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Victoria Foundation Appoints Two Newark Community Leaders to Board of Trustees

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Amina Bey and Aqeela Sherrills bring workforce development and community safety expertise to strengthen Victoria Foundation's move to community-centered racial justice and community power mission

The Victoria Foundation Board of Trustees is proud to announce two new appointments to the board of trustees, Amina Bey and Aqeela Sherrills. Both join the foundation with decades of experience leading community organizations and government partnerships dedicated to the safety and well-being of people of color and building power and self-determination in communities across the country with a focus in Newark.

Recognizing that we work in a proud majority Black and Brown city dealing with the legacy and ongoing impact of structural racism, last fall we adopted a new mission statement and strategic framework for Victoria Foundation. The new mission reads: Victoria Foundation partners with Black and Brown residents and other marginalized communities in Newark and nonprofit organizations to champion bold strategies that strengthen community power, foster economic justice, promote youth self-determination, and respond to pressing needs.

To bring this mission to life, we are thrilled to have Amina and Aqeela join our board, bringing their deep connection to Newark, and specific expertise in our strategic focus areas of fostering economic justice and to promoting youth self-determination.

"Amina and Aqeela are community activists with deep roots in Newark. As we live into our new strategic vision for the foundation, these two remarkable Newarkers will make our board stronger with their lived experiences and exceptional talents," shared Frank Alvarez, board president of Victoria Foundation.

Amina Bey has spent her entire career in the public sector and has vast experience as a social service professional. She is the Executive Director of Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF). She is also responsible for the Weequahic Family Success Center. Prior to coming to NESF, Amina spent five years as the Executive Director of the Newark Workforce Development Board (NWDB) under Mayor Ras J. Baraka. The NWDB is both a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a government agency that is responsible for operational oversight of the Newark One-Stop Center and is charged with developing public and private partnerships that support the strategic plan of the workforce development system in Newark, NJ.Prior to her tenure with the City of Newark, Amina worked for the County of Essex for 15 years under Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. developing and managing multimillion dollar budget programs in workforce development, welfare-to-work, and social service support systems.

Aqeela Sherrills is a spirit-centered organizer and activist who has worked for three decades to promote community ownership of public safety and facilitate healing from violence in marginalized communities. A nationally recognized expert in victim service and community-based public safety, Aqeela has created and led multi-million-dollar nonprofit organizations focused on reducing violence and fostering safety in urban communities and advised hundreds of organizations. Currently, Aqeela is the Founder and leader of the Community-Based Public Safety Collective, which advises and trains local public safety organizations in the methodologies that he has found most effective in helping communities reduce and prevent violence, as well as helping victims heal. This work builds on his work with The Newark Community Street Team NCST) community-based violence reduction initiative which he co-created and directed at the request of Newark, NJ's Mayor Ras Baraka in 2014. In the five years Aqeela led NCST, Newark homicide rate went from 104 in 2015 to 51 in 2019.

Victoria Foundation is a 98-year-old private foundation established by Hendon Chubb of the Chubb Insurance Company. For the first 90 years, the Foundation was led by Hendon, followed by his son and grandson, with family and close friends serving as trustees. Members of the founding family made the intentional shift in the last 15 years to not only diversify the board with members from different business and social sectors and racial identities, but to reset the balance to lean toward members that have roots and relationships in Newark. Of the 16-member board, five family members hold seats, currently half of the board are people of color.

As the Victoria Foundation has evolved, our staff and board have changed in makeup, and we've listened to the new perspectives brought in. It is our hope that as we continue to shift the makeup of our staff and board, we will continue to be more and more rooted in the lived realities of Newark residents, to shift power and resources in new ways, and remain steadfast in our commitment to make this a city where all families can live and thrive.

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Friday, 02 December 2022

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Victoria Foundation
31 Mulberry Street, 5th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

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Ph. 973-792-9200
Fax 973-792-1300
e-mail info@victoriafoundation.org

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