Enola Aird, Global Activist, Appointed to the Board of Directors
Marcella Nunez-Smith, M.D., Associate Dean for Health Equity Research Yale School of Medicine named chair and Fernando J. Muñiz, CEO of Community Solutions, Inc., named vice chair
New Haven, Conn. (January 31, 2023) – The Board of Directors of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the region’s largest grantmaker, has announced the appointment of Enola G. Aird, founder and president of Community Healing Network, to serve on the Board for a seven-year term (2023-2029). Aird was appointed by the Trustees’ Committee, which consists of representatives of The Foundation’s trustee banks. She succeeds Flemming “Nick” Norcott, Jr. who served the Board since 2016 and was the chair from 2021-2022.
“Enola Aird is a national and global leader in the work of emotional emancipation and community healing for people of African descent,” said Foundation President and CEO Will Ginsberg. “She is a truly original thinker and a very powerful voice in how we as a community and as a nation can and must confront racism at its root causes. I know she will add much to the work of The Community Foundation.”
Aird founded and is president of Community Healing Network, an organization that, according to its mission, is building a global grassroots movement to help Black people overcome and overturn the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives: lies of white superiority and Black inferiority.
A former corporate lawyer, Aird also worked at the Children’s Defense Fund, leading its violence prevention initiative and serving as acting director of its Black Community Crusade for Children. She is a past chair of the Connecticut Commission on Children and was a visiting scholar at the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Barnard College and earned her law degree from Yale University. Aird was born in the Republic of Panama of Caribbean heritage, and attributes much of her vision and passion for the movement for emotional emancipation to stories passed down in her family about her great-grandfather, Samuel Alleyne, a loyal follower of Marcus Garvey.
In addition to welcoming Aird, The Foundation Board elected Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as its chair and Fernando J. Muñiz as vice chair for 2023. Dr. Nunez-Smith is Associate Dean for Health Equity Research; C.N.H Long Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management; and Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) in the Office for Health Equity Research at Yale School of Medicine. She was co-chair of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board and was Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine. She joined The Foundation Board in 2018.
Muñiz has a long career in child welfare, juvenile justice and public administration. He is the CEO of Community Solutions, Inc. (CSI), which provides community-based services including juvenile justice, child welfare and criminal justice programs. CSI operates more than 50 programs across the United States. Muñiz worked for more than a decade at the state of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, most recently serving as deputy commissioner. He joined the Board in 2020.
About The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in Connecticut is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the U.S. and was established in 1928 as the permanent charitable endowment for New Haven and its surrounding communities. In 2020, The Foundation began implementing a 5-year strategic plan and enacted new mission and vision statements toward expanding opportunity and equity in Greater New Haven. In 2021, it launched Stepping Forward, a three-year commitment of up to $26 million to address the impact of COVID-19 and advance racial equity. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire, support, inform, listen to and collaborate with the people and organizations of Greater New Haven to build an ever more connected, inclusive, equitable and philanthropic community.
For more than three generations, generous local donors have built The Community Foundation’s endowment by establishing permanent funds or making gifts to existing funds that distribute grants to a broad variety of issues and organizations. These donors, past and present, make their gifts to ensure that programs and causes that matter most to them will be supported today and forever. For more information about The Foundation visit www.cfgnh.org or follow @cfgnh on facebook and twitter.