Strengthening the Infrastructure for Black-led Social Change

Written by: NCRP

Date: March 04, 2021


This past February’s Black History Month saw several philanthropic foundations announce increased support for racial equity efforts, as sector leaders and advocates sought to deepen conversations around Afrolatinidad, white supremacy and grantmaking to Black-led organizations and movements.

Yet the question remains: Is this interest episodic or part of a more sustained shift? How philanthropy can help realize a more just and equitable world all year around?

An online panel of Black non-profit leaders assembled by ABFE and NCRP sought to answer these and other related questions on Thursday, March 4th.

More about Our Speakers

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry
Founder & President
National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC)

Joia A. Crear-Perry, MD, FACOG is a physician, policy expert, thought leader and advocate for transformational justice. As the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC), she identifies and challenges racism as a root cause of health inequities.

She is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker who has been featured in national and international publications including Essence and Ms. Magazine. In 2020, Dr. Crear-Perry was honored by USA Today in its “Women of the Century” series and featured on ABC Nightline’s Hear Her Voice.

Dr. Crear-Perry has twice addressed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to elevate the cause of gender diversity and urge a human rights framework toward addressing maternal mortality. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Birthing Project, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Jefferson Community Healthcare Center and as the Director of Clinical Services for the City of New Orleans Health Department.

Dr. Crear-Perry currently serves as a Principal at Health Equity Cypher and on the Board of Trustees for Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Community Catalyst, National Clinical Training Center for Family Planning and the UCSF PTBi. She is an Adjunct Professor at Tulane School of Public Health.

After completing undergraduate studies at Princeton University and Xavier University, Dr. Crear-Perry received her M.D. from Louisiana State University and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tulane University’s School of Medicine.

She is married to Dr. Andre Perry and has three children: Jade, Carlos, and Robeson.

Her love is her family; health equity is her passion; maternal and child health are her callings.


Karundi Williams
Executive Director

Karundi Williams (she/her) is the Executive Director of re:power, a national progressive training and capacity building organization. She is based in Washington, D.C. and leads a national team of strategists, organizers, and technologists towards re:power’s bold mission of building transformative political power with and for communities of color, at all levels in our government and power structures.

Karundi brings two decades of experience in local government, the labor movement, and the progressive ecosystem to re:power. Her focus on creating systems for communities of color to build their political power to create social change – whether it be community organizing, connecting everyday people to policy platforms or investing in infrastructure and resources — is well aligned with re:power’s mission to build and train leaders of color.

Previously, Karundi held multiple leadership positions at SEIU (Service Employees International Union) as the Political Director for the Midwest initiative and the Director of State and Local Programs. Prior to SEIU, she was the Deputy Director for Government Affairs for the State of Ohio.


Raymond C. Pierce
President and CEO
Southern Education Foundation

As President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation, Raymond C. Pierce leads the organization in pursuing its historic mission of advancing educational opportunities for African American students, other students of color and low-income students in the southern states.

Prior to joining SEF, he was Dean of the School of Law at North Carolina Central University. Earlier, Mr. Pierce served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights as a political appointee in the administration of President Bill Clinton.

He began his career as a civil rights attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the John W. Walker Law Firm.


Nana Gyamfi
Executive Director
Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Nana Gyamfi is the Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the oldest and largest Black-led social justice organization representing the nearly 10 million Black immigrants, refugees, and families living in the U.S.  She previously served as BAJI’s Board Vice- Chair and Managing Director.

A Movement attorney for the past 25 years, Nana is co-founder of Justice Warriors 4 Black Lives and Human Rights Advocacy, both dedicated to fighting for human rights and Black liberation. She has served as the Executive Director of Black Women’s Forum, an organization co-founded by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who serves as its President.

Nana is a former professor in the Pan-African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles. She has repeated appearances in documentaries and other media, including Tales of the Grim Sleeper and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and she hosts her own weekly radio show ‘Conversations On the Way: The Asafo Edition”.