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We’re coming at you today with a very joyful post! Over the past four months a truly incredible group of people have joined the team at SJF, rounding out our organization with humor, data superpowers, deep community expertise, and fresh energy and perspectives. Some people have joined as full time staff; some are contractors, working with us on highly focused projects; and one all-star (our beloved Andriana Alexis) has shifted roles to share her magic in a new department. Read on to learn all about our new staff and staff-adjacent members and please join us in welcoming them to the SJF community!

Meet the new SJF staffers!

Photo of Aisha. A mixed Black Muslim girl smiling into the camera with a playful expression and one shoulder up in a shrug. She wears a grey headscarf black glasses and a black flower print top.Aisha Al-Amin Donor Organizing Manager

Aisha (she/her) is a mixed-Black Muslim girl who grew up Eastern Washington. Her background is primarily in youth work and she’s worked with various local and national organizations around the areas of youth empowerment, feminism, and Black liberation. When she’s not at SJF, Aisha is a board member with Pongo Poetry Project and is a facilitator at Young Women Empowered. She is also an avid reader, writer, and candle-buying connoisseur.

What excites you about SJF?

“One of the things that excites me most about SJF is the regional community that we serve. I grew in Eastern Washington, and always felt like folks who didn’t live in urban environments were forgotten or disregarded by social justice movements. I know some truly amazing people organizing in rural communities and their work truly deserves to be celebrated. I love that at SJF we not only acknowledge this, but that we actively find ways to resource these movements.”


Picture of Amy a white woman with pink and purple hair in front of a green leafy backdrop. She has a carefree smile and is wearing a black and white striped top.Amy Truax Finance & Development Coordinator

Amy (she/her) was born and raised in Alaska, attended college on the East Coast, enjoyed stints living in Spain and New Zealand, and spent much of her 20s couch surfing through various countries, but Seattle has felt like home ever since her first summer here in 2007. She is now thrilled to call the area home again, having recently bought a house with her queer chosen family in south King County. Amy has a background in a wide variety of social justice work, with a particular passion for Latin American solidarity organizing, antifascist action, and dreaming up abolitionist futures. She believes in movements that allow folks to show up in the wholeness of their being, leave room for witchcraft and woo, nourish and honor the body, and create deep and transformative connections between people, place, and the non-human world.

Although she has entirely too many hobbies and interests for the strictures of a time-based reality, some of her favorites at the moment are pottery, astrology, backpacking, baking, mushroom hunting, and kicking ass at pub trivia every Thursday night. She also loves lists, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Which of SJF’s (draft) values is your favorite and why?

“I am most excited and enticed by the draft value of abundance. It feels so liberating to work with a funding organization that doesn’t feel confined and limited by scarcity, but instead recognizes that we already do have what we need, and that “what we need” isn’t just money. While redistributing wealth is critical to our work and to create a more equitable world, honoring all the ways in which communities resource themselves outside of capitalism offers us a wider and more vibrant view of the future that leaves room for so much possibility.”


Picture of Mercedes a white woman with short curly brown hair and a wide grin. She is posing in front of a bright pink backdrop and is wearing a black top.Mercedes Klein Project Manager

Born and raised in Idaho, Mercedes (she/her) is a big-hearted queer who moves through the world wide-eyed, tending to joy wherever she goes. With 15 years of facilitation experience, including anti-oppression facilitation and curriculum creation, she is a catalyst of meaning and connection.

Participating in the Gender Justice Giving Project in 2016-17 fundamentally changed her, inviting her to see money as a tool for connection and building collective power. Coming on as a Project Manager in 2018, Mercedes extended that ripple of transformation and impact, breaking records through her Giving Project leadership.

A Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Mercedes believes coaching is a powerful tool for our healing and liberation. The values of the Giving Project greatly inform the practices she centers in her business, including incorporating political education into her fee structures and moving money to Black-led organizers. Most recently, Mercedes designed and implemented a program on unlearning white supremacy for the executive team of the leading coach training company in the U.S., paving the way for ongoing Black-led DEI work.

What excites you about SJF?

“I am so excited to return to the Giving Project! This is a model I care deeply about. It was the first time I experienced collective power in an embodied way, and I’ve seen it transform so many people, including myself. I am especially excited about leveraging the power and wisdom of our alumni to move significant money to queer-led organizing in our region at such a critical moment in time. We are carrying so much grief and terror collectively; our nervous systems are overtaxed and our bodily autonomy is threatened. I’m hungry for us to revel in queer magic – to resource ourselves with joy, wonder, and connection, so we can feed our imaginations and water the seeds of our collective visions, as so many Black queer fem(me)s have guided us to do.

