Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director
Vanessa has 18 years of experience working in social justice movements as a union and community organizer, researcher, freelance journalist, and social justice grantmaker. Prior to leading Groundswell, Vanessa worked for Tides Foundation, where she supported LGBT, economic justice and reproductive justice grantmaking initiatives. Under her leadership, the Tides Reproductive Justice Initiative increased its annual giving from $500,000 to $3 million annually and expanded its scope to include technical assistance, evaluation, and funder organizing, eventually spinning off to become Groundswell Fund. Groundswell has helped to move over $10 million in new resources to women of color led grassroots organizing efforts across the U.S. with nearly half of its grantees led by young people under the age of 30.
Prior to this Vanessa worked in multiple capacities for different sectors of the U.S. social justice movement. As a union organizer with Service Employees International Union Local 715, she built the leadership of homecare and other healthcare workers to successfully fight layoffs, improve wages, benefits and working conditions. As a community organizer she worked with S.I.R.E.N. (Service, Immigrant Rights, & Education Network) on welfare rights in immigrant communities and with EBASE (East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy), on the campaign that won a landmark living wage law at the Port of Oakland. Her research at the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank, supported the grassroots organizing work of welfare mothers involved in GROWL, a national network of community-based welfare rights organizations. Vanessa currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, and East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, and on the steering committees of the Health and Environmental Funder’s Network and Bay Area Justice Funders Network. Vanessa has a B.A. in American Ethnic Studies from Smith College and is a graduate of the Center for Third World Organizing’s Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program.
Alexandra DelValle, Program Officer
Prior to joining the Groundswell Fund team, Alex served as the Program Director at Third Wave Foundation, a national feminist foundation dedicated to supporting youth-led efforts for reproductive and gender justice. Previously, Alex was the Deputy Director of UPROSE, a Brooklyn-based community organization that uses organizing and advocacy to develop intergenerational, indigenous leadership for the environmental justice movement. Alex also served as the Community Mobilization Coordinator at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and as a board member at Choice USA. She holds a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies from Oberlin College, and a MPH in Reproductive, Adolescent and Child Health from Columbia University.
Kamau Walton, Administrative Coordinator
Pulled to the Bay Area by its strong historic and continuing tradition of community organizing, Kamau served as a youth worker and community organizer prior to joining the Groundswell Fund. As the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the National Equality March, she helped to mobilized over 25,000 youth to march for LGBTQ rights in Washington D.C. in 2009. She served as Program Director of P.U.E.B.L.O.'s Urban Youth Harvest, an Oakland-based program that empowered youth to impact the local food system by surveying and educating neighbors on food quality and local food policies, as well as gathering and donating fresh produce from backyards to local soup kitchens and senior centers. For the past two years Kamau has been a volunteer at Critical Resistance, a prison industrial complex abolition organization, where she has worked to fight gang injunctions in Oakland while promoting alternatives to incarceration that build healthier and safer communities. She holds a BA in Africana Studies as well as a BA in Ethnic Studies from Bowling Green State University.
Cathy has nearly 40 years' experience as a grantmaker, advocate, trainer, organizer, writer and editor, working with nonprofit organizations and foundations on a range of issues including the environment, economic policy, media and communications, food and agriculture, and women's rights and reproductive health. Most recently, she spent nine years as a senior philanthropic advisor at Tides Foundation, where she advised clients focused on environmental protection and justice, civic engagement and inclusive democracy, and reproductive justice. During her long career, she edited Environmental Action Magazine, co-founded and directed the National Family Farm Coalition, and served as associate director of the Rural Coalition in Washington DC. She was executive director of the San Francisco-based Shalan Foundation for nine years, and served as the interim director of the Beldon Fund. She directed Defining Sustainable Communities, a pioneering effort to build bridges between the environmental, community development and health communities, which culminated in a major national conference in 1994. As a consultant, Cathy has worked with the United Auto Workers, the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers Union, Levi-Strauss Foundation, the Abelard Foundation, the Arca Foundation, the Neighborhood Funders Group, the Council on Foundations, the Women's Economic Agenda Project (CA), the Institute for Conservation Leadership, the Sonoran Institute, , and the Communications Consortium Media Center. She has served on many boards, including Western States Center, Environmental Support Center, National Network of Grantmkers and the Funders Work Group on Sustainable Production and Consumption. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Foundation News and Commentary and a host of other publications; she is the author or editor of several books, including Food for People, Not for Profit, and dozens of reports. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a B.S. in Conservation of Natural Resources. Cathy supports Groundswell by providing strategic advising on planning, program design, as well as editing dockets and key communications materials.
Since 1992, Lisa Korwin has worked collaboratively with nonprofit, philanthropic, and governmental organizations including Ms. Foundation and the Women's Foundation of California -strengthening their capacity to meet pressing community needs by conducting evaluations, needs assessments, and other planning efforts. She specializes in working with organizations that are serving and advocating on behalf of traditionally underserved and/or oppressed populations. Lisa has a Master's degree in Public Administration from California State University, East Bay. Lisa is implementing Groundswell's evaluation program.
Over the past 24 years, Teresa has consulted and collaborated on over 175 political, public relations, and media campaigns throughout the United States. She managed the successful long-shot U.S. Senate race for the first female Senator elected from Washington State – U.S. Senator Patty Murray in 1992. Teresa has also served as a lobbyist, executive director, and senior project director. Teresa has worked across the United States, with state-based organizations in 34 states, as well as numerous national organizations. Teresa founded Purcell Public Affairs Inc. in 2001 to provide clients with expertise in strategy, communications, and mobilization. She specializes in strategic planning, communications, public opinion research, message development, campaign planning, training, organizational development, issue management, and media relations. Purcell has run several multi-state civic engagement programs involving both state and national organizations. She has extensive experience in targeting and engaging under-represented voting populations on a variety of issues. She brings a unique understanding of the election process, mastery of campaign tools and tactics, expert knowledge of best practices, and a desire to ensure that resources are wisely invested to build long-term capacity. She is a Washington State native and a graduate of the University of Washington.