The board and staff of the Babcock Foundation are delighted to welcome four new directors to help deepen our impact across the South in the coming years.
Tamieka Atkins (she/her) serves as Executive Director of ProGeorgia, a non-partisan voter engagement advocacy organization in the State Voices national network. ProGeorgia provides funding, resources, and training for more than 60 organizations committed to advancing civic engagement in Georgia. As a longtime grantee partner, the Babcock team is deeply familiar with Tamieka’s brilliance in building coalitions among groups that have been historically sidelined in the South.
Dr. Keecha Harris (she/her) is President and CEO of Keecha Harris and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in environmental, reproductive, economic mobility and leadership development projects. The firm has a long track record of working with philanthropic organizations to advance racial equity and social justice. Keecha also hosts a podcast about racial equity and change management from Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Tim Lampkin (he/him) is the award-winning Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose, an economic justice nonprofit serving Black entrepreneurs, artists and farmers across Mississippi through asset building, advocacy and narrative change. With more than a decade of experience in entrepreneurship and community development, Tim brings critical expertise to our work to build economic power for communities whose needs have long gone unaddressed.
Will Vandenberg (he/him) is an award-winning activist, advocate and funder whose long-time work as a nonprofit director in Colorado built diverse coalitions that grew community-based power, expanded nonpartisan voter participation, developed dynamic new leaders, and led to numerous racial and economic equity victories. After serving for 12 years as a senior U.S. leader for the Open Society Foundations, Will co-founded a national pro-democracy incubator that supports state-based innovation and investment in several challenging contexts.
“These four leaders have the experience, expertise and – perhaps most importantly – the courage to help the Foundation strengthen our commitments to power building and racial equity,” said MRBF CEO Flozell Daniels Jr. “At this critical moment for our beloved South, we are incredibly fortunate to bring their hearts and minds to bear in our work to advance justice and joy.”
While we are thrilled with our new directors, this announcement is bittersweet, as the Foundation is also bidding farewell to three directors who went above and beyond in their extraordinary commitment to the Foundation and the South.
LaVeeda Morgan Battle (she/her) is a trailblazing veteran attorney who founded Battle Law Firm near Birmingham, Alabama. In a career spanning more than three decades, she has served the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state and federal government, even advising three American presidents. During her time at the Foundation, she has served on two committees, chairing one of them for seven years.
Dr. James Mitchell (he/him) is President of Wallace Community College in Selma, Alabama. In his two decades-plus at the helm, he has revolutionized Wallace into a state-of-the art school that has proven transformational for countless students and the Selma community. James helped organize the 50thanniversary jubilee, a commemoration of the Selma Bridge Crossing, understanding the importance of the rural South to the civil rights movement. At the Foundation, James has served on three committees and spent two years at the helm as board president.
Both James and LaVeeda joined the board in 2013, served three consecutive terms and then graciously agreed to serve two extensions to provide stability as the Foundation grappled with COVID, racial reckonings across the South and internal leadership transitions. Under their leadership, the Foundation has made nearly a thousand grants, totaling more than 130 million dollars to organizations advancing justice in the American South. Much of the Foundation’s considerable evolution over the past 11 years is attributable to LaVeeda and James, as they helped guide us through multiple strategic shifts, and were strong voices steering the Foundation toward our commitments to building power to advance racial equity.
Dr. Micah Gilmer (he/him) is Cofounder and Senior Partner of Frontline Solutions, a consulting firm that helps organizations transform their internal culture and deepen their impact with a racial and gender equity lens. Micah has served on four committees and even served as CEO for more than a year as the Foundation conducted its executive search. Since Micah joined the board in 2018, the Foundation has deployed more than $79 million in funding across the South.
Please join us in expressing our deep gratitude to LaVeeda, James and Micah, and in warmly welcoming our new directors, whose terms begin January first.