Three Black Californians Assume Top Leadership Roles at Weingart Foundation

Bo Tefu | California Black Media

On June 7, the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, a private non-profit grant-making organization focused on racial justice, announced that it has voted to appoint Joanna S. Jackson as its new President and C.E.O.

That same day, the Weingart Foundation board also voted to elect Dr. Robert K. Ross as the Foundation’s Board chair. Ross is the former CEO of The California Endowment. Jackson, who has been serving as interim president, is the second African American woman to assume top leadership at the Weingart Foundation in less than two months. On May 13, the organization announced that it had named another Black woman, Crystal Crawford, as its inaugural Director of Strategic Partnerships.

“Following a competitive C.E.O. search process, the Board determined that Joanna Jackson was our clear choice to serve as the Foundation’s President and C.E.O.,” said Monica Lozano, immediate past chair of the Weingart Foundation Board, and chair of the C.E.O. search committee.

“With the support of our consultants, Koya Partners, we gathered input from board, staff, grantee partners, civic and community leaders and used this feedback to create a candidate profile that prioritized the skills, qualities, and characteristics of our next C.E.O.” continued Lozno. “We received hundreds of letters of interest and interviewed a dozen outstanding candidates. Joanna demonstrated a deep commitment to racial, social, and economic justice and has inspired our team to think and act boldly, fostering a culture that is empowering and inclusive.”

The Weingart Foundation partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial justice, according to a statement from the organization.

“Joanna Jackson fervently embodies the attributes necessary to lead The Weingart Foundation as it continues to operationalize its equity commitment, both internally and externally,’ said Dr. Ross, Board Chair of The Weingart Foundation. “Joanna is an equity-minded leader who authentically models the values of courage, dignity, innovation, trust, partnership, and racial justice.”

For the last 25 years, Jackson has worked in the non-profit, philanthropic, and public sectors, including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, The California Endowment, and the City of San Jose.

“It is an honor and privilege to continue to serve this Foundation as President & C.E.O. It is my calling to do what I can to change inequitable systems and advance justice. I see my values reflected in the mission of the Weingart Foundation and in the inspiring work of the nonprofit partners and movement leaders we work with in our pursuit of racial justice,” said Jackson.

“I am humbled and energized to continue this journey with a team of dedicated leaders, partners, and colleagues who share our vision of a more equitable Southern California for all,” the foundation’s new President and CEO continued.

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