It is with mixed emotions that the board and staff of the Babcock Foundation announce the departure of Program Director Lavastian Glenn, who has accepted a new position at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York City.
Since joining the Foundation, Lavastian has been a passionate advocate for social and economic justice, forging trusting relationships in and among communities and networks across the South. Lavastian has managed the Foundation’s relationships and grant portfolios in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, and represented the Foundation at countless events and funder groups. More recently, she has co-led the Foundation’s program-related investment strategy and helped create a system for capturing our learning about effective change strategies in the region. A member of the Foundation’s equity leadership team, she has helped us infuse racial equity into our grantmaking and investment practices, internal processes and staff culture. Recognizing the historic role of the South in the civil rights movement and its ongoing, profound influence on the direction of the nation, Lavastian helped create Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a working group of Southern and national philanthropic organizations committed to increasing investment and attention for structural change in the region.
“It has been a privilege to serve and support the nonprofit partners who are doing the long-term work of building a more just and equitable South during my 15 years at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation,” said Lavastian. “While my role at the Foundation changed over the years, the nature of our relationship has always been one of deep mutual respect and support. It was the Foundation’s mission, vision and values that drew me to its work and kept me at the table for so many years. It has been an honor to work with one of the most values-aligned, passionate and knowledgeable teams in the field. I am truly grateful for the relationships and investments made in me over the years, and I will take all of those lessons with me as I continue the work of building a more just and equitable society in my new position at the Nathan Cummings Foundation.”
Before joining MRBF, Lavastian served as Executive Director of Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, a grassroots support organization in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There, she expanded NBN’s program activities beyond neighborhood grantmaking to include grassroots organizing, leadership development, language justice, technical assistance and project development support. Lavastian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Wake Forest University.
Lavastian’s last day at the Babcock Foundation will be October 27, but she will continue working to advance equity through philanthropy as the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s first Director of Racial and Economic Justice. In this new role, she will join NCF’s leadership team to advance an integrated and intersectional approach to addressing the climate crisis and growing inequality. Rooted in the Jewish tradition of social justice, NCF is a family foundation committed to creating a more just, vibrant, sustainable and democratic society.
While we will miss Lavastian’s wisdom and passion, we know she is perfectly suited to her new position at the Nathan Cummings Foundation and we are excited to see what she accomplishes there.