About Us

Nakisha Lewis

Director of Programs and Institutional Development

Nakisha M. Lewis joined NBJC in January of 2017 as the Director of Programs and Institutional Development. She is known as a thought leader in the field of philanthropy who specializes in developing grantmaking strategies that address racial, gender and educational inequities. Nakisha has worked extensively with individual donors and foundations to foster grantmaking that seeks to support, empower and strengthen marginalized communities, including her most recent post as Program Officer and Senior Strategist for Safety at the Ms. Foundation for Women. She is co-creator of the Philanthropic Action for Racial Justice—an effort to organize Black philanthropic practitioners around a shared vision for racial justice and investment in Black communities that centers the needs and experiences of Black women, youth and LGBTQ people.

Nakisha’s career and community engagement are driven by an unwavering passion for civil rights and justice. She is a longtime advocate for racial and gender equity who has spent more than a decade supporting youth and grassroots organizing across movements. She has worked on a range of justice issues—from education and fair housing to welfare and workers rights. She is a writer, speaker and lifelong community organizer—most recently working to establish Black Lives Matter NYC following the “Black Life Matters Freedom Ride” to Ferguson, MO in September of 2014. She is a co-founder of the #SheWoke Committee—the catalyst for the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, established in 2016, and is the co-chair of Grantmakers for Girls of Color.

Nakisha’s past and present board service includes Resource Generation, Project Hip Hop, New York Blacks In Philanthropy and Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy. She is a transformational leadership coach and is committed to developing opportunities for increased diversity and inclusion in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector by advancing the next generation of social change leadership. She is published in several periodicals and nonprofit journals, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Huffington Post and NBC News. She also makes regular media appearances on outlets like CNN, Mic. News, Huffington Post Live and Essence Live.

Nakisha lives and works in Washington, DC.