February 29, 2024

Farewell from the Co-Directors at Third Wave

A cut-out photo of our co-directors Kiyomi Fujikawa and Ana Conner hugging and smiling with a blue shape behind them. Photo taken by Brenda Salas Neves.

Tomorrow marks our last day as Co-Directors at Third Wave Fund. It has been an absolute honor, privilege, and (most importantly) a deeply humbling opportunity to lead an organization with such a powerful legacy of resourcing youth-led, BIPOC, by-us-for-us intersectional gender justice over the past five years. 

We led during a time when we had to collectively confront what it means to care for each other, truly testing our practice of solidarity, commitment, and purpose. Leading through the onset of the ongoing COVID pandemic, witnessing the power of the largest abolitionist uprising of our lifetime, and resourcing our movements through the heightened attacks on bodily autonomy, trans and queer young people, voting rights, and more meant that we saw the world significantly transform in a short matter of time. 

This historical moment called on us to show up with all that we had, which looked like moving over $11M in grantmaking over 5 years, starting the Disability Frontlines Fund, our newest and largest grantmaking program, and growing the team to include a new tier of Directors and 18 staff. It also included smaller, but just as meaningful shifts, like including fiscal sponsorship fees in our grants to fiscally sponsored projects (thanks to the Black Trans Fund for piloting this process!), building out a collective values-aligned budgeting process (with support from A Bookkeeping Cooperative and AORTA), and paying real rent to the Indigenous peoples whose land our staff work on (thanks to the Mana-hatta Fund, Real Rent Duwamish, and others for this call to action).

It would have been impossible for us to have made it this far without the support of so many people. Thank you all for your guidance, encouragement, feedback, accountability, and partnership. In particular, we want to thank the Third Wave Fund staff, our Advisory Council, Proteus Fund, our grantmaking panelists, donors, founders, and friends who not only made it possible for us to lead, but were just as much leaders in the work as we were. Although we were deeply a part of the work, it happened in concert with all of you and was built off of a deep 25-year-long legacy. 

We are grateful for the opportunity that we had to build the community power, well-being, and self-determination of the communities nearest and dearest to our hearts. We’re now excited for the opportunity that is in front of us – a time to rest ahead of jumping back into the continued fight for liberation.

Although it’s bittersweet, we know it is the right time to pass the baton to Morgan (Mo) and MARS. (aka the MoMAs), who come to this work with integrity, grace, and a deep commitment to resourcing BIPOC youth-led gender justice movements. We’re so excited to see where they take Third Wave over their tenure, and we ask that you flank and support them as you did for us! You can reach them at codirectors@thirdwavefund.org. MoMAs - we’re rooting so hard for y’all.

Please be on the lookout for our very soon-to-be-released 2023 Year In Review: We Presume Our Power, and subscribe to our newsletter to find out what we’ve been up to these first few months of the year. 

Thank you again! We are so grateful to be in community with you, and we won't be far!  

With heartfelt gratitude, 

Ana & Kiyomi