Who We Are
Mission: The Andrus Family Fund seeks to foster just and sustainable change in the United States. We do this by supporting organizations that advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.
Vision: We envision a just society in which vulnerable youth have more than one opportunity for a good life.
History: The Surdna Foundation’s Board of Directors launched AFF in January 2000 as a next generation philanthropy to engage more than 400 extended family members between the ages of 25 and 45 in public service and organized philanthropy. While AFF is legally a fund of Surdna, it manages its own grant making program and processes.
C'Ardiss Gardner Gleser
Manuela Arciniegas is the Director of the Andrus Family Fund. She manages AFF’s overall grantmaking portfolio of 65+ organizations addressing gun violence reduction, trauma-informed care, divesting from prisons, and the intersection between immigration and justice systems.
Prior to her role as Director, Manuela was a Program Officer at AFF. She designed and managed the S.O.A.R. capacity building initiative and launched the AFF Webinar Learning Sessions, which highlight our nation’s most innovative leaders promoting highly effective strategies that support youth impacted by the youth justice system — including African-American, Latinx, Native and LBGTQ youth.
Manuela serves as the co-chair of the Funders for Justice/Neighborhood Funders’ Group, the Fund for Women and Girls of Color, the Youth First State Advocacy Fund, the Youth Engagement Fund Advisory Board, the Funder’s Collaborative on Youth Organizing Advisory Board, the New York City Youth Funders, the New York City Capacity Building Funder’s Collaborative and the Steering Committee for Funders for Criminal Justice Reform at Philanthropy New York.
Nyoka Acevedo is a Program Officer for the Andrus Family Fund. She helps manage our $4 million national portfolio of more than 50 grantee partners.
Nyoka brings more than 15 years of experience in the field of program development, management, grant-making and education, all in service of creating social change and advancing outcomes for our nation’s most vulnerable youth and communities. She has trained hundreds of educators in New York and Los Angeles on restorative practices through a racial justice framework. Her leadership has helped advance safety and healing while moving communities away from punitive practices that drive mass incarceration.
She has worked with the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Red Hook Initiative, Urban Arts Partnership and The Future Project. Nyoka also served as the Grants Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, working alongside more than 30 grassroots organizations nationally to advance public policy that combats the war on drugs and ends the criminalization of Black and Latinx communities.
Nyoka holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the School of Professional Studies, City University of New York. A born-and-raised New Yorker, she likes to get away from the city sometimes to hike and explore nature with her son and extended family.
Zaira Cedano is a temporary Administrative Assistant for the Andrus Family Fund. She provides additional programmatic and administrative support to the team and our partners.
Prior to working at the Andrus Family Fund, Zaira worked for Technical Traffic Consultants on auditing, generating reports, data analysis and coordinating new client account set-ups. Though she satisfied her intellectual side while working there, she always longed to return to work that was more rewarding and fulfilling. The shift from accounting to philanthropy is a welcomed change.
Awarded each year in AFF GRANTS
Awarded since 2001
Youth residing in juvenile detention, correctional and/or residential facilities in the U.S.*
Children ages 16-20 who exited foster care in 2017**
*As of 2017. Figure provided by Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
**Figure provided by KIDS COUNT data center.