We’re thrilled to announce Akonadi Foundation’s new president will be longtime philanthropy leader and community advocate, Raymond Colmenar. Ray brings 30 years of experience in advancing power building and racial justice in the Bay Area, across California and beyond.
“Akonadi staff and board are aligned and very excited to welcome Ray’s leadership for this next phase of work for the foundation,” said Quinn Delaney, Akonadi’s co-founder and board chair. “Ray brings proven commitment to racial equity and a deep understanding of community power building; he will be a great thought partner with the board and a strategic leader in the philanthropic sector. We all look forward to continuing to build upon the legacy of Akonadi’s 20-plus years of work to eliminate structural racism in Oakland and beyond.”
“Akonadi staff and board are aligned and very excited to welcome Ray’s leadership for this next phase of work for the foundation,”Quinn Delaney
Colmenar comes to Akonadi Foundation from The California Endowment, where he spent 16 years playing various leadership roles that gave him hands-on experience in strategic planning, program design and implementation, and organizational redesign and development. Most recently, he served as The Endowment’s Managing Director of the Northern California regional team and the statewide Inclusive Community Development team, managing nearly $20 million in grantmaking annually.
Previously, he led the The Endowment’s Bay Area regional office, which made significant investments in Oakland and Alameda County; helped plan and implement the recently completed 10-year Building Healthy Communities strategy, which evolved to prioritize power building as a core component; and co-led the strategy development and implementation of Sons & Brothers, a seven-year, $50 million signature program aimed at addressing structural racism and improving the well-being of boys and young men of color. Ray also worked collaboratively with other foundation leaders to create and launch California Funders for Boys and Men of Color, a network of foundation leaders dedicated to removing barriers and advancing opportunities for youth of color, their families and communities.
“I have long been an admirer of Akonadi’s commitment to supporting and following the lead of social movements doing the necessary work to dismantle structural racism in our communities,” said Ray. “I am very honored and privileged to continue Akonadi’s unparalleled support for visionary community leaders to create a racially just Oakland, where all young people can participate, prosper and thrive.”
“I am very honored and privileged to continue Akonadi’s unparalleled support for visionary community leaders to create a racially just Oakland, where all young people can participate, prosper and thrive.”Raymond Colmenar
Prior to The California Endowment, Ray was Associate Director at PolicyLink in Oakland; there, he collaborated closely with Founder and former CEO, Angela Glover Blackwell, to create an organization that has grown to become the leading national policy research and action institution dedicated to racial equity and justice. He also served as Senior Research Associate at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York and as Director of the South of Market Problem Solving Council (now South of Market Community Action Network), a community building and organizing non-profit organization in San Francisco. Colmenar holds a Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley. He has served on the board of numerous community organizations, including Oakland-based Filipino Advocates for Justice.
“I am thrilled to have Ray as the leader who will take Akonadi Foundation into its next chapter,” said Lateefah Simon, who served as foundation president for six years and is now the third board member in the foundation’s 20-year history. “In Ray, we have a leader with decades of unwavering commitment to power-building in our communities, and expertise in mobilizing funders to work collaboratively to take on urgent challenges. Together, I look forward to continuing to support Oakland’s powerful and beautiful organizers, culture bearers, healers, and media makers.”