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Solidaire Network Names New Executive Director Rajasvini Bhansali to Lead Growing Network of Social Movement Donors

New York, NY — The Steering Committee of the Solidaire Network is excited to announce the appointment of Rajasvini (Vini) Bhansali as the organization’s new Executive Director. Solidaire is a community of individual donors and foundation allies who are committed to funding progressive social movements. We work together to address the deep systemic causes of injustice and inequality by consolidating our efforts and collaborating in our giving, to increase resources for those who are fighting for a world where everyone can live with dignity.

“In Vini we’ve found a powerful leader for social change, one with the expertise and passion needed to move Solidaire forward in today’s political climate,” said Jason Franklin, chair of the Solidaire Steering Committee. “I cannot imagine a better leader to help organize and build the Solidaire community as we rise to the demands of today as social justice movement allies and to carry forward the legacy of leadership of our founding Executive Director, Leah Hunt-Hendrix.”

For the past 8 years, Bhansali has served as Executive Director of Thousand Currents which funds, connects, and walks alongside grassroots groups transforming their communities across the Global South and mirror so many of the values and approaches that we seek to follow and develop within Solidaire. Under Vini’s leadership, Thousand Currents expanded its reach dramatically, deepened the leadership of its staff team, and developed a range of critical partnerships to help advance movements for justice. They incubated the Black Lives Matter Global Network, created a solidarity training program for next generation philanthropists, launched the Buen Vivir Fund as a model of impact investing that supports grassroots wealth & power building, and co-founded the collaborative CLIMA (Climate Leaders In Movement Action) Fund.

“I am thrilled to join the Solidaire Network as Executive Director and excited to grow Solidaire’s work to transform philanthropy towards justice and liberation. In these times in the United States, movements for justice call on all of us to step up our support and commitment to each other,” says incoming Solidaire director Vini Bhansali. “I’m honored by the trust placed in me by the Solidaire community and look forward to serving in this role with courage, clarity, creativity and accountability. ”

Solidaire began with an effort by a small group of people to answer a simple question – what is the role of financial resources in supporting social movements that are fighting for deep systemic change? In 2011, movements shook the globe from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street. We witnessed and were inspired by the power of collective action to challenge the status quo, change the political narrative, and push for systemic changes in our social, political, and economic institutions. In 2013, Solidaire was launched by 8 friends and has now grown to over 160 members around the country who are organizing, giving, experimenting, and learning  together about the best role we can play in creating the kind of deep structural change our society needs.

“The Solidaire Network began among a small group of friends just a few years ago, and I am amazed at the growth the organization has sustained,” reflects Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Solidaire’s founder and first Executive Director.  “From rapid response funding that has helped seed some of our newest movements for change to a movement R&D fund to support new movement strategies and our Aligned Giving campaign for the Movement for Black Lives that is modeling long-term partnership, Solidaire is pushing the field of philanthropy to more fully embody a commitment to social justice.  I am thrilled to have Vini join this community as our next Executive Director. With her background as an organizer and decades of experience in the field, Vini’s wisdom will ensure that Solidaire remains committed to funding progressive social movements.”

For Immediate Release

Contact: Janisha R. Gabriel

Communications Director

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