Crossroads Fund is excited to welcome five dynamic leaders to our Board of Directors! These individuals bring a wealth of experience in a variety of fields to Crossroads Fund as we continue supporting organizers and activists in this unprecedented political moment. Since our founding in 1981, Crossroads Fund has served as an anchor organization for movement building by pooling resources and moving money to support underfunded and necessary organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago.

Learn more about the movements and organizations that received a grant from Crossroads Fund.

Meet our newest Board members below.

Makkah Ali is a Director on the Managed Organizations team at Arabella Advisors, a philanthropic advisory firm that works with partners to develop, structure, and maximize the impact of charitable projects. In this role, she provides operational and management support to non-profit organizations and fiscally sponsored charitable projects. Prior to joining Arabella, Makkah served as Grants Manager at the El-Hibri Foundation where she managed all stages of the annual grants cycle and facilitated learning and collaboration opportunities between grantees. In her spare time, Makkah co-hosts the Identity Politics Podcast which features new stories and perspectives at the intersection of race, gender, and Muslim life in America. She previously served as President of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative and was a proud participant in the 2019 Giving Project.

Cecile DeMello is a community organizer, community developer, and policy maker working to uplift communities on the South and West side of Chicago. Currently the Executive Director of Teamwork Englewood, previously Cecile was Co-Executive Director of Blocks Together for 10 years, a Crossroads Fund grantee. She is also currently serving as the acting Englewood Quality of Life Plan Project Manager at Teamwork Englewood. She holds a Masters in Not for Profit Management and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from UIC.

Lee Andel Dewey (they/them) provides sliding-scale-to-free accounting, bookkeeping, and consultation services under their business, LADhoc Accounting. They are an organizer, activist, and advocate for the trans/gender nonconforming, queer, and HIV+ communities, all of which they are a part, laboring in collaboration and support of those which they are not. Their activism is focused upon anti-racism, anti-bigotry, the abolition of the police, prisons, and related systems of oppression, and towards effecting positive radical change. Lee is the Lead Organizer/Facilitator for CommunityCave Chicago, the Treasurer of the Board for Upswing Advocates, and a Community Advisory Board Member for AIDS Foundation Chicago. They are a passionate, year round commuter cyclist, a fair weather artist, enamored with the outdoors, and always in search of their next dance floor.

Brenda Hernandez is a Chicago-based Mexican educator and cultural worker. She is currently Co-Director of the Allied Media Conference and AMSeeds convenings of Allied Media Project. Brenda has curated neighborhood programming for Chicago Artist Month, Yollocalli Arts Reach, FMEL, Soul Togetherness and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has written on the intersection of art, education and youth advocacy for A.R.E.A. and Contratiempo Magazine. Brenda was a member of the Crossroads Fund Giving Project in 2018; and is a Board Member of the Public Media Institute.

Muhammad Sankari, the child of Arab immigrants from Lebanon, is the current Lead Organizer at the Arab American Action Network where he has worked since 2010. Currently he helps guide the youth-led campaign to End Racial Profiling which focuses on combatting specific tools that law enforcement uses to surveil, entrap, and oppress members of the Arab & Muslim communities of the Chicagoland area.

View our full Board of Directors here.