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Jessamyn Sabbag

Jessamyn Sabbag

Jessamyn Sabbag

Senior Director, Power Pathway
Why do you do what you do?

I do this work, which is organizing work, to help create a world that centers love and liberation. I do this work to grow the political power of working-class communities of color here in the Bay and beyond so that we can transform unjust and oppressive systems into those that foster our collective wellbeing. As an Arab-American from the Bay Area whose family at home and abroad was impacted by U.S. militarism, I do this work on the shoulders of those before me and in deep solidarity across lines of struggle to help usher in a new/old way of being that is based in care for one another so that we may heal and thrive collectively.

What drew you to the foundation?

Through my community organizing work, I had been a grantee of the San Francisco Foundation for a couple decades before coming to work here, so I knew the reach, influence, power and integrity of the foundation from that perspective. I was drawn to work here to expand and amplify the organizing and movement-building work I’ve long been a part of; to forge new relationships and learn new levers to grow progressive, transformative political power in the Bay and beyond.

How would you describe your role?

My role is to weave an understanding of and commitment to power-building through every facet of the San Francisco Foundation and the broader sector of philanthropy, and to move resources to that work as much as possible in order to win racial and economic justice.

What inspires you?

Nature inspires me – the way a healthy ecosystem functions in divine harmony with itself. I’m inspired by the wisdom and patience of long-time movement leaders, and the clarity and joy of children. I am also inspired by care-givers who are already showing us the way forward, from midwives to teachers to local farmers. And I’ll always be inspired by the power of the people to come together and make change.

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