions for two other non-profit organizations.  She has a Masters of Science degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco, Bachelor of Arts degrees in American Studies and Visual Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Non-Profit Management Certification from San Jose State University.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Dana currently lives in San Jose with her family.

Gerald Mitchell is a social entrepreneur, activist, advisor, investor, and organizational leader devoted to the goal of helping bring about a just transition to a new economy that prioritizes health, wellbeing, and racial equity.

In service of that goal, Gerald advises organizations on strategic and financial planning as well as sustainable investing and operations as an independent consultant and board member to various organizations. He has served as the Deputy Director at The Working World, where he helped guide the organization’s efforts to build economic democracy via acquisitions, conversions, loan financing, and advisory support for cooperatives and worker-owned businesses. Gerald is also the founder of SWICH, an award-winning platform that helps people leverage consumer power to change how businesses impact communities in support of social justice. He also founded Boycott45, an organization with a mission of getting corporations to end their leases with Trump Organization and Kushner Properties, including a successful campaign which pressured Nike to leave Trump Tower in 2017. Prior to starting SWICH and Boycott45, Gerald worked at Next Street Financial, Oliver Wyman, and The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Gerald graduated from Stanford University and received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania and currently lives in Brooklyn.

James Vamboi is a social worker, space curator and fundraising strategist born and raised in Philadelphia. James cares deeply about people and the planet and is inspired by the work of August Wilson, the life of Bayard Rustin and his Sierra Leonean aunties who taught him all about love. James is also the Chief of Staff, Community & Culture with the Boston Ujima Project, where he oversees the strategy and execution of local assemblies, community partnerships, organizational operations and co-leads the arts and cultural organizing programs. James is grateful to be alive and continue to build towards a world where all humans are in right relationship with change and each other.

Jenny is the Knowledge & Grants Manager at The Libra Foundation. Her responsibilities include ensuring there is a streamlined process that honors grantees time and labor. As a first-generation college (and high school) graduate, Jenny fights for a future that is against, what bell hooks calls, imperialist white-supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy (and cisnormativity). She longs for a world where bodily autonomy is not up for debate for women, trans/gender diverse people.

Jenny has worked across several fields across criminal, environmental, and gender justice. At Harder+Company, she researched housing policy, health inequities, early education initiative programs, and the outcomes of diversion programs. At Impact Justice, she measured the effectiveness of numerous criminal justice reform initiatives. At UC Davis, she designed and led an award-winning primary research study on street harassment. At Committee to Bridge the Gap, Jenny helped document pollution limit exceedances in Simi Valley’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory – advocating for toxic waste cleanup at the former nuclear facility. She’s an alumna of Justice Funders’ Harmony Initiative. Jenny has a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from UC Davis.

Kathryn Gilje (Kat) is a cousin, sweets, and daughter, raised near lakes and flat land. She serves as Executive Director of Ceres Trust, a private foundation which supports healthy and resilient farms, forests and communities; and the ecosystems upon which we all depend. Trained in agronomy and sustainable farming in Minnesota and Cuba; in community organizing and facilitation by Voices for Racial Justice/Organizing Apprenticeship Project, and Farm Labor Organizing Committee; and in non–profit finance and management by Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, and others, Kathryn now focuses on organizing money for movements, and finance for regenerative economies. Kathryn is active in her lay–led faith community, with training from Gamaliel and the Interfaith Chaplaincy Institute. She previously was a fellow at the Integrated Capital Institute; co–director of Pesticide Action Network North America; co–founder and co–director of Centro Campesino; and senior associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She serves on the board of directors of Community Water Center.

Lindsie Bear (Cherokee/Danish descent) is a mixed heritage mother living outside of her ancestral homelands in occupied Wiyot territory in northern California. Lindsie’s work focuses on amplifying the voices of Indigenous peoples in media, policy, community development, and financial sectors to support cultural strengthening, narrative sovereignty, climate resilience and self-determined economic growth. She is currently the Vice President of Strategy, Programs and Community Solutions at the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Committee of Native Voices Rising. Lindsie is an alumni of the Harmony Initiative of Justice Funders. She has worked across Indigenous communities in the western US, supporting Native authors, culture bearers, and artists as director of the Native Cultures Fund, executive director of Heyday books, and editor of News from Native California magazine. She previously served as a senior editor and marketing manager for the Humanities at University of California Press. Lindsie is happiest when out gathering with her family or swimming in the rivers of the northwest.

