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We’re happy to announce two staffing changes within SJF: the transitions of Essex Lordes from Project Manager to Grants Database Manager and Lady Anderson from Program Director to Director of Collective Capacity Building!

Essex Lordes, Grants Database Manager

Essex joined SJF in August of 2019 as a Project Manager, supporting curriculum development, facilitation, and grantmaking for SJF’s Giving Projects. With a background in anti-violence advocacy and community organizing for social, economic, and transformative justice, Essex’s expertise and focused and playful personality has brought so much to SJF. In his time with us, Essex has supported the 2018 Criminal Justice and 2019 Economic Justice Giving Projects and stepped up to the plate to lead 2020-21’s Forced Migration & Displacement Giving Project.

Essex’s inner nerd led him to a passion for mastering the complicated software we use for grant applications. This, coupled with his interest in connecting deeply with our grantee community and seeking out improved ways to support current and prospective grantees, made him the perfect candidate to be SJF’s new Grants Database Manager! Here’s what Essex had to say about his new role: “In my two+ years with SJF as a Project Manager, I’ve learned many crucial lessons on how social justice principles can transform philanthropy into a vehicle for social change, rather than a tool to reinforce white supremacy. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to expand on these lessons and support our grantee community in this new role!”

Lady Anderson, Director of Collective Capacity Building

Lady joined staff in June 2021 as SJF’s Program Director. After eight eventful months and one strategic planning process, it was evident that Lady’s contributions were better described by Director of Collective Capacity building. This new position, with responsibilities including supervising the management of our grantmaking and program departments among others, is one strategic change we hope will support both Lady’s success at SJF and our overall mission.

In the words of our Interim Executive Director, Valériana Chikoti-Bandua Estes, “At SJF one of the many things we are exploring in our strategic planning is to review what structures are effective and what changes we need to make to encompass the direction in which we are going. In one of our meetings, we brought up the need to have our job titles match our responsibilities and the ways in which we are supporting our teams. Naturally when Lady shared her title change it made sense, as Lady shows up daily as a Director of Collective Capacity Building. She builds with those around her by examining the depth of our programming internally and externally, and does so while centering the need to have a collective voice.

I am honored to know Lady, brush shoulders with Lady and learn so much from her. She continues to show up as her whole self, as a truth teller who challenges us at SJF to think critically about being mindful of how we can work better with each other and communicate in a more meaningful way. She sets a tone that keeps us grounded and I really look forward to seeing how Lady will be contributing, building, and making an audacious difference in her new role.”