Announcing New Board Members

By February 14, 2018Field News




Foundation Adds Two More Powerful Chicago Voices

CHICAGO — The Chicago-based Field Foundation is proud to announce the appointments of two new board members, Cathy J. Cohen, noted author, University of Chicago professor, and Founder of BYP (Black Youth Project); and the Rev. Dr. Nicholas Pearce, CEO of the Vocati Group, a clinical professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, and assistant pastor of Chicago’s Apostolic Church of God.

The announcement underscores the Foundation’s commitment to reflecting the talent of Chicago’s communities. It also supports the Foundation’s new mission of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art and Leadership Investment. With the new members, the board’s racial and gender makeup now comprises 50 percent people of color and 57 percent women. Cohen and Pearce are both African Americans. Most foundation trustee boards average a racial composition of less than 15 percent.

“For decades the Field board has ensured this foundation is an engaged and respectful partner with nonprofits across Chicago,” said Foundation President Angelique Power. “These latest trustee appointments carry two of the nation’s brightest thinkers into our work. They believe deeply in our new direction and have built legacies of transforming lives. We are thrilled to have their incredible leadership.”

Cohen brings a deep understanding of the dynamics of race, class and politics in America. She is the author of two books: “Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics,” (Oxford University Press 2010) and “The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics” (University of Chicago Press 1999) and is co-editor with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto of “Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader” (NYU, 1997). Her work has been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, GLQ, NOMOS, and Social Text. She is principal investigator of two major projects: The Black Youth Project and the GenForward Survey.

“I wholeheartedly embrace the mission of the Field Foundation and look forward to furthering their important efforts,” Cohen said. “At this juncture in American history, it is imperative that we examine the nexus of race, politics and culture if we are to understand how to build an equitable and just future for all.”

Pearce is a globally recognized expert in the areas of values-driven leadership, collaboration, and organizational change. He has served as a trusted adviser and strategic partner to leaders of corporations, social-impact organizations, governments, and communities of faith on six continents. He is also an ordained minister, currently serving as Assistant Pastor of Chicago’s landmark Apostolic Church of God. He and his award-winning work have been featured in global media outlets including The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Chicago Tribune, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Crain’s Chicago Business, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times and the Washington Post. A Chicago native, Pearce has been named one of Chicago’s 40 Game Changers (under 40) by WVON/Ariel Investments, and he has been a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2015.

“The Field Foundation is one of this city’s most bold and forward-thinking philanthropic institutions, and I’m humbled to be a part of its future,” Pearce said. “The Foundation’s focus on Leadership Investment is especially exciting because Chicago is filled with visionaries who have big hearts and big ideas. I believe that Field’s decision to strategically invest in our city’s leadership capacity will have an impact for generations to come.”

After intensely studying the Chicago neighborhoods with the greatest needs, the Foundation focused on understanding how funding with a racial equity lens can improve outcomes, Power said. That means investing in community-based organizations, community leaders, and building alliances to ensure success. Power’s Letter from the President outlines the rationale for the funding shift where racial justice was not an afterthought but was central in forming the new strategy.

Of particular note is where the money will primarily be focused. While only 6.9 percent of national foundation giving goes directly to communities of color, the Field Foundation has dedicated 60 percent to groups that are African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American (ALAANA) organizations and gives 50 percent to Chicago’s South and West Sides, areas that are primarily communities of color.

“We are proud of the process the Field Foundation has gone through in reexamining our grantmaking priorities and the new board leadership that is emblematic of our values,” said Board Chair Lyle Logan.

About the Field Foundation
Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grantmaking toward the goal of Community Empowerment through Justice, Art and Leadership Investment. With racial equity at the center of its giving, it directs dollars to critical organizations working to address systemic issues in Chicago and aims to directly benefit some of our city’s most divested communities.

For more information, visit the Field Foundation.



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