Who We Are

Four community leaders — Andrea Caupain Sanderson, Ananda Valenzuela, Jodi Nishioka, and Victoria Santos — created the BIPOC ED Coalition in June 2020, responding to the need for a safe, affirming space for BIPOC nonprofit executive directors to come together and fortify ourselves and our organizations.

Meet the Co-founders

Close up of Andrea smiling in a sequined blue top standing in front of an old brick building

Andrea Caupain Sanderson (she/her)

Byrd Barr Place CEO

“What we’re doing is movement building, this is an important ingredient in the quest for a just and equitable world.”

Andrea is a lifelong advocate for racial and social justice. She serves as CEO of Byrd Barr Place, which is working to build an equitable Washington through innovative programs and advocacy that empower people to live healthy, prosperous lives.

Inspired by the uprising for racial justice in 2020, Andrea, together with three other Black women leaders, launched the Black Future Co-op Fund, the state’s first philanthropy by and for Black Washingtonians to ignite generational wealth, health, and well-being. Andrea also serves as a commissioner of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs; on the boards of Craft3, Crescent Collaborative, and Africatown Community Land Trust; and as a steering committee member of the Washington Black Lives Matter Alliance.

Close up of Ananda smiling while seated in front of a window with lots of natural light

Ananda Valenzuela (any pronous)

RVC Co-Executive Director

“Our BIPOC nonprofit leaders need abundant funding to tackle centuries-strong injustices. If we are to have any hope of achieving collective liberation, funders must take dramatic action immediately.”

Ananda’s work centers organizational development, with a focus on equitable self-management and liberatory practices. Ananda serves as the co-executive director for RVC, which promotes social justice by cultivating leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration among diverse communities.

Ananda grew up in Puerto Rico and slowly made his way across the United States, holding a variety of consultant, governance, and activist roles. Before RVC, Ananda worked at Third Sector New England (TSNE), a nonprofit capacity building firm, where they managed a consulting program and developed a fellowship program. She also currently serves as the co-chair of the board of Change Elemental and as a member of the board of Hampshire College.

Close up of Jodi smiling in a light blue collared shirt

Jodi Nishioka (she/her)

Communities Rise Executive Director

“We are seeing the power of solidarity in the streets, and we are experiencing the power of coming together among our BIPOC leaders”

Jodi has worked for over 20 years on behalf of low-income communities, particularly women, children, and immigrant and refugee communities. She started her career as an attorney advocating for immigrant domestic violence survivors and single mothers fighting for child support in legal aid organizations in Boston and Honolulu. Jodi continued her work on behalf of women and children within state and city governments in Hawaii and Seattle, and later with grassroots nonprofit organizations.

Jodi serves as the executive director for Communities Rise, which prioritizes the voices of communities most impacted by systemic oppression and offers support through peer learning, coaching, and legal services and training. Jodi enjoys her work because it combines her legal skills with her dedication to building power in communities of color and communities. Jodi is also on the board of directors of JustLead Washington.

Close up of Victoria in a red top and glasses with a big smile standing amidst some beautiful evergreen trees

Victoria Santos (she/her)

Center for Healing and Liberation Director

“To dismantle the legacy of white supremacy and stand for justice and compassion, funders must invest in BIPOC communities and BIPOC leaders.”

Victoria is guided by the principle of restoring balance. This driving force has led her to work as a facilitator, trainer, community organizer, leadership coach, and certified counselor. Drawing on her lived experience, education, and training, she works toward racial healing and social justice in communities, organizations, institutions, and schools in the United States and internationally.

Victoria emphasizes intersectional awareness, individual and collective healing, and compassionate action. She serves as the director for the Center for Healing and Liberation at Commonweal, and is a senior advisor with Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), which seeks to create a community of belonging through mentorship-based empowerment programs centering young women of color and youth who have been marginalized. Victoria is a Spanish-fluent Afro-Latina immigrant born in the Dominican Republic.