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Posted by Victor Kachi

Meet Noel McKenzie The Founder Of Represented Foundation


As a Black, Queer, social impact leader visibility plays a major role in helping me to achieve my larger goals for the field. My own successes as a nonprofit founder mean very little if I can’t see those reflected on a larger scale. When others see my work, I want them to feel encouraged in my example of how they can create a viable career in uplifting others. When others hear my story, I want them to be inspired to begin making an impact in their own communities. In 2017 I founded Represented Foundation to challenge the narrative that says it’s okay for people of color to receive services from mission-driven organizations, but not lead them. With a mission to eradicate the diversity deficit in social impact leadership, we’re making it easier for marginalized leaders to enter, navigate and thrive in the social impact field.

In 2018 we launched VER, the social impact incubator for Black and Latinx founders of mission-driven organizations. In VER, leaders learn from each other and from industry professionals. Our participants receive tailored coaching on the fundamentals of launching their companies. In our first cohort, we taught the founder of a re-entry program, to use her own experiences after prison as inspiration for a pilot program using trauma-informed practices to the women she supports. After VER she received a two-year fellowship, and the right partners to renew her program. That same year we helped two founders open their health and wellness center open in Harlem. Today they’re helping over 60 patients of color prioritize their mental health.

Last month we began our second cohort, supporting founders find solutions to fight gentrification, co-working for queer and indigenous populations and empowerment through voting in communities of color. Committed to achieving parity in social impact, we’re on a mission to make this type of training and support available to every mission-driven founder of color, who brings the lived experience to their work.

Meet Noel McKenzie The Founder Of Represented Foundation

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