Diverse City Fund – a grassroots social justice fund in the nation’s capital that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary – is opening a new chapter. In breaking news, DC Fund’s Board of Instigators named Tamira Benitez as its inaugural Executive Director.
Benitez brings a unique range of talents and life experience growing up in DC after immigrating from El Salvador at 13. She brings direct experience fighting for social change in DC’s communities of color (global majority), including as a member of DC Fund’s Grantmaking Team. Benitez’s professional experience includes working as a community organizer, small business developer, and, most recently, Constituent Services Coordinator for Councilmember Lewis-George in DC’s Ward 4. Benitez has over 10 years of nonprofit experience and holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.
“I am honored and excited to take on the role of DC Fund’s first executive director,” said Benitez, noting that the funder is “a catalytic organization that centers its decision-making and leadership in the people directly impacted by systemic injustices.” She added, “DC Fund has been the organization that tells changemakers, movement builders, and community organizers, ‘We believe you. We trust you. Here is a grant for you to start dismantling deadly systems of oppression with YOUR leadership.’ Investing financial and social capital towards racial and social justice is how we practice collective power and liberate our communities from systems meant to keep us oppressed. I am bringing my entire self to this work.”
The executive directorship comes just two years after DC Fund first hired staff; it was totally volunteer-powered for most of its existence. Leading to the selection, a committee with current and past BOI and grantmaking team members, and a current grantmaking team member, recommended a finalist to the BOI.
Sheri Brady, part of the committee and a former longtime board member, shared her enthusiasm. “The search committee was thrilled to play a role in the hiring of Tamira as DC Fund’s first Executive Director,” said Brady. “Her passion for a just DC made her the clear choice for this position. We are also excited that she was already a part of the DC Fund family, as a member of the Grantmaking Team, who is committed to the purpose and direction of the Fund.”
Having an Executive Director will bring new capacity and energy to Diverse City Fund. The organization will be able to better respond to grantee needs, including capacity building and expanding grant opportunities, and influencing philanthropy in the region and beyond.