GRANT-MAKING PANEL

Below you will find our 2022 Grant-Making Panel cohort. To learn about our previous panelists, click here.

Adrian Madriz

Adrian Madriz (he/him/el) is a community organizer who has been working in the neighborhoods of Miami most affected by slumlords and gentrification. In 2015, he was inspired by community leader Trenise Bryant and he and his neighbors started the organization SMASH in order to generate solutions to slum and blight without gentrifying the neighborhood. SMASH is a Community Land Trust and is developing its first affordable housing project in Liberty City. He has a BA in Political Science and Screen Arts from the University of Michigan. He lives in Overtown with his husband, Armando Carranza.

Cessilye R. Smith

Cessilye’s (she/her) passion for Black women and for her community is what compelled her to found Abide Women’s Health Services in 2018 in the heart of South Dallas. As CEO of a start-up non-profit Cessilye has had to wear many hats such as managing development including major gifts and a 1 million capital campaign, operations of an easy access clinic, and program implementation and evaluation. Cessilye began her almost decade of experience as a maternal and racial justice activist after going through the challenges of her own birth story. Now she is not only committed to advocating for justice and dismantling oppression, but she is also building a new liberating reality where Rest, Resist, and Restore are the actions that guide her.

Kevin Al Perez

Kevin Al Perez (he/him) is a Queer Brown Guatemalan organizer and activist raised in San Fernando Valley California. Kevin is the Founder and President of Somos Familia Valle. Currently, Kevin serves in the Los Angeles Unified School District Human Relations Commission for diversity and equity. 

Mia Beverly

Mia Beverly (she, they) is a Grant Manager for Grinding Stone Collective Inc., a Native-led organization that strives to uplift Indigenous peoples through resource, programming, and platform development. Between working as a Program Specialist for the Administration for Native Americans and her work with Grinding Stone Collective Inc., she seeks to serve Indigenous communities through grantmaking and development. She currently resides in the unceded territory of the Piscataway, also known as Washington DC. 

Scout Silverstein

Scout (they/themme) is a 34-year-old trans and intersex person born and living in NYC. They are a long-time member of Fighting Eating Disorders in Underrepresented Populations (FEDUP): A Trans+ & Intersex Collective. They spent their teenage years in the child welfare system, aging out at 17. They have a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Policy & Advocacy and are wrapping up a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a community health focus. They are white and from a mixed-race family of origin. They are a nerdy Virgo with a love of puns and puzzles. They are passionate about eating disorder treatment access, academic research, legislative work around intersex justice, abolition, disability justice, and playing with their rescue dog.

Vanessa Harris

Vanessa Harris (she/her), P.E. is a licensed engineer with a disability who founded a nonprofit, Strategy for Access (StrAF), in 2018. Harris has 35 years of engineering experience and has won ten awards in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics fields. Following her retirement from engineering, Ms. Harris was inspired by a class taken at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center to create short documentaries celebrating persons with disabilities. Her first film featured a multimedia artist who creates designs for the disabled and non-disabled. StrAF has since created fifty additional videos covering a range of issues intended to delight audiences of all abilities. Ms. Harris has always enjoyed solving problems and now focuses on solving issues as diverse as buying an accessible car as a wheelchair user and mask-wearing for individuals with autism. She covers each subject clearly with her unique sense of humor.

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