Anna Lefer Kuhn

Tell us why you joined the board.

I joined the board to help expand Solidaire’s efforts to mobilize philanthropy to support transformative BIPOC-led social justice movements.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

To be in community with other donors committed to transforming the relationship between movements and philanthropy.

What does liberation mean to you?

Liberation means having the resources, community power and security to live with dignity.

Hashem Bajwa

I am a creative leader that uses imagination, intuition and inclusivity to solve problems and create experiences that bring people together. 

I’ve spent my career working at the intersection of technology and liberal arts to create new programs, products and experiences, digital and physical, that help organizations and brands move their goals forward. 

I currently work at Apple leading strategy and experience design for the Apple Store globally. One of our goals is to turn Apple “upside down and inside out”, meaning that we want to empower local teams bottoms up instead of tops down, and we want to bring the resources inside Apple out to those communities we operate in. One way we have done this is creating the Today at Apple program that is designed to provide free educational sessions about coding, music making, video, photography, entrepreneurship and digital wellbeing. 

One of the outcomes of my work at Apple that I am most proud of has been inspiring 75K employees across 500 stores in 30 countries about their ability to be “the ripple in the pond” in their communities by demonstrating our values of equality, education, privacy, environmental sustainability and accessibility. Much more is needed, but my work with Solidaire gives me energy and tools to push for progress. 

I’ve been at Apple six years and prior to that worked in creative agencies where designers, writers, animators, producers, strategists and developers came together in a fluid away to solve problems through communications, marketing, branding and content. 

I studied International Relations at The New School and began my career at the United Nations working in communications and media. I continue to bring this global perspective and social responsibility to my life and work today.

Ingrid Benedict

Tell us why you joined the board: 

I had direct experience with the value, benefit, people and power of Solidaire as it supported early actions in the beginning of the Movement for Black Lives.  I felt that I could bring what I was learning in supporting M4BL and the immigrant justice movement to Solidaire and also support Solidaire in continuing to grow and deepen its strategies and efforts.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

The Solidaire vision for the redistribution of wealth, access and power.  The Solidaire belief that everyone should have access to enough resources to live in our fullest dignity.  The belief that this society fundamentally does not work for people and the planet and we need to transition to a just and equitable world for our own survival as human beings. A curious space that is always learning and growing. To be effective we need to always reflect and refine our work.

What does liberation mean to you?

Liberation means to be living in my biggest visions of a world that supports each human being to embody and actualize our fullest humanity, to embody joy, love.  Liberation means a world in which all Black people in the Diaspora everywhere are thriving, joyful, valued  and celebrated.

Jason Franklin

Tell us why you joined the board.

I joined as a co-founder of Solidaire because I saw the need for creating a community of donors who were explicitly called to stand together in solidarity with social movements, proactively organizing one another and our broader networks to move major resources to the leaders and organizations who I see as the most powerful champions for the vision of the world I want to live in.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

Building deep and trusting relationships with both donors and movement leaders so we can work together “at the speed of trust.”

What does liberation mean to you?

Liberation is a journey….every step towards liberation is a step we take together to create a world defined by abundance: economically this looks like shared prosperity, equality and self-sufficiency; politically this looks like widespread civic engagement and collective power; socially this looks like deep inclusion and connection; environmentally this looks like a resilient and thriving planet.

Lateefah Simon

Tell us why you joined the board.

Solidaire is an incredible organization that upholds my values of supporting and trusting movement leaders to guide us into a future where we all thrive.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

The staff and the board’s commitment to liberation and freedom are inspiring. I love being in a community with people who really deeply believe in a future free from oppressive systems.

What does liberation mean to you?

To be free from all forms of oppression. To live in a society that feeds, houses, and celebrities its people. Liberation means freedom.

