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Since 2005, Linda Kelly has served as president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, and one of the oldest and largest of the approximately 700 community foundations in the country. Established in 1925, and now with more than 1,000 funds, the Hartford Foundation ended 2014 with approximately $930 million in endowment assets, and made 1,997 grants totaling $32.5 million over the course of the year.
Linda Kelly is also a board member of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and the MetroHartford Alliance (Hartford’s Chamber of Commerce and the region’s economic development leader) and is past chair of the Connecticut Network of Community Foundations. She recently served on the Audit Committee and Community Foundation Leadership Team at the Council on Foundations, a national association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. She has spent decades serving a variety of nonprofit and civic organizations in the Greater Hartford area, often in a leadership position.
Jabari Asim was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He is an author, poet, playwright, and an associate professor of writing, literature and publishing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He has written 12 books, the most recent is Only The Strong, a novel.
Since 2007, he has been Editor-in-Chief of The Crisis magazine founded in 1910 by W.E.B. Du Bois and published by the NAACP. Asim was awarded a fellowship in nonfiction by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2009. From 1996-2007 Asim served as deputy editor of The Washington Post book review, as well as children's book editor and poetry editor, and as editor of The Washington Post's Education Review. He was a syndicated columnist on political and social issues for The Washington Post Writers Group for three years. Asim is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle. He was Scholar-in-Residence in African-American Studies and in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2008-2010.
Karla Nicholson is the Executive Director of Haymarket People’s Fund in Boston, Massachusetts. Haymarket is a 41-year old anti-racist and multi-cultural foundation that is committed to strengthening the movement for social justice in New England.
Currently serving as a member of New England Blacks in Philanthropy, the Diversity Committee of the Associated Grantmaksers of Massachusetts, the Steering Committee of the Alliance: Advancing Community Development by Confronting Racism, and the Steering Committee for Third Sector New England’s Inclusion Initiative. Previously serving on the Board of Directors of Haymarket People's Fund, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, Board of Directors of the Funding Exchange, and Boston Arts Academy. She participated on the; and as a member of the initial Advisory Council of Kim Klein's National Grassroots Fundraising Conference.
With experience and skills in community organizing, development, and planning she works to strengthen and expand Haymarket's outreach in increasing their visibility and base of support. Her vision includes deepening and expanding opportunities with allies, partners, and especially Haymarket grantees to create an anti-racism movement for social change in communities across the New England region.
Rosalia Durante, 98, has lived a remarkable life as a teacher and a humanitarian. In 1963-64, she taught spent time in Nigeria, teaching at the Corona International School in Lagos. Decades later, she and her husband became patients to Dr. Yele Aluko, one of her former students. The Charlotte Observer covered the amazing story of their reuinon after many years. Today, Ms. Durante will discuss this story and more on Giving Black Radio.
Adebukola Ajao is an undergraduate senior studying Political Science and Africana Studies at Emmanuel College in Boston. As the co-founder of We Are the Ones, a coalition of young people, she strives to create positive social change in communities of color. She was recently appointed as commissioner for the National African American Reparations Commission where she researches reparatory justice. She is also a blogger for Huffington Post Black Voices and has writing forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy.
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