About Us

We made the grant to Groundswell because their model, which is unique, has measurable outcomes and engages the communities that need to be a part of our movement.”
— Anonymous Funder


In the U.S., the majority of people support reproductive justice but the majority of policies and systems do not. This gap can only be bridged when the people organizing a strong grassroots base to hold decision makers accountable receive the resources they need to succeed. At Groundswell Fund, we resource the most effective grassroots efforts for change.


We all deserve reproductive justice. From determining if, when and how we will have children, to living and raising our families in communities free of violence and environmental toxins, we should all have the power to make decisions about our bodies, families and futures. All too often, our reproductive health and well-being are jeopardized, not just by lack of access to information and health care, but also by economic inequality, immigration status, incarceration, environmental pollution, gender discrimination and other barriers. Women of color, low-income women, and transgender people bear the brunt of this problem.

At Groundswell Fund, we believe that those closest to the problem are also best able to develop strategies to achieve solutions.

Since our inception, Groundswell has granted more than $22 million to the U.S. reproductive justice (RJ) movement — the primary movement engaging women of color, low-income women, young people, and LGBT people as grassroots activists on reproductive issues.

Groundswell funds more RJ organizations annually than any other foundation.

We envision a well-resourced reproductive justice movement with the grassroots power to win meaningful policy and systems change now and long into the future.

For more than a decade, we have enabled a growing community of foundations and individual donors to increase the impact of their giving to this movement by offering them a different kind of philanthropic model and community:

  1. Different in who we are: Our program staff come directly out of community and labor organizing, and have a combined 70 years of grassroots organizing and civic engagement experience within communities of color. Our board of directors is comprised of grassroots leaders shaping strategy alongside funders and donors.
  2. Different in whom we support: women of color (WOC), low-income women and transgender people who are organizing at the grassroots level; reflecting our deep belief that resourcing those most impacted by injustice to lead is the most effective way to win reproductive justice for the greatest number of people in this country.
  3. Different in how we support the field: through grants and capacity-building resources focused on boosting grassroots power, and funder organizing that lifts up our grantees with a larger community of funders and donors who can move resources to their work, whether or not these resources come through our doors.

Today we support more RJ organizations than any other foundation in the country. Our grantees have grown from trepidation about the political process to engaging thousands of voters. They have been instrumental in the passage of nearly 200 pro-RJ policies and in blocking many regressive policies,[1] and they have built a growing grassroots base of support for RJ across the U.S.

[1] Groundswell Funds are not earmarked for lobbying.

Close this gap and win: why supporting RJ matters

The moment is ripe for the RJ movement to achieve determinative power. Public opinion polls show that the majority of people in the U.S. support reproductive justice, including the ability to access abortion services and contraception. The steady erosion of reproductive justice over the past decade has not occurred because of the majority public sentiment, but despite it. The chasm between public opinion and anti-RJ public policy decisions exists because the RJ movement lacks a grassroots base organized and powerful enough to hold public officials accountable. As a result, well-funded, anti-RJ forces and institutions have been able to advance their agendas with impunity. There is an unprecedented opportunity to close this gap and win decisive, large-scale policy victories now and in the coming years by supporting RJ organizations to grow their infrastructure and “skill and scale” their organizing.

There is a demographic sea change underway in the U.S. By 2020, 40 percent of all eligible voters will be millennials. People of color will make up the majority of the U.S. population by 2042. Unmarried women of all races and ages comprised nearly a quarter of all voters in the last presidential election. Popularly known as the New American Majority (NAM), these constituencies have the potential to shape the direction of every major social issue of our time.

The NAM trends progressive on reproductive issues. However, demography alone is not destiny. Effective organizing and mobilizing are essential if these demographic changes are to manifest as progressive change. NAM constituencies are most efficiently organized and mobilized by their own trusted leaders who focus on addressing the priorities identified by the communities themselves. The RJ movement is the leading force engaging the NAM as activists and organizers on reproductive issues. It cannot reach its potential without adequate support.

RJ organizations face two significant barriers to strengthening and scaling their work. The first is inadequate funding, particularly for local and state-level efforts. The second is a lack of access to the tools and technologies needed to “skill and scale” their grassroots power-building. The near-total absence of voter engagement from the RJ movement’s toolbox historically, and the lack of systems to rigorously benchmark and track the growth and strength of a grassroots’ base are two examples.