Laura Flynn

Laura is writer, teacher and activist. She is the author of the memoir Swallow The Ocean (Counterpoint Press 2008), and editor of Eyes Of The Heart: Seeking A Path For The Poor In The Age Of Globalization by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, (Common Courage Press, 2000). She was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and received her BA at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She lived in Haiti from 1994-2000 and remains deeply involved in the struggle for democracy and human dignity in that country. She serves on the board of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. (And is particularly proud that IJDH’s groundbreaking lawsuit against the United Nations recently forced the UN to admit responsibility for introducing cholera to Haiti!) She also helps shepherd Friends of UNIFA which raises funds and support for UNIFA, the Haitian University founded by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide dedicated to opening higher education to groups who have traditionally been excluded.

While her primary philanthropic interests are in Haiti, she joined Solidaire in order to broaden her focus, heighten the impact of giving, and to benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of this group. She continues to be inspired by the creativity, strength and courage of a new generation of activists, particularly those driving the movement for black lives in the Twin Cities. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Mike Rollin and their two children.

Lisl Schoepflin

Tell us why you joined the board: 

I joined the board to support the awesome work and vision of Solidaire’s organizational leaders and membership network in their values based practice of transformative philanthropy that centers racial equity and climate justice within both US domestic and translocal/global efforts.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

I cherish being part of a community of bold, thoughtful, and heartful donors that increasingly represents the diversity in the activist philanthropist field and that constantly pushes me to be more accountable to myself, my communities, earth, and society at large.

What does liberation mean to you?

For all to have the power and abundance of choice with freedom, dignity, and self-determination that accounts for the health, sustainability, diversity and interdependence of all living things on this planet.


Lisl is a mother, historian, writer, and educator. She joined the Panta Rhea Foundation board in 2006 and stepped up as Chair in 2017. Panta Rhea Foundation is a proggresive family foundation based out of California founded by her father. Her philanthropic experience includes personal giving, managing Panta Rhea’s discretionary family giving through the Sunflower Fund (2005-2008); founding the Qinti Fund with her sister (2017-present); and participating in donor and movement organizing networks, including Solidaire and Thousand Current’s Collaborative Leader’s Academy. She brings to her philanthropic work added experience with performance arts; academic and creative writing; education; colonial indigenous history of the Americas, particularly the Andean region; and social and environmental justice efforts. She has lived and worked in places such as Brazil, Denmark, India, Peru, Mexico, and, of course, the United States. She has been awarded the Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) fellowship to study Quechua in Cusco, Peru in 2013 and 2014; the Fulbright-Hays fellowship to conduct nine months of archival research in Peru in 2017; the Dissertation Year Fellowship from UCLA in 2020-21; and the Getty Research Institute’s Residency Scholar Fellowship in Los Angeles for 2021-22. She completed her BA in Anthropology and Theater Arts at the University of Pennsylvania, MA in Latin American History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Latin American History at UCLA. Lisl also loves spending time in nature, camping, dancing, reading fiction, writing poetry, trying her hand at guitar and piano, and being with her son and life partner.

 

Marlena Sonn

Tell us why you joined the board.

I have strong convictions around fairness and equality that has forced me off the sidelines in this uniquely unjust and unfair time in our society. I know what it means to be on the right side of history, and because of that knowledge, I cannot remain silent. Joining the Solidaire Board represents the culmination of my efforts (so far) to be a better ally to the Black community.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

Spending time with members and movement allies is the antidote to the PsyOps of constant bad news that poisons my mind against people. When I keep the focus on my Solidaire community, I remember the goodness, ingenuity, brilliance, strength and kindness of people, and that truth keeps me in my power.

What does liberation mean to you?

To be free of fear, and also to be free of projections placed on me by others. The ability to feel, express, to make choices and live a life true to one’s own authentic self. And I know that my liberation is bound to the fate of others; therefore, we must all be free, if I am to hope to be free.


Marlena Sonn, CFP(r) is the President and Founder of Amazonia Wealth Management, a New York City based financial planning firm. She specializes in working with progressive, Ultra High Net Worth millennials, women, and family offices. 

