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The Imago Dei Fund Announces the Hiring of Lisa R Jackson, Ph.D. as Its Managing Partner

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Today, the Imago Dei Fund (IDF) announces that Lisa R. Jackson, Ph.D. will join as Managing Partner,
effective January 22, 2018 Read More

Continuity & Change in 2018

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Happy New Year from blustery New England!

With you, we look forward with great anticipation to what 2018 has in store for each of us as individuals and as members of the many affiliations/organizations which give our lives meaning, belonging, and a sense of purpose. As much as we are drawn to the “new” in the New Year, more often than not the new is less of a dramatic blank slate and more of a subtle shift, a turning away or to, a reformatting that weaves patterns from the past into what is emerging in the still-forming present.

I recently heard the term “present future” which captures well the feeling we all feel at the dawn of a new year – the road ahead is not crystal clear or all mapped out but in the present moment we are able to hold onto what brought us here and what will take us there…

As we turn a page on the New Year, we feel this dynamism of continuity/change shaping our path as we continue a process we began last year to step back and review where we have been as a foundation and where we are heading. We are still in transition but have some new news to share!

Welcome Aboard Lisa Jackson as Managing Partner
Resuming Our Regular Grantmaking in Q2 
Doubling Down On “Gender Balance”

We hope your 2018 is off to a good start and that you are looking forward to the continuity and change of the year ahead. Whatever the particular problem that is top of mind for you as you head into 2018, it’s solution requires getting out of our perennial proclivity for silos to work together toward more holistic, interdependent solutions to untangle ourselves from the ancient roots of these problems to reclaim and clarify the deeper human ideals that unite us.

As grave as our problems seem, we continue to bank on the goodwill and capacity of human beings to come together around our shared values and tangible solutions to both alleviate suffering and injustice and address the deeper roots which create conditions for exploitation in all its forms. We will be reaching out to many of you this winter to schedule in-person or skype meetings to introduce you to Lisa and explore what’s next in our work together to do our part to co-create a world that is more humane and just where no one is expected to sit in the back of any bus or stay silent in the face of any injustice.

“This is a kairos [opportune] moment. Heaven help us if we miss it.”
~ Belinda Bauman, Co-launcher of #SilenceIsNotSpititual

 

Tostan’s “Sharing the Light Within” Book Gift in Honor of Molly Melching; Sign Up for a Copy of Her Book!

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Over the past year, Tostan has been through big changes and is preparing for a major expansion of their Community Empowerment Program, while deepening connections in the communities Tostan has served from the start.

To honor the tireless work that has made this achievement possible, and to continue the celebration of “Sharing the Light Within”, three members of Tostan’s dedicated Leadership Circle want to send you or someone you care about a copy of However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph by Aimee Molloy.

“This book reinforced my own belief that developing communities already have the potential and desire to spark the change that will lead to better lives for themselves and their families.” — Bill Gates

Molly Melching has been said to be living proof that one person truly can help change the world, and this book explains how. Tostan Leadership Circle members Imago Dei Fund, Tom & Gail Kaneb Family Foundation, and Tostan Denmark are excited to see these books get into the hands of people who will truly appreciate them!

To get yours, all you have to do is share the light within you and follow the link here!

Doubling Down On “Gender Balance”

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So much has happened this past year which has reaffirmed our commitment to working to transform the deeper roots which underlie and drive the whole continuum of gender-based injustice and exploitation which is all too normal around the world.

For us, our “gender-lens” has been one of our entry points into this larger work of joining with others in “repairing the world” (aka tikkun olan in Jewish activism/philanthropy) to co-create a more holistic, just, and sustainable way of being humans together in our world. In the wake of the #MeToo moment we are living through where so many are coming forward with story after story of sexual exploitation, we are looking at ways to “double down” on our gender-lens and take it to the next level with a particular focus on funding the more intangible, slow work of bringing women and men together to heal and transform the deeper root attitudes, beliefs, and power dynamics of male social/sexual presumption which you vividly hearing in all of these heartbreaking and stunning #MeToo stories that have been “hidden in plain sight” in every sector of society.

If you are engaged in global development, you know that in too many places, it is all too normal for girls to be sexually preyed upon and “courted” by older men like Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein and have to just get up and go to school the next day. It turns out we here in the US are in the same patriarchal boat as the rest of the world. We may have progressed more in our stated values and ideals about gender equality than other places but in all too many settings, a harmful male sexual and social entitlement persists which makes girls and women particularly vulnerable to exploitation with little or no recourse.

