The Transforming Power Fund (TPF) is a Detroit-based social justice fund committed to transformative systems change. TPF is an attempt to put into practice the 12 Recommendations for Detroit Funders produced in 2015 by Allied Media Projects and Detroit Peoples’ Platform. It is also informed by the research of the 2017 report, Changing the Conversation: Philanthropic Funding and Community Organizing in Detroit.
Through community-led grantmaking and donor organizing,TPF aims to model a more equitable approach to traditional philanthropy. TPF is rooted in the values of inclusion, equity, justice (racial, economic, gender, disability, environmental), personal transformation, structural transformation, intergenerational relationships, cooperation, collaboration, continual learning, creativity, audacity, healing, and working across boundaries.
TPF’s Design Team has worked to put the 12 Recommendations for Detroit Funders into practice. This led to the creation of the Transforming Power Fund in February of 2019. The Design Team now serves in a similar role as the Board.
At TPF we believe in the importance of community-led grantmaking, and that funding decisions should be led by a Community Table of community organizers, leaders, artists, and advocates. In November 2019, TPF convened our inaugural Community Table that is representative of the diverse communities and issue areas that TPF funds. In addition, TPF partners with donors/allies who follow the lead of the community. This means that TPF is led by, and accountable to, the communities we serve – just as we require our grantees to be.
Ahmina Maxey is the Transforming Power Fund’s Executive Director. She is committed to ensuring that grassroots leadership and expertise is valued and strengthened as we work for transformative and systemic change. Ahmina has many years of experience in local and national non-profits, helping provide financial and capacity-building resources to communities of color combating environmental racism. Her work has supported environmental justice (EJ) communities in Michigan, Maryland, California, Connecticut and other states across the country. In Detroit, she’s organized for air pollution reduction with groups such as the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Zero Waste Detroit, and Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. Ahmina lives in southwest Detroit, and in her free time enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and hanging out with her niece and nephews. She is an active volunteer in Breathe Free Detroit and the Michigan EJ Coalition and graduate of the University of Michigan.
Mary Naoum is the Transforming Power Fund’s Program Director, fostering the design, development, and implementation of its Giving Project and Community Grants Program. Mary brings experience in facilitation, program design, communications, and strategic advocacy, particularly in support of efforts to reimagine community safety and wellness. In Detroit, she helped Senator Stephanie Chang win her first ever campaign for office and eventually developed the senator’s Girls Making Change program, a political leadership pipeline for high school girls of color. Most recently Mary worked with the Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative, a community safety strategy born out of the work and vision of people directly impacted by policing and incarceration, where she helped prevent the use of arrest and jailtime in response to poverty and behavioral health needs. Deeply moved by the visionary leadership and tactical successes of organizers in Atlanta, Mary is honored to return home to help build grassroots power and elevate expertise from majority Black Detroit’s social justice community. Mary holds her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan. A born-and-raised Michigander, she sustains herself by spending time with family, nurturing lifelong friendships, and marveling at the Great Lakes.
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