Welcoming Change: A New Season of Board Leadership

Welcoming Change: A New Season of Board Leadership

By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on March 30, 2023

Funders for LGBTQ Issues is pleased to announce the newest members of its board and a historic shift in board leadership. This announcement comes at a moment of change for the board of directors with long standing Executive Committee members Rickke Mananzala, Rye Young and Jason McGill concluding their tenures at our April board meeting.

Rickke, Rye and Jason, outgoing Chair, Secretary and Treasurer respectively, leave Funders well prepared to navigate the road ahead. Under their leadership, the organization hired its first Black woman president and unanimously voted on the election of longtime board member Cynthia Renfro as its incoming board chair. With her appointment, Funders for LGBTQ Issues will be stewarded by Black women leadership for the first time in its history. 

Joining the board at this historic moment are Glo Ross and Lane Hawell who bring with them a wealth of leadership. They possess deep connections to trailblazing movement organizations working to advance justice and wellbeing for LGBTQ people, women, people of color, and immigrant communities in the United States. 

Glo and Lane were selected under the board’s recruitment pipeline which prioritizes new members with deep roots in social justice movements who have experience funding local and national TGNC communities of color. They begin their tenures as we welcome a new class of board leadership.  

Our new Executive Committee members represent a range of philanthropic institutions and funding strategies and are at various points in their board terms. We thank them for their service to this point and for their future service in their new roles. Please join us in congratulating Cynthia Renfro, Incoming Chair; Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Incoming Vice Chair; Karen Appelbaum, Incoming Treasurer; and Jonathan Jayes-Greene, Secretary on their new roles. 

This fall, Funders for LGBTQ Issues will release its new strategic plan which will provide the network a new north star to deepen and significantly expand philanthropic investments within LGBTQ movements, particularly those to trans and gender nonconforming communities. Our new board and Executive Committee members will see us through this implementation and support us as we do this hard but necessary work. In this moment of crisis, we feel privileged to welcome such a strategic group of thought partners to our organizational leadership. 

“2023 is a year of transformation for Funder for LGBTQ Issues,” said Saida Agostini-Bostic. “Our mandate is to continue to organize philanthropy to answer the call of our movements in this time of escalating assaults against TGNC communities. Thanks to the leadership of outgoing board members: Rickke, Rye, and Jason, we are ready to carry on the legacy of the past forty years of our work and ensure our movements have the resources they need.”

Please join us in once again saying goodbye and thank you to our departing board members Rickke Manazala, Rye Young, and Jason McGill. As well as in saying congratulations to new Executive Committee members Cynthia Renfro, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Karen Appelbaum, and Jonathan Jayes-Greene; and new board members Glo Ross and Lane Harwell who you can learn about below.

Glo Ross

(any pronouns OK)

Glo Ross has served as the U.S. Social Justice Program Officer at the Arcus Foundation since 2020, where grantmaking focuses on increasing safety, protections, and the inclusion of LGBTQ people most impacted by systemic injustice. Glo is currently a Funders for Justice Leadership Fellow, an incoming Fellow for Rockwood’s Equity in Philanthropy leadership program, and steering committee member for the Rights, Faith, and Democracy Collaborative at Proteus Fund. Previously, Glo supported participatory grantmaking at the Sex Worker Giving Circle and the Trans Justice Funding Project. Glo has over 20 years of experience in community organizing and nonprofit work. For example, Glo supported member-led campaigns at FIERCE! to build power among LGBTQ youth of color in New York City, helped lead police accountability organizing in Atlanta, and facilitated organizing trainings and strategy sessions for various communities and organizations across the country. After graduating with a degree in Sociology of Science and Technology from Georgia Tech, Glo spent seven years as a policy analyst evaluating federal environmental programs. Glo lives in Atlanta, Georgia (Muscogee Creek land) and enjoys hiking with their pit bull pups, learning jiu-jitsu and discovering new ways to live in right relationship with nature.


Lane Harwell


Lane Harwell is a nonprofit and philanthropic leader working to advance mission-driven organizations on the frontlines of social change. Currently a Program Officer of Creativity and Free Expression at Ford Foundation, Lane manages a national grants portfolio focused on the intersection of arts and culture, civic engagement, and justice. They helped organize Ford’s participation in Grantmakers United for Trans Communities and serve as the point person for Trans and Repro Futures, a new three-year, $10 million effort to strengthen cross-movement organizing.

Prior to Ford, Lane was the Executive Director at Dance/NYC. They founded Dance/NYC as an independent nonprofit in 2012 and grew it from the ground up to serve more than 1,200 dance makers and companies. Lane’s professional and educational background encompasses creative, business, and civic realms, including an MBA from Columbia Business School and an early career as a ballet dancer.

Lane currently co-chairs New York Grantmakers in the Arts, a peer network of grantmakers. They are past chair of the Steering Committee for the New York Dance and Performance Awards and the Arts Committee of the Municipal Art Society. Lane identifies as white, queer, disabled, and nonbinary, and is committed to anti-racism and elevating issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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