We are fortunate at the DC Bar Foundation to have loyal donors and volunteers who make our mission possible through their generosity. This month we spoke with Vernetta Walker, Foundation Board Member and new member of the 77 Society in FY22. Vernetta shares what supporting the Foundation means to her below:
You recently joined the Foundation's 77 Society. Why do you feel giving to the Foundation is essential, especially now?
I give because I know that every little bit helps. To me, philanthropy is about caring for others, and we have communities in great need. The DC Bar Foundation does phenomenal work directing funds where they are needed most to help bridge the gaps people are facing.
How has being involved with the Foundation as a member of our Board of Directors impacted you?
My first job in the nonprofit sector was serving as director of Administration of Justice for the Florida Bar Foundation. That opened my eyes to many issues regarding access to justice and the challenges of navigating systems if you did not have the financial means to do so. Without a doubt, my work at that foundation was some of the most fulfilling work I’ve done in my life. So, the opportunity to serve on the board of the DC Bar Foundation was a no-brainer. I am a native Washingtonian, and I want to see people and neighborhoods across the city thrive. The Foundation is part of the equation.
What part of the Foundation's work excites you most?
I am excited about the Foundation’s participatory grantmaking. I spend a lot of time working with nonprofit leaders to center equity in their work. Although the process is still relatively new for the Foundation, I feel it is embraced, and I know it makes a difference when community voices participate in addressing the community's needs.
What would you say to anybody considering joining you as a future member of the 77 Society?
There are many ways people give to create a better, more humane, and more just society. I was raised in a family that instilled the importance of giving — time and money — when I was young and faithfully dropped my change in the collection plate at church. I always knew that no matter how little we had, someone had less. I believe our fates are connected, and it is incumbent upon each of us to do our part. The 77 Society is an opportunity to help create the change we want to see.
If you are interested in joining the 77 Society, please visit our website.