How did you get involved with the Appalachia Funders Network?
blue moon fund was an early partner of AFN. As my role at bmf expanded to include our domestic portfolio, I was excited to participate at the Gathering and sharing between the working groups. Having previously lived in Webster County, WV I was excited to reconnect and expand my professional network to include leaders and innovators from across the region.Read more
What first sparked your interest in philanthropy and specifically in the field of environmental grantmaking?
My interest in environmental grantmaking and specifically, in being a program officer, was first sparked in my second year at Stanford Law School. At a lunch event, I heard a Hewlett Foundation program officer talk about his work, which I found to be incredibly appealing. After working in the nonprofit sector, federal government, state government, and the United Nations on a wide range of environmental issues, my dream of working in philanthropy finally came true when I joined the New York Community Trust in January 2014. I never thought that I could find a position that brought together all of my environmental policy interests, but serving as The Trust’s environmental program officer does exactly that. I love being able to think so deeply and strategically about so many issues, and to learn from the brilliant people working in these areas. My passion for protecting the environment was instilled in me by my Puerto Rican grandfather. As a biologist working for the Federal Government, he introduced me to the wonders of the natural world whenever I visited the island. He taught me how fragile and precious these wonders were, and how important it was to conserve these natural resources for future generations.Read more
Margo Miller, Co-Chair of the Appalachia Funders Network Steering Committee crafted the below poem from the presentations and tweets at the Gathering. She read it at the closing of our learning day, Wednesday April 15, 2015.
We Come from a place where
The fog from the mountains look like crushed velvet
a place of natural beauty and a rich culture
We Come from a place
of place-based folks and organizations
a place with a long history of independence,
America’s First Frontier
where we are protected by the shelter of the timeless Appalachian mountains
We are a group of people who
are grantmakers big and small and practitioners
who want to work together for the economic transition of the region
this is our table, the place where we work together.