Introducing the PGM Community’s Accountability Circle

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After a long anticipated wait, we are incredibly excited to introduce to the Participatory Grantmaking Community our newly elected Accountability Circle!

This first-of-its-kind circle will help lead the Community’s strategic direction and ensure that we live and breathe the values of participation, community, joy and accountability we have so far striven to embed in our work.

The Accountability Circle has been elected from nominations from the Community; people were able to either nominate themselves or someone they thought would be a good fit for the role. We had 19 applications which then went through two rounds of voting by the PGM Community’s volunteer working group. This process enabled us to elect an incredibly diverse group of seven people from across a variety of locations.We look forward to them leading us into the next iteration of this Community.

So without further ado we present the Participatory Grantmaking Community’s inaugural Accountability Circle…

Drawing by Hannah Patterson, from the first Accountability Circle meeting in September 2022

Coco Jervis

Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands; works at Mama Cash; speaks English

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

As a longtime HIV and health justice and racial justice activist that has only recently joined the philanthropic world, I hope to bring my perspective and experience, passion and enthusiasm working with grassroots activists into this space.

One thing you are excited about:

I am excited about learning from peers in this community, sharing the challenges and opportunities presented to us via Mama Cash’s participatory grantmaking transition. I am also interested in the notion of sharing power and expanding the ways and means in which the community can be engaged in all levels of decision-making processes within philanthropy.

Mark Greer

Based in Detroit, USA; works at The Transforming Power Fund; speaks English

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

I am bringing my perspective as a Millennial Black man who grew up in urban America and has channeled my lived experiences into a career in social change. First as a community organizer working on economic justice, public safety and democracy reform, then in corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, and now co-leading a grassroots fund. I am excited to highlight how issues in Detroit relate to global struggles and offer ways for the community to solve these intersectional issues together.

One thing you are excited about:

I am excited to watch the community grow and strategize how to shift power to the hands of those most harmed by systems of oppression. I believe that we can break down the silos that keep us apart and ineffective and create a healthy community for us to share ideas and resources for collective liberation.

Mariana Reyes

Based in Monterrey, Mexico; college in New York City; works at YYPN (¿Y yo, por qué no?); speaks Spanish, English and learning French

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

Since I began doing advocacy work when I was underage, I got to experience a lot of the barriers our current systems have for not only youth participation but also for minors looking to get engaged. As I now participate in more youth spaces, I always try to promote the inclusion of adolescents and children, as they are often ignored within the group of young people. I hope to encourage the PGM Community to include people under 18 and value all they have to add to the conversation.

One thing you are excited about:

I believe in the power of community and collective learning for producing structural change. As I try to learn more about how we can develop genuinely productive and transformative collaboration spaces, I am excited to discover both the work practitioners are doing and how it can influence the work of others within and outside grantmaking.

Theophilus Odaudu

Based in Abuja, Nigeria; works at Disability Rights Fund; speaks English and two local Nigerian languages (Igala and Hausa)

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

Diversity and inclusion: having worked in the disability field for over ten years and in an organization that promotes the participatory grantmaking model in its grantmaking, I aim to bring my experience to bear on how persons with disabilities and the marginalized can be included in philanthropy.

One thing you are excited about:

I am excited to see that many donors are interested in learning about the application of participatory grantmaking models in their grant making and are willing to shift the power. This clearly promotes inclusion and participation at all levels, and will lead to better results.

Callum Pethick

Based in London, England; works at Blagrave Trust; speaks English

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

A different perspective. As a queer young person, I especially see a lack of representation of people who think and act like me at decision-making levels.

One thing you are excited about:

Power and resources are rarely, if ever, truly in the hands of those at the grassroots driving change. I am excited by the potential of this community to change this.

Stella Kawira

Based in Nairobi, Kenya; works at Red Umbrella Fund; speaks English

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

Having been a sex workers’ rights activist and now working with an organization that is funding sex worker-led groups and networks engaged in rights-based work. I am looking forward to encouraging other grantmakers to consider funding key affected populations, especially sex workers-led groups and sex workers’ rights work directly. This is by either starting funding, moving more funds of better quality, and more accessible with no harm to the community.

One thing you are excited about:

The idea of revolutionizing together with other participatory grantmakers to encourage traditional grantmakers to practice using the participatory method way of funding the community.

Colleen Jankovic

Based in Los Angeles, USA; works at Rawa Fund; speaks English

One thing you’ll bring to the PGM Community:

An ongoing learning from my work with Palestinian activists that funding can do deep and lasting harm, and is not always what is needed, desired, or helpful for a community, movement, or issue. Spaces for solidarity and collective work, decolonial imagination, and regaining relationships to nature and community are often the more transformative resources.

One thing you are excited about:

The “participatory” aspect at the core of this community is clutch! It holds the potential to be infinitely expansive and creative in showing us ways to move closer toward justice, liberation, joy. I’m excited for this community to continue to sink deeper into its values and build its collective power to push at the edges of what philanthropy means and can do.

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