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East Bay Community Foundation President & CEO, James W. Head Honored with Prestigious 2018 James A Joseph Lecturer Award by Association of Black Foundation Executives

Friday, April 20, 2018

Oakland, CA –  The East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) is pleased to announce the selection of James W. Head, EBCF President and CEO, as the 2018 James A. Joseph Lecturer (JJL), awarded by the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). The JJL was first awarded in 1991 in honor of ABFE’s co-founder, Ambassador James A. Joseph and is an award of distinction for outstanding philanthropic leadership in support of Black communities, the highest honor which can be bestowed upon an African American in philanthropy. The James A. Joseph Lecture and Awards Ceremony served as the centerpiece of ABFE’s annual program and conference, held Monday, April 16, 2018 in Memphis, TN — highlighting Black philanthropic leadership, with Head delivering the event’s keynote address.

“This is an extraordinary occasion that brings together grantmakers, individuals, and philanthropic leaders who work tirelessly towards creating a brighter future for Black communities,” said Head. “As a social justice and public interest attorney, issues of access and equality have been core tenets of my work. Ambassador Joseph’s efforts to facilitate more diversity and inclusion in philanthropy are a testament to the virtues of exercising bravery in the face of overwhelming odds and a willingness to take risks. I am proud to be able to carry on that legacy in service to our community.”

James A. Joseph was an early pioneer in the struggle to create greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy. He and other brave men and women of color challenged the Council on Foundations (COF) to increase its diversity when others would not. Celebrating 47 years of advocacy and service for promoting effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities, this year’s ABFE conference theme was entitled, “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” and focused on strategies to build Black-led institutional, economic, and political power as well as philanthropic support to address communities most at the margins (including Black immigrant, LGBTQ, and lower-wealth communities).

“James’ extended service and commitment over a 30-year career to the issues confronting people and communities of color is emblematic of all that the JJL award represents,” said Susan Batten, ABFE President and CEO. “Under James’ leadership, the East Bay Community Foundation has been a champion in addressing the critical issues affecting Black-led nonprofit organizations,” said Batten. “Its ASCEND: BLO program, designed to stabilize and accelerate the growth of anchor community organizations, is an excellent model for how we can ensure that we can maintain these important institutions in our communities. James’ work in the Bay Area and beyond has been inspiring for all of us and we are proud to be able to extend this award to him.”

Guided by the idea that social justice movements are critical drivers of change, EBCF believes that strengthening low-income communities and communities of color through power building, leadership development, and civic engagement strategies are key to creating better outcomes. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the East Bay Community Foundation mobilizes financial assets and community leadership to transform the lives of people with pressing needs throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

About EBCF
Founded in 1928, and supported by over 400 local donors, the East Bay Community Foundation mobilizes financial assets and community leadership to transform the lives of people in the East Bay with pressing needs. This means bringing together the financial resources and leadership capabilities of charitable-fund holders with those of government, business, private foundations, and non-profit service providers in coordinated, grantmaking efforts to positively affect social change. The Foundation is committed to advancing a Just East Bay; where all members of our community are treated fairly; resulting in equitable opportunity and outcomes. In 2017, in partnership with our donors, EBCF granted more than $46 million to local nonprofit organizations and has charitable assets under management of $450 million. For more information, please visit

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