Jasmine Benjamin (2019-2020)

After completing her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Chicago, Jasmine became a Program Associate with the Hyams Foundation in Boston. She is using the skills she acquired as a political scientist to support social movements.

At Hyams, she coordinates the Black and Indigenous Resistance Fund. It is a collaborative effort between Hyams and other foundations in the area to create a long-term pool of funding for Black and Indigenous groups so they can continue to organize. The allocation of the money will be led by grassroots leaders in the area. She is learning to facilitate meetings and interrogate power dynamics in philanthropy.

In addition, Jasmine is leading the refining of criteria for the Foundation’s Special Opportunities Fund to align it with the goal of supporting grassroots organizations and addressing community crises (such as COVID). She is also working on communications strategies to amplify the work of grantee partners.

Her dissertation on policing in Chicago is part of the knowledge base she uses in working with groups that are organizing against police violence and the carceral system. As an engaged scholar, she sees her role as supporting social movement activists by channeling philanthropic dollars to organizations led by people of color.

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