The California Criminal Justice Funders Group Steering Committee is comprised of powerful and dynamic representatives from various local and statewide foundations and philanthropic institutions. Learn more about the new Committee members, Iris Garcia of Akonadi Foundation and maisha quint of Libra Foundation below.
The full Committee includes: Kathryn Snyder, Libra Foundation (CCJFG Chair); Anuja Mendiratta, Race, Gender and Human Rights Fund; Cecilia Chen, Northern California Grantmakers; William Ing, The California Endowment; Christopher Punongbayan, California ChangeLawyers; and Jidan Terry-Koon, San Francisco Foundation.
maisha quint, Program Officer, Libra Foundation
maisha quint’s (she/her/hers) career has been guided by her commitment to build power and self-determination in marginalized communities. Her two decades of on-the-ground leadership as a social justice organizer, community programs director, arts and policy manager and family advocate are essential to her new role as Program Officer focused on Libra’s Criminal Justice work. Is it possible to only include a portion of this and then link to another page with the full bio and say: Read maisha’s full bio here.
maisha served most recently as the Multicultural Fellow at the San Francisco Foundation where she led its $3M Arts & Culture portfolio, and co-designed working groups for Immigrant & Refugee Rights and Youth Organizing. She also helped develop strategies for the foundation’s $8M housing and anti-displacement efforts in the Bay Area. Before joining SFF, maisha worked as Community Programs Director at EastSide Arts Alliance, advancing intersectional approaches to cultural strategy and place-based equity, with a particular focus on the development of a Black Cultural Zone in East Oakland. She also served several years with the statewide network Legal Services for Prisoners with Children as Communications Director and Family Advocacy Coordinator, helping families advocate for policies on behalf of their incarcerated loved ones.
An extensive writer, frequent speaker, experienced trainer, and passionate community organizer, maisha has campaigned with Committee to Free the San Francisco 8, Stop the Gang Injunctions Coalition, the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. She currently serves as adviser to the Center for Political Education, is a recent fellow of both the Justice Funders Network’s Harmony Initiative and CompassPoint’s Arc Towards Justice Leadership and Solidarity Program, and is presently a poetry fellow with Cave Canem. A Bay Area native, maisha holds a BA in African American Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MFA in Poetry from Mills College.
Iris Garcia, Program Officer, Akonadi Foundation
Since 2007, Iris Garcia has worked in the field of human rights and social change philanthropy, with extensive experience in grantmaking. Iris is a Program Officer at Akonadi Foundation, focused on transforming the juvenile justice system in Alameda County and removing police from public schools in Oakland. She is currently building with funders to resource the movement to end incarceration of women & girls in California.
Prior to joining Akonadi, Iris worked at the Global Fund for Women, supporting international efforts to end violence against women and advance women’s rights globally. Her previous professional experience includes work with the New Field Foundation and Thousand Currents.She is currently the Board Treasurer for San Francisco Women Against Rape.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Iris was 13 when she attended her first protest, against California’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187. Her consciousness of social injustice and inequality was sharpened at UC Berkeley, where she studied International Development. Her professional life has focused on mobilizing resources for collective activism that advances human rights and social change around the world. She sees her work at Akonadi as a way to deepen her commitment to supporting organizations and movements that address systemic injustice. The issue of criminal justice is close to her heart, as she has witnessed the impact of this system on her family members.