As Co-Executive Director, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano supports the team in pursuing collaborative strategies to build a bold and sustainable Justice Funders by strengthening internal operational systems, aligning programs with our vision, and cultivating practices that nurture an organizational culture through which we are all able to flourish, thrive, and bring our full selves to the work of transforming philanthropy toward a Just Transition.

Early in his journey, Lorenzo was confronted with the painful contradictions between the radical and inspiring mission statements of movement organizations and the mistreatment and exploitation of their employees. Moved by the stories of heartbreak and loss of those who came before him, coupled with the heartbreak and loss he was experiencing, he rejected the practice of creating martyrs out of each other and of offering ourselves—our physical and mental health, our agency, our dreams—as sacrifices in the name of future generations. Turning to the wisdom of women of color, most of them queer, he began nurturing an organizational development and leadership praxis rooted in two fundamental beliefs: 1) to do our work well, we must support each other in being well; and, 2) to move in the direction of a shared vision, we must begin embodying that vision in the present.

Building on two decades of nonprofit management and governance experience; graduate training in Cultural Studies, Organizational Leadership and Ethics, and Chicanx Studies; and, a practice in neuroscience-informed asset-based coaching, Lorenzo applies these beliefs to every aspect of his work with the Justice Funders team—from the infrastructure we create; to the design, delivery, and assessment of our programs; to the supervision and professional development we provide; to the questions we ask and the reflections we offer one another; to the wellness strategies we weave into our together.

Raised in the Bay Area and northern Mexico, Lorenzo makes queer home with his partners, two rapidly growing teenagers, and a chihuahua in San Francisco.

Mateo is one of the co-founders of the Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project. He was born and grew up in La Paz, Bolivia. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has worked in the labor, environmental justice and international solidarity movements. Mateo is the son of Barbara, and fortunate father of Hayden and Nilo. He is also a member of the Latin rock band Los Nadies. Mateo is national co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance’s Board of Directors.

Nichelle Brunner (she/her) is a grantmaker, social media guru, writer, and lover of all things pink. As a Black, fat, queer millennial, Nichelle uses philanthropy and communications to support her communities and tell their stories. She currently works at Borealis Philanthropy on the Emerging LGBTQ+ Leaders of Color Fund, resourcing young, queer and trans movement leaders of color. In her free time, Nichelle can be found crying over a young adult novel, enjoying the outdoors, exploring a new city, and sharing random rants and memes on Instagram.

Deputy Director for Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), has worked to strengthen movements for social justice since the late 90s, and is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and self-sustaining capacity of grassroots organizations. He worked with Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) from 2001-2008, was the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator for the US Social Forum 2010, and then joined GGJ staff in 2010. He currently serves on the boards of Grassroots International, Justice Funders, and CISPES, and was the Art Editor for the second edition of Trans Bodies Trans Selves: A Resource Guide for the Transgender Community. Sha is an anti-racist white queer transman & dad, based in his hometown of Washington, DC on Piscataway and Nacotchtank (Anacostan) lands.

Valerie Jameson is a homegrown leader that was politicized at a young age growing up in Richmond, CA. Seeing the material conditions of her family, friends, and neighbors ignited her passion for radical community transformation, and led her to become a grassroots youth organizer and advocate for a number of local social justice issues through a decolonial lens and community empowerment framework. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Richmond LAND, a community land trust that is building staying power through land-use advocacy, community organizing, land acquisition, and development. She is responsible for the strategic growth and sustainability of the organization; weaving together community activation, base-building, affordable housing preservation, redevelopment projects, and stewardship activities that are driven by homegrown residents and benefit longtime community members. Valere is a mover, shaker, and systems change agent who wants historically disenfranchised and dispossessed communities to lead, benefit, and thrive. She looks forward to contributing to restorative economic efforts that shift hoarded resources and protected knowledge toward community controlled land & housing efforts and transformative real estate projects.