New Leadership Announced at Public Interest Projects

The board of directors of Public Interest Projects (PIP) has announced a leadership change at PIP, effective January 1, 2011. Michele Lord, former PIP executive director, and Berta Colón, former PIP deputy director, will both hold the title of President of Public Interest Projects.This change formalizes the existing partnership between the two and acknowledges the commitment and contributions each has made to the growth and development of the organization, explained John Gilroy, chair of the PIP board.

Berta Colón, President of Public Interest Projects

Michele Lord, President of Public Interest Projects

Under this new leadership model, Lord will focus primarily on external activities such as donor relationship development and management, and communications. Colón will be responsible primarily for internal activities such as fund oversight, financial management and operations. Lord and Colón will share responsibility for the growth and strategic direction of the organization, and will continue to support each other and provide oversight for PIP staff, particularly the PIP Senior Management Team.

This new leadership model is part of a larger transition taking place at PIP, one that reflects significant growth over the past several years, including the addition of new funds and projects, the establishment of a separate 501 (c)(4) entity and an increase in staff.

“With a number of new opportunities developing at PIP this year, we are entering a new stage in our evolution,” said Lord. “To insure that we take advantage of opportunities around alliance building, cross fund collaboration, peer learning and capacity building, as well as better serve the foundations, donors and grantees that have partnered with us over the years, we are introducing changes to our organizational leadership structure,” added Colón.

The dual president leadership model at PIP will allow the organization to play to the strengths and cumulative knowledge of its two leaders and ensure it capitalizes on the body of expertise it has developed as an organization and the role it plays as a philanthropic intermediary. “Most important, the change ensures we have the focus and resources necessary to meet upcoming demands and continue to grow,” emphasized Gilroy. Lord and Colón have collaborated on the evolution of PIP since 2002.

Founded in 1983, PIP brings together and strengthens the work of philanthropic institutions, nonprofit groups and other public interest organizations sharing a vision of a society that ensures justice, dignity and opportunity for all people. PIP is a Section 501(c)(3) public charity that operates grantmaking, technical assistance and strategic-planning programs for institutional donors interested in social justice, civic engagement and human rights issues. By developing sustainable partnerships among donors, grantees and allied groups, PIP seeks to foster a movement for positive social change resulting in equality, fairness and a stronger participatory democracy.

New Grantees Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline

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Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children

PIP’s Just and Fair Schools Fund (JFSF) is pleased to announce its first 21 grantees organizing communities to uphold the right to education and to break the school-to-prison pipeline across the U.S.

Zero-tolerance, aggressive policing, and other extreme school discipline policies push youth out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. This school-to-prison pipeline denies young people their human right to education — particularly low-income youth, students of color, LGBTQ youth, English language learners, homeless youth, youth in foster care, and students with disabilities.

JFSF two-year grants will support youth and parent leadership to break the school-to-prison pipeline. From elementary and high school pilot programs, to state- and district-wide policies, JFSF grantees are working to put into place effective school discipline approaches that keep children engaged and learning in school.

Click here to learn more.

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