I’m very excited to be on a team full-time again (being a solopreneur in a pandemic became too isolating!), especially one that is committed to creating an organizational culture that centers Black liberation. I’ve been inspired by our all-staff conversations on creating liberatory policies, and I’m grateful to see the changes SJF has made in terms of implementing a four-day work week and other policies that tend to staff’s wellbeing.”

Meet SJF’s Contractors!

Picture of Andriana a woman wearing a yellow sweater with long braids looking upward and laughing joyouslyAndriana Alexis Contractor with the Program Department

Andriana (she/her) has been a long time SJF community member, engaging with us through the 2018 Black Led Organizing Giving Project, the Fund 4 the Frontlines Public Phase Committee, and as an organizer with Seattle Donors of Color. She began working with SJF in 2021 as a Development Contractor and recently shifted to the Program team to help facilitate this year’s Giving Projects. When Andriana isn’t traveling, dancing, or singing a show tune, she’s master-minding organizational development strategies and communicating the value of a mission. Her work provides leadership for advancing organizational growth goals through capacity building, philanthropy, and equity. Andriana’s past experience on the frontlines providing direct services has laid a unique foundation for her transition into development work. Her role in community as a listener, collaborator, and learner keeps her grounded in the purpose and urgency of her work with brilliant, and often under-resourced, communities. Andriana has supported organizations like Zeno, Social Justice Fund NW, and YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish to name a few.

Which of SJF’s (draft) values is your favorite and why?

“My favorite value is Abundance! There is more than enough to go around! Having the opportunity to create and contribute to spaces that truly believe that shifts what’s possible – in our organizing work, for our people, and within ourselves.”


Picture of Radiah a Black woman with long curly black hair. She is smiling gently into the camera and is wearing a grey top.Radiah Shabazz Communications Contractor

Radiah (she/her) recently joined SJF as a Communications Contractor, working with staff to build stronger communications infrastructure and help chart the path for the next iteration of our organizational story. Radiah brings nearly a decade of experience in nonprofit strategic communications, racial equity, and organizational change. Radiah has uniquely bridged her strategic communications expertise and anti-oppressive social work training to implement and advise on communications strategies that broaden the generation and dissemination of content that elevates the intersection of racial equity with climate change, education, health, and affordable housing. She is passionate about using radical and transformative approaches as tools to advance racial equity and justice, and build liberation for Black, Indigenous and people of color as well as those unfairly pushed to the margins. She holds a BA in journalism from Howard University and an MA in social work (MSW equivalent) from the University of Chicago. When she isn’t working, she enjoys quality time with her family, watching psychological thrillers, crime television, and writing.

What excites you about SJF?

“I am thrilled to work alongside the SJF team and support its quest to strengthen and enhance its communications. Knowing the transformative power of a strong communications department, I hope to provide infrastructure support and systems change that will enable SJF to move boldly into the next phase of its work.”


Picture of Tai a Black and Native woman posing at a community event. She is smiling broadly at something beyond the camera and is wearing her black hair in braids with a flowered scarf around her forehead. She has a red top and black sweater on.Tai Simpson Contractor with the Program Department

Tai Simpson is “The Storyteller” in the Indigenous language of the Nimiipuu Nation (Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho). She is a direct descendant of Chief Redheart of the Nez Perce tribe and a tireless advocate for social justice who lives and works in the Boise, Idaho area. Her insight into politics and social justice work are invaluable in schools, business events, and community leadership.

Tai’s academic background is in Political Philosophy & Public Law at Boise State University where she served as the Vice President and President of the Intertribal Native Council student organization. In the community, she serves as an organizer and advocate & director of social change. Tai believes Indigenous “old ways” need to come back in style. The old ways are principles on which many Indigenous communities build their social and political narratives. As an antiracism activist and community leader, she uses contemporary and traditional Indigenous storytelling to depict the lens of “old ways” and how it is used to protect the sacred, build strength in the community, and keep nature in balance.

She speaks with authentic conviction on issues afflicting minioritized communities including race, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & People, and the intersections of oppression facing the United States. Her appearances and interviews can be found on Boise State Public Radio, TEDxBoise, and several news outlets. Tai is contracting with SJF to support the 2022 spring Rural Community Organizing and fall Native-Led Organizing grant cycles. Click here to read more about Tai’s expertise and organizing background in an interview with Move to End Violence.

What excites you about SJF?

“I have always admired the team at SJF for their willingness to try new ways of philanthropy and community support. From trust-based applications to making room for organizers who are NOT official nonprofits. SJF supports the practice of community giving and accountability without the red-tape and bureaucracy that makes the nonprofit industrial complex inaccessible to our Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. We don’t always get the practices right, but at the very least SJF is willing to try it on and learn. I’m grateful to be a part of the journey.”