Seventeen years ago organizers, philanthropists, and educators came together to form an organization dedicated to long term disaster recovery and to rooting out the systems of oppression exposed and exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina. Today the fruits of that labor are evidenced in the more than $57 million in grants focused on climate justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ liberation, racial justice, criminal legal system reform, and economic justice distributed by the Foundation for Louisiana since 2005; a generation of local leaders trained to advocate for their communities via our leadership programs; and historic systems change work and policy shifts that have led to better outcomes for Louisiana.
As we look towards the future, we are so excited to continue on the path towards liberation under the guidance of the foundation’s new CEO and President Charmel Gaulden. Charmel’s visionary leadership, deep knowledge, and varied experience have already led to increased organizational capacity and improved outcomes during her time as the foundation’s chief operating officer. She brings more than 15 years of philanthropic leadership, nonprofit administration, program design, and strategic advocacy to her new role. Charmel is known across the region for her innovative grantmaking and leadership in criminal legal system reform. As a civil rights attorney, she achieved landmark wins around fair housing and support for survivors of domestic violence and continues to act as a talented convenor across sectors.
We are sure that under Charmel’s leadership, the foundation will continue in the long and proud tradition of southern, Black-woman-led, justice work. Please, join us in congratulating Charmel and recommitting to creating a more just and joyous Louisiana for all.