The goal of Groundswell’s new Blueprint (2015-2019) is to remove these barriers and bring RJ power building to scale.[1] Groundswell will move $30M in grant and capacity-building support to the RJ movement during these five years. As we look ahead, we believe that our level of vision, courage and commitment in this next decade must match that of our grantee partners, who are leading some of the most innovative and gutsy RJ campaigns and initiatives in the country. Just as they are — but in the context of philanthropy and in partnership with them — we must set ambitious goals, devise creative strategies and win. Our new five-year Blueprint is designed to do just that.

[1] While often associated with a large number, “scale” at Groundswell refers to the specific amount of power needed in a particular area to shift power relations and policy.

What is RJ?

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Reproductive Justice (RJ) is a theoretical framework and a practical strategy for change:


Audre Lorde once said “There is no such thing as a single issue struggle, because we do not live single issue lives.” The RJ movement addresses the full spectrum of reproductive issues that impact people’s lives: including the right to access affordable and high quality abortion, contraception, midwifery and doula care and comprehensive sex education; the right to be free from gender-based violence and criminal justice and immigration systems that disrupt the right to parent by tearing families apart; and the right to live and work in an environment free of reproductive toxins.


RJ centers the engagement and leadership of those who experience the greatest reproductive health disparities and face the greatest barriers to reproductive freedom: women of color, low-income women and transgender people.


RJ uses grassroots organizing, voter engagement, and community-based models to affect policy and systems change.



Connie Cagampang Heller (Chair)

Individual Donor & Chair of Groundswell Fund’s Board of Directors. Berkeley, CA.

Connie Cagampang Heller co-founded and advises the Linked Fate Fund for Justice at the Common Counsel Foundation. The Linked Fate Fund supports grassroots organizing and intermediaries dedicated to ending systemic racial inequity. Over the past 12 years, through Project Linked Fate, she has collaborated with academics, philanthropists, nonprofit leaders and grassroots organizers to disseminate research and strategies for addressing the effects of structural marginalization and implicit racial bias. When she is not organizing, Connie explores and reveals the complexity of race in America thought fiber collage. Works from her series, “Seeing in Black and White” and “White-not-White: Inside The House of Jim Crow” are featured in Shakti Butler’s film, “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity.” “Seeing in Black and White” was selected to be the cover art for Lani Guinier’s most recent book, “The Tyranny of Meritocracy.” She is the board chair of the Groundswell Fund for Reproductive Justice, and serves on the boards of the Perception Institute and the Mario Savio Memorial Youth Awards. She attended University of California at Berkeley (M.Arch. Architecture and B.A. Japanese Studies), Columbia University (M.A. Anthropology) and Mount Holyoke College.

Margaret Chapman Pomponio (Vice-Chair)

Executive Director, WV FREE. Charleston, WV.

Margaret is a seasoned advocate and leader in social justice work with a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in Political Science. She has led WV FREE since 2002 when she began to earnestly expand reproductive health, rights and justice work in her home state. She has received recognition for her work, including a “Woman of Vision” award from Gloria Steinem through the Ms. Foundation for Women. Her career has been varied, from serving in AmeriCorps, working with the Lummi Nation in Washington to teaching Political Science in West Virginia. She deeply values working in coalition and is called upon regularly to speak around the state and country. When not working for social and reproductive justice, Margaret enjoys spending time with her family traveling or exploring the mountains and streams of her home state West Virginia.

Charlene Sinclair (Treasurer)

Founding Director, Center for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy. Richmond, VA.

Charlene Sinclair is the founding director of the Center for Race, Religion and Economic Democracy (C-RRED) at Union Theological Seminary. Prior to starting C-RRED Charlene served as program director for Engaging the Powers at Union Theological Seminary. Engaging the Powers is a program designed to train Black and Latino pastors in critical theory, policy and strategy relevant to the development and implementation of their social justice ministries. A community organizer for over 20 years, Charlene is committed to the development of lived theologies of liberation where questions of faith are engaged and articulated within struggles for justice. Charlene is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Social Ethics from Union.

