From a young age, maisha has been hungry for total transformation. As a Black woman, she has experienced and witnessed how insidious systems of oppression are a part of all our daily lives, and this fact has guided her commitment to building power and self-determination in marginalized communities. maisha’s political journey began around her family’s kitchen table, where she was encouraged to question the world and what could be done to change it.
“Philanthropy is inherently predicated on the suffering of BIPOC communities – throughout history and today, so as funders, we must fight, organize, and move resources so our communities can thrive – survival is not good enough,” says maisha. Ending the criminalization of Black and Brown communities, terminating police brutality, and moving society from punishment to healing, are the core tenets of the portfolio maisha oversees as a senior program officer. In partnership with grassroots organizations led by communities of color and aligned funders, she is working to collaboratively reshape criminal justice funding.
maisha has a BA in African American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MFA in Poetry from Mills College. Most recently, she was a multicultural fellow at the San Francisco Foundation. maisha’s previous roles have included programs director at EastSide Arts Alliance, advancing intersectional approaches to cultural strategy and place-based equity, and communications director and family advocacy coordinator for Prisoners with Children, helping families advocate for policies on behalf of their incarcerated loved ones. maisha is on the steering committee for Funders for Justice, an advisor to the Center for Political Education, a board member for Causa Justa: Just Cause and an alumna of Justice Funders’ Harmony Initiative.
In maisha’s free time, she volunteers with multiple Bay Area based racial justice initiatives, writes poetry, dreams about her mama, and gravitates towards the ocean to play with her children.