Jacksonville, Fla. (December 12, 2019) — Continuing its commitment to strong, principled governance in support of the communities it serves, yesterday the trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund elected respected public theologian Reverend Jennifer Bailey as an individual trustee. Jen will serve an initial five-year term beginning in January 2020.
“As the Jessie Ball duPont Fund evolves under the stewardship of a thoughtful, knowledgeable and dedicated group of trustees, we are thrilled to welcome Jen and grateful for the perspective she will contribute,” said Marty Lanahan, Executive Vice President and Tampa Bay Market President for Iberia Bank and chair for the Jessie Ball duPont Fund Trustees. “Jen is a dynamic, visionary thinker and a key player in the important national conversation on justice. She brings deep expertise in the fields of theology, community convening, service, nonprofit administration and combating intergenerational poverty.”
Jen is an ordained minister who is helping to lead the national multi-faith movement for justice. Named one of “15 Faith Leaders to Watch” by the Center for American Progress, she is the Founder and Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network, which works to provide community conveners, faith leaders, and activists with resources for deeper connection and spiritual sustainability. Jen also co-founded The People’s Supper, which uses shared meals to build trust and connection among people of different identities and perspectives. Since 2017, the People’s Supper has helped host more than 1,500 suppers in more than 120 cities. She is an Ashoka Fellow, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, Aspen Ideas Scholar, On Being Fellow and Truman Scholar. She writes regularly for a variety of publications including On Being, Sojourners, and the Huffington Post, and is a member of the boards of Open Table Nashville, World Faith, and the Healing Trust. Jen earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves on the staff of Greater Bethel A.ME. Church in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I’m excited to join such an experienced group of trustees and to be a part of the momentum of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, especially as it relates to building shared community spaces and creating shared community experiences,” said Reverend Jen Bailey. “There are so many opportunities for the Fund to help bring people together, to celebrate our shared humanity and to support inclusive growth.”
Jen joins five Fund trustees who represent national and international public and private organizations with expertise in the nonprofit, higher education, religious and banking and investment sectors. 2019 marked the retirement of two trustees who shaped the Fund’s strategy and culture in countless ways over their 15-year tenure: Leroy Davis, the Fund’s first African-American chair for the Trustees and former president of South Carolina State University, who brought experience and leadership in teaching, compliance and nonprofit governance; and Thomas Jeavons, a passionate and knowledgeable practitioner, scholar and advisor across the religious, charitable and philanthropic arenas.
“Leroy and Thom each made an indelible mark on the Fund and its grantees, thanks both to their incredible breadth of experience and to their grace, charisma and kindness,” said Lanahan. “We look forward to continuing to espouse those values as we welcome our new trustee.”