Pamela Miller

Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Anchorage, AK.

Pamela founded Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) in 1997. Since 2000, ACAT has been awarded multiple federal grants for which Pam has been serving as team leader and, from 2005 through 2016, as principal investigator of a research team that includes faculty from four universities in Alaska and New York. These research projects rely on collaborative efforts with tribes in Alaska to address environmental health and justice issues. In 2012, she was elected as the only American on the steering committee for the International POPs Elimination Network. Pam is known for her work to prompt state, national, and international chemicals policy reform to protect environmental and human health in the Arctic. She was selected as a fellow for the Reach the Decision Makers program from the University of California San Francisco, Reproductive Health and Environment Program (2011); was invited to participate in an unprecedented White House Forum on Environmental Justice (2010); and selected to serve on an environmental justice advisory group for the Centers for Disease Control (2009-2010). In 2012, she received the Meritorious Service Award from the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska for her service to the community. She holds a master’s in environmental science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (1981).

Kierra Johnson

Executive Director, URGE: Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity. Washington, DC.

Kierra Johnson heads the leading pro-choice organization working to mobilize and provide support for the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders. Through her leadership, she promotes the organization’s values of shared power and authority; youth-controlled agendas; collaboration and partnership; constituent-specific strategies; learning; and diversity and inclusion. With many years of experience in the field, Kierra is a leader in the reproductive justice and progressive movements. She has lifted up the value of regional and cross-movement collaborations to foster youth leadership development that will strengthen the pro-choice progressive base in crucial communities in the United States. Often sought after for her expertise on youth and reproductive justice, Kierra fosters dialogue between major national organizations and local activists to raise the voices of young people on the ground in the national debate. Hailing from the great state of Georgia, Kierra’s journey with Choice USA started as a participant in the National Gloria Steinem Leadership Institute in 1999. She was then awarded the Maxine Waters Reproductive Freedom Fellowship in 2000. Kierra is the 2002 recipient of the Young Women of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network (WIN), and now sits on the advisory council for WIN. She also serves as a board member for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Center for Community Change.

Rocio L. Córdoba

J.D.,Principal, Conway Strategic. Los Angeles, CA.

Rocio has more than 20 years of experience advancing sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice on behalf of low-income women, women of color, and young people. Most recently, Rocio served as program officer with the Gender, Sexuality and Program at the Ford Foundation, where she managed the Youth Sexuality, Reproductive Health and Rights and the Sexuality Research Initiatives. There, she focused on cultivating programs to advance youth sexual and reproductive rights through mobilization, advocacy, and groundbreaking community-informed research. Rocio’s innovative program design resulted in the integration of communications, digital media and original television content, while supporting young people’s leadership and voice to engage influential audiences and transform stigmatizing cultural narratives. Rocio has been a longstanding leader and supporter of the reproductive justice movement on the national, state and grassroots levels. Rocio co-founded and was executive director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, where she spearheaded efforts to advance Latinas’ leadership in reproductive health, rights and justice policy from a community-based perspective. While in California, Rocio worked in coalition to defeat three parental notification ballot initiatives, highlighting the detrimental effect of these policies on young Latinas and their families. Her career includes over a decade of leading public interest and civil rights litigation, raising constitutional challenges and securing remedies to advance the rights of low-income women, communities of color, and young people. This includes stints as staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; staff attorney fellow with the ACLU’s National Reproductive Freedom Project; the Kennedy/Coleman Fellow with the ACLU of Illinois; and director of public affairs at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. Rocio has been published in diverse publications, including The Huffington Post and the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. Length of Service: year one

Amanda Coslor

Midwife. San Francisco, CA.

Amanda Coslor is a midwife and a community health educator. She became interested in women’s health and empowerment after working with women and girls suffering from the traumas of sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and drug addiction at the S.A.G.E. project in San Francisco. Amanda is interested in community based people’s health movements, and works through the Groundswell Fund to create a larger frame around reproductive justice that includes information about the midwifery model of care. She cares deeply about health care approaches that see people as whole and recognizes each community’s ability and capacity to heal themselves when they have the support and resources available to them. Amanda has also been involved in collaborative philanthropy. She founded the Aepoch Fund, The Regeneration Fund, and the Community Midwifery Fund. She is also interested in seeing mission-related investing go mainstream, and has worked for 10 years to move her resources to be mission aligned. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys creative projects of all kinds, dancing with her children, and hiking with friends. Her desire is to honor her intuition, be honest and transparent in her communications especially when it comes to the dynamics of money in relationships. She is an active member of the Women’s Donor Network. Length of Service: year one

Jamia Wilson

Executive Director, Women, Action and the Media. Berkeley, CA.

