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Nothing About Us Without Us: AFF Welcomes Movement Partner Advisory Council

By Manuela Arciniegas on January 21, 2021

“Nothing about us without us.”
James Charlton, Disability Rights Movement Author

Dear Community,

After 20 years of philanthropic work, AFF is excited to announce the launch of the inaugural cohort of Movement Partner Advisory Council (MPAC). AFF welcomes 2021 with the goal of entering into a more accountable philanthropic practice, deeply grounded in collaborative relationship with movement organizations, following their lead and transferring power to frontline communities.

Our staff is an all-women-of-color team, and we are deeply aware that accountability to frontline, directly impacted communities must be more than a soapbox talking point. The absence of a dedicated structure to bring community to the table is a promise — not an actionable plan.

The AFF board seeks to change that. As a result, we decided to formally create the MPAC. The Council is an intergenerational, geographically diverse table of movement partners from across youth justice, child welfare, immigrant rights and gender justice organizations. MPAC members are also intermediaries, organizing policy and/or advocacy partners. They all have deep expertise and proven track records building power in communities, changing policy and practices that impact the youth and communities AFF serves.

The goal of the MPAC is to serve as a strategic partner that will provide guidance to the AFF staff and board in how we meet the AFF mission, vision and strategic plan. The MPAC will also inform our grantmaking, capacity-building and philanthropic organizing endeavors. As AFF continues to strengthen our accountability to the field and deepen our commitment to sharing power with frontline communities, we’re very excited about formalizing a vehicle to deepen relationships and commit to the regular practice of following the lead of movements.

Our vision is that the MPAC serve as a council of wise movement building experts who can inform our philanthropic strategy and practice, ensure staff and board are in lockstep with movements and maximize our resources, efforts, and time to improve outcomes for the youth we serve and the organizations we partner with.

In 2021, MPAC members will sit at the table alongside the AFF board in our strategic planning process, providing valuable insight into the revamping of our application and reporting processes, capacity building programing, communications and grantmaking strategies, and philanthropic organizing efforts. Together, we will articulate a collective vision and plan for how to better serve the young people we serve.

Please welcome the outstanding members of the inaugural MPAC — all AFF grantee partner leaders on the frontlines of fighting for Black, Brown, and Indigenous youth impacted by youth justice, child welfare and other disruptive systems. We are beyond honored to work together with our brilliant grantee leaders to deepen authentic, collaborative partnerships between philanthropy and movements.

Manuela Arciniegas
Andrus Family Fund

CC Gardner-Gleser
Chair of the Board
Andrus Family Fund