Quinn Delaney is the founder and President of Akonadi Foundation, a family foundation, which gets its name from a West African goddess of justice. The formation of the foundation evolved from years of experience as a progressive donor, campaign activist and civil rights lawyer. Quinn and her husband, Wayne Jordan, began the foundation as an outgrowth of their commitment to racial justice.
In addition to her work at Akonadi, Quinn is interested in the ways we can come together to build progressive networks and leaders. On the national level, she is an active member in the Democracy Alliance, a national network of donors committed to building progressive organizations and leaders to create a potent force for the enactment of progressive policies and culture throughout the country. As a member of the Progressive Era Project (PEP), she is involved in building progressive infrastructure statewide in California. PEP combines a political strategy with nonprofit organizing and training to develop an ecosystem of progressive leaders, organizations and elected officials to empower people of color in California.
Much of Quinn’s politicization came through the women’s movement, and the issues and challenges facing women continue to be important to her. Through the Race, Gender and Human Rights Circle at the Women’s Foundation of California, Quinn works with a group of committed donors to make changes for women caught in California’s criminal justice system. Quinn is also a long time member of the Women Donors Network, which capitalizes on the power of women to bring about social justice.
Politics is another arena in which Quinn spends her energies, working at both the national and local level. Following the last presidential election, Quinn has become involved with Organizing For Action, which builds on the Obama campaign vision. Closer to home, she has been involved in a number of California electoral initiatives including fighting against restrictions on women’s choice and the dismantling of affirmative action. She has also worked on proactive measures such as abolishing the death penalty in California and, in 2014, an effort at sentencing reform called the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.
As an attorney, Quinn worked for the National Center for Youth Law and the ACLU of Northern California, where she went on to serve on the board for ten years, and with which she remains very involved. In addition to the ACLU, Quinn serves on the boards of the Center for Community Change and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, both in Washington DC.
Quinn graduated from Pitzer College and University of Houston Law School. She and Wayne have two grown sons who are building their own lives, allowing them to work harder and travel more frequently.
Most mornings Quinn can be found either in the gym or running in her neighborhood. Having successfully completed the half marathon in the Oakland Running Festival in March, she is looking for her next half marathon.
“Beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.” - bell hooks
"Culture is an indispensable weapon in the freedom struggle." - Malcolm X