Jamia Wilson has been movement building, media making and storytelling for over a decade. Wilson has previously served as executive director of YTH (Youth Tech Health), TED Prize Storyteller, vice president of programs at The Women’s Media Center, and the principal for Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s youth outreach program. A leading next-generation voice on feminism and gender justice, her work and words have appeared in and on outlets such as New York Magazine, The Today Show, CNN, Ms., The Washington Post and more. Recognized as one of the “17 Faces of the Future of Feminism” by Refinery 29, Jamia is a staff writer for Rookie Magazine, an online magazine for teenage girls, and has contributed to several books such as “Madonna and Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop,” the 40th anniversary edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and “I Still Believe Anita Hill,” “The V-Word,” “Rookie Yearbook’s 1-3,” and “Slut: A Play and Guidebook for Combatting Sexism and Sexual Violence.” Length of Service: year one


Rye Young

Executive Director, Third Wave Fund. New York, NY.

Rye Young works to support and strengthen youth-led gender justice activism focusing on efforts that advance the political power, well-being and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities. He currently serves on the board of directors for Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and on the advisory board of A is For. He is also a former board member of the New York Abortion Access Fund. Rye is passionate about expanding opportunities for communities who are most affected by oppression yet remain marginalized in our movements and in philanthropy. Rye received a B.A. from Bard College in Arabic Language, Culture and Literature, and attended the Institute of Culinary Education.


La’Tasha D.Mayes

Executive Director, New Voices for Reproductive Justice. Pittsburgh, PA.

La’Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized leader in the field of reproductive justice, human rights and leadership development for women and girls of color. La’Tasha is the founder and executive director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. New Voices advocates at the local, state and national level for Reproductive Justice — the human right of all people to control their bodies, sexuality, gender, work and reproduction. New Voices celebrates its 12th anniversary this year having served over 50,000 Black women and girls, women of color and LGBTQ people of color through New Voices Pittsburgh, New Voices Cleveland and New Voices Philadelphia. In January 2015, New Voices co-launched the national policy initiative, “In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda,” as a leading partner. La’Tasha is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and she earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at the Heinz School of Carnegie Mellon University. La’Tasha is the recent past National Board Chair of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective — the largest Human Rights advocacy group for indigenous women and women of color based in Atlanta. La’Tasha has served the Pittsburgh community as an inaugural Allegheny County Human Relations Commissioner, Social Action Chair of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter and President of the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh. La’Tasha was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs and to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Task Force for the Greater Pittsburgh Region. La’Tasha has been received numerous honors including the 2016 Coro Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award, Who’s Who in Black Pittsburgh 2015 and the 2014 Pitt Business CBA Outstanding Alumni Award. In the Pennsylvania Primary Election 2015, La’Tasha ran for Pittsburgh City Council – District 7 and earned 35 percent of the vote against the incumbent in her first major campaign for elected public office. La’Tasha is a passionate reproductive justice activist, native of West Philadelphia and believes in the indefatigable spirit of women.



Vanessa Daniel, Executive Director

Vanessa brings 20 years of experience working in social justice movements as a union and community organizer, researcher, freelance journalist and social justice grantmaker to Groundswell, where she has built a dynamic team to partner with grassroots activists across the country. As executive director, she has mobilized $22 million to the reproductive justice Movement, with 90 percent of its grantees led by women of color. Prior to this, Vanessa supported LGBT rights, economic and environmental justice grantmaking at Tides Foundation; organized homecare workers with SEIU; helped win a landmark living wage law with the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE); and conducted research to support the organizing efforts of welfare mothers with the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward). Vanessa currently serves on the Board of Directors of Common Counsel Foundation and on the steering committee for the Health and Environmental Funder’s 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.


