NAKISHA LEWIS

Nakisha M. Lewis (She, Her, Hers) is a Black lesbian feminist and lifelong advocate for racial and gender justice and equity. As an experienced philanthropic, political and community impact strategist with deep roots in community and labor activism, she has spent more than twenty years organizing for racial justice, worker & women’s rights and LGBTQ equality at the local and national levels. Nakisha has spent nearly 15 years in philanthropy working with individual donors, foundations and donor collaboratives to develop grantmaking & advocacy strategies that address inequities and strengthen marginalized communities.

 

Nakisha most recently served as Director of Civil, Human and Women’s Rights at the AFL-CIO where she led the labor movement’s efforts to advocate for the rights of historically marginalized working people. Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, she served as the Program Officer and Senior Strategist for Safety at the Ms. Foundation for Women where she created a national portfolio for women and girls with a Black, queer, feminist lens. Her work on women’s rights also includes the co-founding of the #SheWoke Committee—the catalyst for the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls; established in 2016 and the founding co-chair of Grantmakers for Girls of Color – a national collective of philanthropic institutions and practitioners, united around the shared vision to build a philanthropic movement for girls of color.

Nakisha’s career and community engagement are driven by an unwavering passion for civil rights and justice. She is a longtime advocate and activist who has dedicated her life to supporting youth and grassroots organizing across movements. She has worked on a range of justice issues—from education and fair housing to welfare and workers rights. She is a writer, speaker and lifelong community organizer who has worked on national campaigns like “Why We Can’t Wait” and “Black Lives Matter.” She helped to organize the “Black Life Matters Freedom Ride” to Ferguson, MO in September of 2014 and is co-creator of the Philanthropic Action for Racial Justice—an effort to organize philanthropic practitioners around a shared vision for racial justice and investment in Black communities that centers the needs and experiences of Black women, youth and LGBTQ people.

 

Nakisha has served on the boards of Resource Generation, Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy, Project Hip Hop and New York Blacks In Philanthropy. She is a transformational leadership coach and the creator of Sappho’s Reads: Black Lesbian Book Club. She is published in several periodicals and nonprofit journals, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post and NBC News.

Nakisha lives and works in Washington, DC.