Marlena is a widely cited expert on personal financial planning, having been featured on PBS’s Nightly Business Report, Crain’s, and guest lectures at institutions including New York University, New School of Social Research, SOCAP, and the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US-SIF). She is a recipient of the etsy.org Regenerative Entrepreneur fellowship, supporting her work piloting the first drawdown/GHG-negative portfolios offered to individual investors. 

Marlena serves on the Global Council of the Sacred Headwaters Initiative, a new collaboration between indigenous leaders in Ecuador and Peru, working to permanently protect 60 million acres of the Amazon Rainforest. Marlena is also a member of Solidaire, a donor activist community that funds social movements in the United States. 

Her personal mission is to plant 10 million trees in the Amazon rainforest in her lifetime.

Robin Beck

Tell us why you joined the board.

I joined the Solidaire board because I believe in the power of networks to do things individuals and isolated groups can’t, the power of grassroots movements to secure lasting transformative change, and the power of radical calls for social, environmental, and racial justice to inspire and guide us on the path to healing our world.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

Two things: First, being a part of a network with interconnected relationships that share deep values but span movements and geography.  Second, being a part of a community of practice that is creating and modeling radically different and more effective ways of doing philanthropy and funding.

What does liberation mean to you?

On one level liberation is very practical, it means not being subject to oppressive systems and people who wield power to subjugate and extract for themselves. But on a deeper level, for me liberation isn’t just the end result of struggle, it is the ongoing practice of faith and belief that we can heal and transform the world, that nothing is fixed and immovable, that we can live in a world built on love, connection, and generosity.


Robin is a social change activist, strategist, and funder. He has spent his career supporting and running people-powered social justice, environmental, and political campaigns. He is currently president of his family’s foundation, the Max and Anna Levinson Foundation, and works as an advisor to numerous global funders and activist leaders through the Climate Breakthrough Project.

Before shifting his focus fully to philanthropy, Robin was Director of Innovation at Citizen Engagement Laboratory where he led strategy development services for incubated social and environmental justice startups and for larger legacy organizations looking to innovate. He was previously a Campaign Director at MoveOn.org where he focused on online to offline mobilization, viral campaign creation, and volunteer-powered election turnout. Before joining MoveOn, Robin led the launch of Change.org’s petition platform as the company’s first Organizing Director. He also previously ran the online organizing program at Rainforest Action Network and before that ran small-gift fundraising at Drug Policy Alliance.

Robin is passionate about supporting radical societal transformation. His work as a funder centers around supporting people creating widespread, lasting, and systemic change. He is especially interested in funding people typically without significant access to philanthropy, people using new approaches to scale their impact, people working through networks more than institutions, and people explicitly pushing for an end to capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy.

Sam Vinal

Tell us why you joined the board.

I joined the Solidaire Board because I believe there is radical and transformative work that this moment and the movement is asking us to do in collectivity. Solidaire is special community and uniquely poised to do that work in formation with other orgs in the ecosystem.

What’s most important to you about being part of Solidaire?

What’s important to me about being part of Solidaire is that I really feel like I am a part of something. Solidaire is very much alive and one form of what donor organizing looks like in bloom. There are many pathways within the organization for people to engage with the work to redistribute resources, decision making, and power.

What does liberation mean to you?

Liberation means getting to the root of oppressions and conjuring the boldest imagination for a future in which all peoples individually and collectively have the freedom of self-determination. Its looking back and forward at the same time. As a white cis man with wealth privilege, its an unlearning and practicing of the ways we want to be with ourselves and others. For my work in Solidaire I think liberation is redefining safety and security in a way that is not wrapped up in resource hoarding. Liberation is Black people, trans folks, women, GNC people and men working together for the sheer delicious joy of freedom and the power we can only form together and in our own formations. Its borders blurred and humanity seen. Its everyone sharing resources in healthy ways of care, the tender and intentional way one would with a loved family member. Liberation is practicing the future that we want our next generations to live.