Esperanza Tervalon-Daumont, Chief Strategy Officer

Esperanza has spent the last 13 years committed to building political power for working class, immigrant and communities of color in Oakland and around the state of California. Esperanza’s unique role and work at the intersection of progressive politics and the social justice movement has earned her dozens of awards including: The Redford Center’s Art of Activism Award with a video to share her work and story in 2010, League of Women Voters Oakland’s Democracy Award 2014, and the Alameda Labor Council’s Community Organization of the Year 2015.

Prior to joining Groundswell, she served as the first executive director of Oakland Rising, a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic social justice collaboration that educates and mobilizes low-income, immigrant and voters of color in East and West Oakland. She was the first woman, and woman of color, to lead a collaborative civic engagement formation of this kind in the United States and built a solid reputation as a savvy electoral strategist, a seasoned political organizer and a civic engagement innovator. During her tenure, Oakland Rising identified 25 percent of Oakland’s entire electorate in support of progressive policies, issues and campaigns. Before coming to Oakland Rising, Esperanza served as the national political director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CD-9), regional field director for Northern California for Barack Obama during the CA primary, a community organizer in post-Katrina Louisiana, and a Labor Organizer with SEIU 1000. Esperanza currently serves on the boards of California Calls and FairVote. She is a self-identified queer, Afro-Puerto Rican woman and native daughter of Oakland. A graduate of Mills College with a B.A. in English Literature, Esperanza’s proudest accomplishment is her brilliant and tenacious son, Santiago.


Judy Thomas, Chief Financial Officer

Judy brings 20 years of corporate and business experience to Groundswell, creating a robust infrastructure to manage the organization’s financial operations efficiently and responsibly. She developed a set of best practices from managing multiple years of CPA audits (PWC and Ernst & Young) in the software and manufacturing industries, managing accounting, operational, and human resources departments in these same industries and through her clients. While serving as controller at CDS Engineering, a hardware manufacturer in San Carlos, CA, she graduated from College of Notre Dame De Namur with a B.A. in Art. Her unique skill set of right and left brain thinking helps her understand the plight of nonprofit finance, human resources and operations. Before Groundswell Fund, she was the director of finance and administration at the Taproot Foundation, director of finance and operations at, controller consultant, controller for Knowledge Revolution and before that controller for CDS Engineering. She loves that life is interconnected, creative, and intuitive.


Alexandra DelValle, Program Director

Alex oversees Groundswell’s grantmaking. She brings more than 10 years of experience advancing social and reproductive justice within grassroots and national advocacy organizations. 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 advocated for brownfield redevelopment, waterfront revitalization, and freedom from environmental toxins as the deputy director of UPROSE, a Brooklyn-based environmental justice organization. She has supported international movements for maternal health through her work with the Averting Maternal Mortality and Disability (AMDD) program at Columbia University. Alex also served as the community mobilization coordinator at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Oberlin College, and a Master of Public Health in Reproductive, Adolescent and Child Health from Columbia University. Alex is currently on the board of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, and co-chairs its Women of Color Working Group.


Xiomara Corpeño, Capacity Building Organizer

Xiomara leads Groundswell’s Grassroots Organizing Institute, an intensive program that supports RJ organizations to build their skills to recruit activists, build grassroots power and run effective campaigns for policy and systems change. Xiomara was born and raised in Los Angeles, the daughter of Salvadorian immigrants. She grew up in a politically conscious household and began her political work while attending the University of California Riverside. She completed a union summer internship in 1996 and decided that she wanted to become an organizer. She worked at SCOPE, organizing black and brown communities in west Los Angeles under the training of nationally recognized IVE pioneer Anthony Thigpenn. She spent two years in El Salvador, supporting the unionization efforts of textile and telecommunications workers. In 2004 she joined the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), developing their first in-house voter education and mobilization program. She served as CHIRLA’s lead contact for Mobilize the Immigrant Vote California and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, and developed the organization’s state-wide strategy for taking stances on ballot initiatives in a way that respected the autonomy of individual organizations and accounted for the larger political landscape and key allies, including labor unions. Xiomara is a seasoned director and trainer, having served as CHIRLA’s director of organizing for eight years and as its director of community education for 1.5 years, before joining the Groundswell Fund.


