The San Antonio Area Foundation kicked off one of our region’s most unique professional development programs geared for minority nonprofit leaders.

The Area Foundation Equity Fellowship launched its third annual program with a reception welcoming the 2023 participants.

The months-long immersive program aims to create space for community leaders of color to come together and share experiences they’ve accumulated through their respective nonprofits. 

Allen Blair, Project Coordinator for Capacity Building and Strategic Projects at the Area Foundation, offered opening remarks sharing gratitude for new programs members and past participants. Lisa Brunsvold, Interim CEO at the Area Foundation, highlighted how the Equity Fellowship represented the Area Foundation’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Participants chimed in with a sense of eagerness in being part of this opportunity and what it will offer them in terms of growth opportunities as nonprofit leaders.

“As I was learning about the program and seeing the emphasis on inclusion, I knew I had to join!” stated Dr. Jeneise Briggs, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Opportunity Home San Antonio. Originally from Jamaica, Dr. Briggs emphasized her interest in meeting other community leaders to leverage resources. 

Alexis Moore, Development Director at NPower, noted looking forward to . “being able to put together ideas that hopefully can then turn into action in ways that we can help change San Antonio for the better.” 

While the 2023 program is underway, the Area Foundation’s Community Engagement and Impact team is available to hear from nonprofit leaders interested in taking part the next time the program is offered. Click here for more details on the program and reach out to Jennifer Cook at and Allen Blair at if you or someone you know would be a good candidate.

Here are the 2023 Area Foundation Equity Fellows Program participants:

AdrianneAcevedoChildSafeDirector of the Care Coordination Team (DCCT)
NisiBennettAll Heart InitiativeCommunity Inclusion Officer
JeneiseBriggsOpportunity HomeDirector of EDI
DaliaContrerasCity Education PartnersCEO
ManuelDavilaAmerican Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial MissionsCultural Arts Manager
AuburnHartSan Antonio Metro HealthCommunity Health Worker
MistyHartyYWCA San AntonioDirector of Racial Justice and Gender Equity
JeffMaySan Antonio African American Community Archive and MuseumChief Administrative Officer 
AlexisMooreNPowerDevelopment Director
ElizabethMoseleyUP PartnershipDirector: K-12 & Youth Development
SteffiOckenfelsStudents of ServiceBoard Member, Development Chair
NancyParillaFuerza UnidaChief Financial Officer
TaneshaPaynesumRset MovementFounder and Artistic Director
StevenSanoFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMAICD)Community Development Expert SpecialIst – Equity
VanessaVasquezEthical Network of San AntonioBoard Member – Programs Chair
Patricia “Patty”VelaAutism Community Network (ACN)Chief Development and Outreach Officer
CarmenVelasquez-AvilaPalo Alto College Director of Student Advocacy 

Cristiana Salinas serves as the Multi-Media Specialist at the San Antonio Area Foundation.