JRCT welcomes six new committee members to advise on grant-making

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) has welcomed six new committee members whose expertise and experience will help guide our grant-making.

Two new expert advisors, known as cooptees, have been appointed to Sustainable Future committee and four to the Northern Ireland committee.

Joining the Sustainable Future committee, Anna Fielding (pictured top left), is a specialist in economic systems change and leadership for social and environmental justice.

She is chair of the Economic Change Unit, a non-profit catalysing the shift to a more resilient, secure and just economy, a trustee of the New Economics Foundation, a senior associate at Cohere Partners, an associate of the Institute for Social Banking, and a fellow of the RSA.  Anna was previously CEO at the Finance Innovation Lab, a charity building a financial system that serves people and planet. She has extensive experience in strategy, communications, research and impact assessment for social change.

J Clarke has a background in social movements against fossil fuel infrastructure, investments and financing. As a day job, J supports student campaigners to push extractive industries out of UK universities and fight for climate justice.

Joining the Northern Ireland committee, Cormac McAleer (pictured top centre) has a background in grassroots and regional community and rural development and in grant-making with Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. Cormac lives in Creggan, Co Tyrone with his wife Fidelma where they are part of the movement to protect the water, air, land and health of the Sperrins from pollution by goldmining. He has an MA from Washington Theological Union in Washington D.C. and an MBA from University of Ulster.

Harriet Long (pictured top right) has worked in Belfast and across the region in various support and advocacy roles in the women's sector, the LGBT sector and the human rights sector.  She is a passionate activist and thoughtfully engages with social justice issues.  She has studied, written and presented on themes of religion and the body. Harriet is a foster carer and an adopter and deeply interested in the impact of trauma and attachment damage on our communities.  She currently coordinates children's services in a local domestic violence charity.  

Monina O’Prey (pictured bottom left) brings a strong commitment to community development, conflict transformation and peacebuilding work and has been an activist for more than forty years. She has strong working knowledge of the community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland and retains wide-ranging contacts in both. Having been both a grantee, and grant-maker for several funders, she has significant experience of the independent funding sector. She has delivered several action-research programmes with a focus on leadership, community empowerment, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, social justice and human rights work. She also has extensive experience of working internationally in regions of communal conflict and is currently a fellow of the Social Change Initiative.

Nazia Latif (pictured bottom centre) has extensive experience of working on human rights and equality issues in Northern Ireland and internationally. An experienced trainer and researcher, Nazia believes in empowering communities through genuine engagement and collaboration. She worked for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for 13 years where she led a number of systemic investigations of international significance, including In Defence of Dignity, an investigation into the human rights of older people in nursing homes. Nazia currently runs Right Practice and specialises in providing practical assistance to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector to initiate and manage change in order to improve the lives of all communities. Her focus is on helping organisations meet their human rights and equality obligations. Nazia is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, holds a MA from the University of Durham and a PhD from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Grant-making committees at JRCT are made up of trustees, staff and cooptees and now have the power to approve grants of up to £120,000 without the need for board approval - previously any grants over £29,000 would have required final approval at quarterly full board meetings.

This follows a recent move to devolve decision-making power into the hands of committees which comprise a higher proportion of individuals with expertise in, and lived experience of, the issues of conflict and injustice that the Trust is seeking to address, a key aspect of our power and privilege strategy.

JRCT currently has 18 cooptees.