Quanita Toffie, Integrated Voter Engagement Organizer

Quanita plays a leading role in Groundswell’s IVE program, which equips RJ groups with cutting edge voter engagement skills and technology. Quanita began fighting for social and racial justice alongside her parents in her native Cape Town, South Africa, during the transition from apartheid to democracy – long before the start of her professional career in the United States. Prior to joining Groundswell Fund, she was a founding staff member of Florida New Majority (FNM), where she led the creation of state-wide, data-driven electoral campaigns that harnessed the power of civic engagement organizing, technology, and analytics to advance social change. Prior to her work at FNM, Quanita served as a scholar activist in the fight for housing justice with the Miami Workers Center, a local community organization. Quanita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Theory, Economic Development, and African Studies from Hampshire College’s school for social change.


Beverly Avery, Executive Assistant

Born a CODA, Child of Deaf Adults, Beverly has a strong sense of community providing sign language interpreting services for her mother and friends at an early age. Mother of four college students, Beverly became the surrogate mother to her children’s friends and classmates because of her belief in the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” That ethic carried over into her professional background. While raising her children, Beverly worked in the public sector in addition to being a notary public for over 12 years and editor-in-chief for a youth newsletter. Beverly studied Business Administration and Deaf Studies at California State University of East Bay and California State University of Northridge. She has over 22 years of experience in the administrative and customer service field.


Krystal Kwong, Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Krystal has 10 years of administrative and customer service experience in the private sector. Her educational studies focused on environmental studies and learning different ways to help people. She is a firm reproductive justice supporter and believes women should have a choice regardless of their status or income. She spends her free time and energy with her family and godson exploring the Bay Area and California.

Key Consultants


Catherine Lerza, Sr. Advisor

Catherine Lerza provides strategic advising on planning and program design for Groundswell, as well as editing dockets and key communications materials. She has nearly 40 years of 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. 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 Grantmakers 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 — and is the author or editor of several books 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.


Korwin Consulting, External Evaluator

Lisa Korwin is the principal of Korwin consulting, which for the past eight years has conducted an annual evaluation of Groundswell’s Catalyst Fund. With more than 40 organizations participating, it is the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of the U.S. RJ movement, providing donors and grantees alike with a birdseye perspective on trends and opportunities in the field. Since 1992, Lisa has worked collaboratively with nonprofit, philanthropic, and governmental organizations including the Ms. Foundation for Women 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.

Groundswell’s Integrated Voter Engagement Program Coach Roster


Monifa Bandele

Monifa Bandele is senior campaign director for, and has more than a decade of experience in policy analysis, communications, civic engagement organizing, and project management working with groups like the Brennan Center for Justice, Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. At she manages the food justice campaign, helping to successfully increase children’s access to healthy food and working to stem junk food marketing. During her tenure at the Brennan Center as national field director for the Right to Vote Campaign, the coalition successfully changed laws in five states expanding the franchise to more that 250,000 formerly incarcerated people. Monifa is also an impact producer with nearly a decade of experience developing education curriculum, resource guides, social/trans media projects, and community engagement campaigns for films like “Hip Hop – Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” “Banished,” “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” “Soul Food Junkies,” and the Emmy award-winning documentary “Freedom Riders.” She has worked as a community outreach consultant for both Working Films and Firelight Media engaging more than 100 educational institution and partner organizations like Center for American Progress, NAACP, Boys and Girls Club of America, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, and Spelman College — ultimately reaching tens of thousands of audience participants.


Tomás Garduño

Tomás Garduño recently joined the staff of ALIGN (Alliance for a Greater New York) as the political director. Until January 2013, he was the co-director of the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), a 33 year-old grassroots social justice movement organization in New Mexico where he was a staff member of for over six years, and a member for nine. Tomas has been doing social justice movement work for nearly 15 years in the realm of community organizing in communities of color, direct action, and more transformational deep community building. He was very skeptical when he was asked to run the electoral work for the SouthWest Organizing Project having only done organizing before, and having a critical analysis of the electoral system. His decision to do civic engagement work at SWOP lead to a transformation in his outlook, analysis and theory of change. In particular, the development of a new way of thinking about an integrated approach to community organizing, electoral organizing, civic engagement as a whole and how change can happen.