“When I close my eyes, I can see, taste and feel the warmth of liberation in the breeze. I aspire to tend the land, dance with the ocean and to be surrounded by the laughter of children.”
Hakima’s activism came from her childhood. She cannot remember a time when she didn’t long for collective liberation or “tremble with indignation at every injustice”. For the last two decades, Hakima has dedicated her labor to supporting and strengthening social movements. She was the Executive Director of Fahamu, a pan-African movement support organization as well as the former co-Executive Director of AWID, a global feminist movement support and membership organizaiton.
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She is a member of the Jang! popular education collective and has served as a board member to: Greenpeace Africa, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Eastern Africa, the African Sex Workers Alliance, and the Center for Citizen Participation in the African Union. She has also contributed in advisory roles to several donor and multilateral initiatives including: UHAI – the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, the Heartland Alliance, The Other Foundation, the UN Trust Fund on EVAW, UN Spotlight Initiative and the UN high level taskforce on financing for gender equality.
She is the author and co-editor of several articles and publications including: Africa’s Long Road to Rights; From Roots to Branches: the African Diaspora in the Union Government; Aid and Reparations: Power in Development Discourse; Queer African Reader; People-led Transformation: African Futures; and the Pan-Africanism and Feminism issues of Feminist Africa.
“Before the BFF was started, we stood on the shoulders of our ancestors and of movements that have come before. There has been a long legacy and generation of folks, who not just fought for us to be here, but also created frameworks, visions and ideas, so that we can actually transform the world.”
Tynesha’s philanthropic roots are in her early work, leading programs for young people. She has worked closely with young people who have experienced criminalization and incarceration, as well as dutiful work for survivors of gender-based violence.
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She is a graduate of Rutgers University, and has completed post-graduate training from the Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Executive Education Program, as well as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Centre for Creative Leadership’s Executive Education Program.
Tynesha was responsible for designing NoVo Foundation’s portfolio for girls of colour in the United States, a 90 million-dollar investment, and the first of its kind in the sector. She has served on the board of Grantmakers for Girls of Colour, Just Beginnings Collaborative, and Funders for Justice. She is also the Principal at Black Harvest, a Black feminist consulting firm partnering with social movement leaders, donors of wealth and institutional philanthropy to bolster work advancing racial, gender and youth justice.
“As an African-Caribbean feminist and women’s rights advocate, my work is centered around raising awareness for social justice through movement-building, and innovative approaches to philanthropy. Through actively supporting transformational work – from artists, dreamers, activists and organizations that strengthen social change – I am focused on helping to build a more colorful, equal and just world.”
Across her work, Amina Doherty has found the natural flow between creativity and activism. Through actively supporting transformational work from artists, dreamers, activists, and organizations that strengthen social change, Amina remains focused on building a more colourful, equal, and just world.
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She holds a BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University (Distinction) and a M.Sc. in gender, development and globalization from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Amina serves as a Caribbean advisor to Mama Cash, and as a Board Member for Global Fund for Women board members. She has managed funding for women’s rights organizations at the Sigrid Rausing Trust, she is a founding member and the first director of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, an organization that aims to strengthen the capacity of young feminist organizations around the world, and she has worked extensively with movement support organizations such as: the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID); Just Associates (JASS); and the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). Amina is currently the Program Director for the Caribbean Women’s Voice and Leadership Program at The Equality Fund.
She is based in Antigua and Barbuda, but has lived and worked in Nigeria, Canada, Jamaica, and the UK.
Naeemah Davis, Operations Manager
It started with two essential values for Naeemah: joy and family. On these principles, she’s founded small businesses, and has worked with organizations such as The Frontline and Black Harvest. As a successful entrepreneur, her experiences have taught her that with the right support, our Black women can do anything.
With that in mind, her role as Operations Manager at the Black Feminist Fund allows her to utilize her over a decade of education and business administration to support the Fund’s model for the philanthropic sector; solidarity funding for Black women in all their diversities.
Timiebi Souza-Okpofabri, Programs and Grantmaking Coordinator
Timiebi (they/she) is a writer, archivist and DJ from Trinidad and Tobago. Over the last few years, they have worked as a researcher and consultant, focusing on challenging the erasure of historical narratives of resistance through archives, storytelling, art and education. They are a co-founder of Batti Mamzelle, Trinidad and Tobago’s first queer DJ collective. Outside of work, they love hiking and the outdoors, making music and reading stories from the Caribbean, Africa and the diaspora.
It was her energy, her affinity for music, and her joy that brought happiness to anyone who had the chance to work with Deborah. She was a confidante, a big picture thinker, and a voice that ensured the intersection of race and gender was at the forefront at all times.
Deborah’s focus had always been on helping others, and to right the injustices women face – in particular women of color. A former investigative journalist, Deborah spent the last decade at the Global Fund for Women and Women’s Funding Network where she worked to advance justice and equality for women around the world.
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She joined the Black Feminist Fund advisory circle in 2014 and became a champion of the work.
Her strength was contagious. Nothing could stop Deborah on a mission. She pushed organizations and people to embrace change and think differently. She challenged and supported people to do better and to see a better future. She cared deeply about justice issues between people and she was not diplomatic about calling out racial injustice. Behind Deborah’s strength also lay deep compassion, thoughtfulness, and kindness.
Unfortunately, Deborah passed away in 2018 before she could see the BFF blossom. We carry forward Deborah’s light in this journey.
When Phumzile was a young girl in South Africa, she saw first-hand what fearless women could do. Since then, she has devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality, and social justice, both in the public and private sectors. She declared 2020 “A year for women,” with her “Generation Equality Campaign.”
She joined UN Women as Executive Director in 2013, and under her leadership, they significantly increased their influence within and outside the UN system, expanded its partnerships, and more than doubled in size and revenue.
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Most recently completing her second and last term at the United Nations, she will be remembered as a strong supporter of a more coherent, accountable and coordinated UN system, working together to achieve gender equality.
She has broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings. She believes that when you create opportunity for women, you actually unleash a force for good. Life has shown her that working with women introduces additional power that makes the world a better place.