As Lisa Sharon Harper explains in the recent launch of #SilenceIsNotSpiritual, “The problem exists in all of our churches and in our world because much of our world is one that, for millennia, has been steeped in the culture of patriarchy.” As a faith-inspired foundation, we know that a chief sanction today of gender imbalance and hierarchy is often from within our religious beliefs and traditions. Thus we know we have work to do to clean up the patriarchal rot under our own tree which feeds and enables the patriarchal sexual/social/spiritual presumption that you hear in so many of these #MeToo stories.

We are not exactly sure what this will look like in a programmatic sense but we want to start the year with a commitment to seize on this “kairos” moment to start a dialogue with you our partners and friends about what this might look like. Because these problems originate within our very hearts, minds, and from deep within the very fabric of our culture and faith traditions, to truly do right by the brave women and men who have come forward with #MeToo stories (and so many before them who are cheering them on from the grave) we need to take the time to soulfully engage in a deeper process of transformation under the base of the tree which we believe adds more “bang-for-the-buck” to any programmatic intervention in the work of global development and social justice.

We are grateful for people and organizations already engaged in this type of deeper gender reconciliation work and see so much potential on the horizon to ramp up and extend the reach of this work to make sure this #MeToo moment leads to long-term, sustainable change that is less prone to endless backlash and regression to turn a page on this most ancient of oppressions, one that underlines all others and one we’ve inherited from slavery-based imperial societies, which in myriad ways continues to say your kind exists to serve and submit and take a back seat to my kind…

Resuming Our Regular Grantmaking in Q2

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Thank you for bearing with us during what has become something of a “gap year” as we use this time of transition to chart a new course forward for IDF which builds on our first eight years of grantmaking and looks ahead to increase our impact in the world.

A big thank you to Tory Dietel Hopps and Tom Fry with Dietel Partners for all they have done to walk beside us as thought partners and advisors in both looking backwards and looking forwards to ask: What is ours to do in the world? What brings us joy? How can we leverage our unique passions, assets, and levers for change to take our impact to the next level?

We will still be in transition in Q1 2018 as we continue to refine our strategy and make other hires but expect to be “back in the saddle” with our regular grantmaking by the beginning of Q2.

A thank you as well to Michele Breene who will be working with us individually and as a team as an executive coach to extend this time of reflective “pause” to continue to work to “create a team culture that is innovative, learning agile, and resilient” within the “volatility, unpredictablity, complexity, and ambiguity” that is a constant in our world. (from The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward) Our hope as we look to expand our team is to create an espirit de corp where we as a team continue to learn and grow, individually and collectively, and derive joy in participating in the change we are funding and hopefully become better people in the process!

Welcome Aboard Lisa Jackson as Managing Partner

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It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Lisa Jackson aboard as our new Managing Partner at the Imago Dei Fund. With the support of Dietel Partners, we have spent a good part of this past year engaging in a deep dive, strategic review process, re-evaluating our organization and titles, and conducting a robust and exhaustive search process that connected us with so many extraordinary people with such incredible talents, passion, and career paths in the work of societal betterment.

Through this process, we have enjoyed expanding our network and gaining greater clarity about our unique place in the social justice philanthropic ecosystem which we are so grateful to be a part of. This process will continue as we head into 2018 with continued strategy work and new hires, but we are honored and grateful now to introduce Lisa Jackson, who rose to the top of our six-month search, and will be starting officially on January 22.

Jackson brings an expansive background and over two decades of working in the philanthropic field to the Imago Dei Fund. She has focused on building strategy, program development and implementation, measurement and evaluation. Most recently, she was Co-Founder and Managing Director of the College for Social Innovation (CfSI), a partnership between social sector organizations and colleges to provide fully-credited, semester-long internships in Boston. Jackson was responsible for cultivating and engaging higher education partners, student recruitment, managing program and operations and serving as faculty of record.

Prior to CfSI, Jackson was a Principle at Jackson Ellis Consulting and a Managing Partner at New Profit. Jackson is a graduate of Howard University. She holds a Masters in Social Sciences in Education and a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University.

We are so grateful and excited to welcome Lisa Jackson to the Imago Dei Fund team. We know she will bring us an extraordinary set of attributes, including her curious and engaging intellect, passion for social change, empowering and entrepreneurial track record of leadership, team building, strategy, operational acumen, and a seasoned and wise approach to philanthropy.

We look forward to this new season of our foundation’s journey with Lisa at the helm, working together to take our philanthropy to the next level of its growth and impact.

The full press release is available here.

"Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary."
Martin Luther King Jr.