Ensuring Capacity with DCBF's Programs Team


This month, as we approach our grants award season, I am thrilled to introduce you to the DC Bar Foundation Programs Team, all led by Director of Programs, Nancy Gist.

The Programs Team supports our strategic goal of transforming the District's civil legal aid network. The team manages the online grant application process, provides grant recommendations, and fully supports DC Bar Foundation grantees and the civil legal network. They also play a critical role in building smaller, issue-specific networks within the larger network, especially as these networks require increased coordination among DC Bar Foundation grantees.

Part of this collaborative work for our Programs Team includes working with grantees to implement and maintain the first-ever District-wide Coordinated Intake and Referral system. The Programs team is also directly responsible for supporting the network by providing grantee training and technical assistance and hearing directly from community members through listening sessions to ensure that the network thrives.

We are lucky to have found Nancy. Her experience is unmatched. She comes to the DC Bar Foundation with decades of experience leading legal services and grantmaking programs. Among her many achievements, she served as Director of the US Department of Justice's largest grantmaking agency, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Nancy has also co-chaired an endowment making grants to grassroots social justice organizations across the District and served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations.

Nancy has shared with me how her new position allows her to continue her life's work of supporting legal services work through grantmaking.


"I was immediately drawn to the position because it's so much aligned with what I've been doing for most of my professional career, which has focused on assuring that people with low incomes have access to quality legal services and to a legal system that provides equal justice," Nancy said. "I've been a grantmaker and have developed and led both criminal and civil legal services delivery systems.”

Nancy is supported by a strong team of program professionals, including Mirenda Meghelli, Program Officer; Jazmine Morris, Program Specialist; Kukua Osei-Gyamfi, Grants Specialist; and Arthur Smith, Program Officer. You can read more about each of them on our website.

We are honored to serve the District's civil legal aid community, and I look forward to sharing updates about the Foundation's work as we continue to transform the network, together.


With gratitude,

Kirra L. Jarratt,

Chief Executive Officer

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The American Bar Association Resource Center for Access To Justice Initiatives has collected legal aid funding data from all 50 states since 2003. Washington, DC has historically not been included in