As Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building, Kiesha leads a team responsible for the stewardship of Memphis Music Initiative’s (MMI) investments to build strong and efficient organizations. She leads the team in the development of strategies to foster organizational sustainability and improve the quality of music engagement programs for black and brown youth. Kiesha’s career has been dedicated to creating equitable opportunities for black youth in communities like Memphis.
She brings to MMI, extensive experience in building and fostering grantee relationships, amplifying collaborations to address community level outcomes and expertise in developing large scale multi-million dollar grantmaking frameworks. In 2010, Kiesha helped launch the grantmaking structure of the St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund (CSF). Her efforts resulted a systematic approach to increase behavioral health access through the investment of $40 million annually on behalf of St. Louis County children, youth and their families, with a focus on school-based approaches and early childhood interventions. She led immediate youth centered mental health response efforts in the wake of the 2014 unrest in Ferguson and throughout her tenure brokered expanded access to early childhood screenings and early identification interventions for underserved communities throughout St. Louis County. Kiesha’s broad based experience includes designing professional development programs to help elevate funder grantmaking capacity, fostering learning and momentum building for funder collaborations around shared objectives including expansion of philanthropic practices around equity and inclusion, and process development including data analysis for nonprofits.