Quinn Delaney is the founder and, until recently, President of Akonadi Foundation, a family foundation named after a West African goddess of justice. The formation of the foundation grew out of Quinn’s years of experience as a progressive donor, campaign activist and civil rights lawyer. She and her husband, Wayne Jordan, began Akonadi as an outgrowth of their commitment to racial justice. In 2016, to make room for new leadership, Quinn transitioned to the role of board chair and Lateefah Simon became Akonadi’s new President.
In addition to her ongoing involvement with Akonadi, Quinn works to build progressive networks and leaders. On the national level, she is active in the Democracy Alliance, a national network of donors committed to building progressive organizations and supporting leaders who will be a potent force in advancing progressive policies and culture throughout the country. As a member of California’s Progressive Era Project (PEP), she is involved in building progressive statewide infrastructure. 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 political awareness 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 transform conditions 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. After the last presidential election, Quinn became involved with Organizing For Action, which builds on the Obama campaign vision. Closer to home, she has worked on a number of California electoral initiatives, including fighting restrictions on women’s choice and the dismantling of affirmative action. She has also supported 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. She went on to serve on the ACLU board for almost ten years and remains very involved. In addition to the ACLU, Quinn has serves on the boards of the Center for Community Change and the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, both in Washington, D.C.
Quinn graduated from Pitzer College and University of Houston Law School.
Most early 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 another half marathon to enter.