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Introducing Melissa Tearney (she/her), the new Vice Chair of the Boston Women’s Fund’s Board! Melissa sits on the board of several community organizations providing a variety of services throughout Greater Boston, including Greater Boston Legal Services, serving low-income clients. She’s also active on the board of several Jewish organizations, including Hebrew SeniorLife and Camp Bauercrest. She’s looking forward to growing BWF and reaching more women, girls and gender-expansive individuals. Learn more about Melissa in our Q&A!

What initially drew you to the Boston Women’s Fund?

“Natanja and I have known each other for over 35 years. I am inspired by her leadership. When she took on the Executive Director role of this remarkable organization, I knew I had to get involved. BWF’s mission and vision truly speak to me. I am so grateful to now serve on the BWF board.”

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Vice Chair?

"Learning more about the grassroots organizations BWF supports and helping to build BWF so its mission can reach a greater audience."

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about philanthropy, what would it be?

“To make it accessible to everyone. We need to drive home the message that everyone can be involved at whatever level.”

What are two fun facts about you?

“One of my dreams is to run a marathon, though I am not sure I will make it. Microwave popcorn is my dinner of choice (and also the only meal I can make).”

What’s one quote that gives you life?

“‘A woman is like a teabag…you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.’” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Boston Women’s Fund is excited to introduce Akosua Ampofo Siever (she/her), our new Board Chair! Akosua’s career has centered on seeking out partnerships with high-impact organizations, foundations, donor agencies, and local government, to develop, fund and implement community-led programs disrupting systems perpetuating poverty and inequality among underserved groups. We’re looking forward to all that Akosua’s leadership and expertise will bring! Get to know Akosua in our Q&A!

Can you share a little about your background in philanthropy or activism work?

“Originally from Ghana, I grew up in Kenya and Tanzania in a family of development practitioners. This early immersion raised questions for me around inclusive community-driven project design and longer-term social, environmental and economic impacts. My experience in East Africa spurned a lifelong commitment to collaborate with communities and to improve the quality of life for women, youth and families whose pathways are barred by structural racism and historic inequity.”

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Board Chair?

“I am excited about working with our incredible staff, connecting with our grantee partners and building sector partnerships that advance the goals of grassroots organizations led by women, girls, and gender-nonconforming individuals.”

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about philanthropy, what would it be?

“I’d have communities play a larger role in the grantmaking process, from contributing to grantee selection to defining desired impact and measurements. We already do some of this at BWF, but there is plenty of room for growth in this area across philanthropy.”

What are two fun facts about you?

“I have climbed to the second hut of Mount Kilimanjaro and aspire to design jewelry and furniture when I retire…someday.”

Are you curious about alternative public safety programs? The Boston Women's Fund invites you to learn from our grantee Cambridge HEART (Holistic Emergency Alternative Response Team), a local organization doing this work, at their virtual Alternative Public Safety Donor Education Meeting!

This meeting will be co-hosted by Boston Women’s Fund and Borealis Philanthropy's Communities Transforming Policing Fund, in partnership with Cambridge HEART.

August 18th from 2:00-3:30 pm ET via Zoom. Free.

Cambridge HEART is a community-led alternative safety program. HEART leaders will share learnings from their research on alternative public safety programs in the U.S., their on-the-ground experience building an alternative for their community, and the training they have carried out with the first cohort of HEART peer and community responders.

Register at the link below to receive the meeting link in your inbox. We look forward to the chance to learn together and work toward the future we would all like to see.

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