About the Program

At Grantmakers for Southern Progress, we know that the South incubates ideas and actions the rest of the nation follows. At its worst, the South has laid the blueprint for dehumanization and harm. At its best, the South has created the conditions for real transformation by practicing community care for the most vulnerable among us, and envisioning liberation for us all.

Fellows for Southern Progress (FSP) is an innovative leadership development program that helps participants develop the knowledge and skills necessary to support grassroots movements and structural change in the South. Together, we are reckoning with philanthropy’s complicated history and building a future where our communities can thrive.  

We know a more just and equitable South is possible. We believe philanthropy will help get us there.

We are building a community of changemakers in the South who are accountable to the region, the philanthropic sector, and each other in the service of justice. Are you in?  

Who We're Looking For

This may be the space for you if: 

  • You believe the South can and has changed for the better; 
  • You believe philanthropy has been shaped by white supremacy, patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism, and other unjust systems;  
  • You believe funders are responsible for returning stolen resources to marginalized communities;  
  • You are a member of a philanthropic institution who can guide how monetary resources move through your organization, and;  
  • You are committed to funding Southern movement work.  

As a Fellow
, you will learn how to:

  • Cultivate a justice-focused, people-centered approach to philanthropy; 
  • Align your grantmaking with structural and cultural change work in the South; 
  • Center race and gender equity in your funding practices;  
  • Strengthen your sense of change agency and your ability to create change;  
  • Explore authentic healing practices, honor your full self, and find joy in the work;  
  • Practice interdependence and care for people, and;  
  • Share what you’ve learned with your institution with the intention of making aligned commitments to the South.

Meet the FSP Faculty

Click on the faculty member photos to learn more!

Karimah Nonyameko

Karimah Nonyameko is a program officer with the Human Rights program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Karimah worked for the National Alliance on Mental Illness South Carolina (NAMISC) as the Ending the Silence Lowcountry Regional Program Manager. Before joining NAMISC, Karimah worked with Encore.org’s Generation-to-Generation Program designing an online learning community for youth-serving practitioners and supporting a diverse network of communities and organizations experimenting with innovative models for engaging older adults to help children thrive. Prior to Encore.org, Karimah was the Subject Matter Expert in Community Development for Habitat for Humanity International.

Earlier in her career, Karimah lived in every region of the US, working as a community organizer with local, regional, and national nonprofit organizations and networks supporting social change issues and building relationships across differences. Karimah has over two decades of experience supporting nonprofit organizations and movement building work as a community organizer, non-profit senior staff, an organizational development consultant, grantmaking foundation board member, award-winning trainer/facilitator, and skill-building curriculum designer.

Kim Pevia

Kim Pevia is an experienced life strategist, an engaging keynote speaker, and a skilled workshop facilitator. Her workshops are experiential and transformational. She specializes in identifying the issues that keep us stuck and addresses them by developing a personalized toolbox to help us hurdle over them. Her favorite work is done in circles. Her favorite topics include Emotional intelligence, Gifts of Conflict, Impacts of Historical Trauma, Cultural Healing, Innocuous Nature of Fear, most of which she includes in Race, Equity, and Inclusion work. Born and educated in Baltimore, MD she currently lives in Robeson County, NC where her roots run deep as a member of the Lumbee Tribe.

She serves on many local, state, and national boards that support community activism and local economy through arts, food, culture, and tourism. She recently served as Chair of the Board of Alternate Roots. In 2015 she founded Artist Market-Pembroke, providing retail opportunities for local and regional artists in southeast North Carolina. Her love of community and films is expressed as the curator of the annual Lumbee Film Festival (along with Cucalorus) and the quarterly CommUnity Cinema (in partnership with Working Films). She expresses her creativity as a writer and workshop/training facilitator.

Rukia Lumumba

As Executive Director of the People’s Advocacy Institute, co-coordinator of the Electoral Justice Project, and campaign co-coordinator of the successful Committee to Elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba for Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Rukia Lumumba is a transformative justice strategist and human rights advocate.

For more than 18 years, she has worked within and outside the system to foster justice for all, especially as it relates to criminal justice disparities for people of color. She has served as director of two of New York state’s largest criminal justice nonprofits, CASES (the Center for Alternatives Sentencing and Employment Services) and the Center for Community Alternatives, providing visionary leadership and building community and system partnerships to help break the prison pipeline. During her leadership tenure, more than 4,200 youths received supportive community-based services including housing, education, job, and health and well-being services, in lieu of incarceration. She also served as co-chair of the Anti-Violence and Criminal Justice Working Group and steering committee member of the first Young Women’s Initiative in the United States dedicated to developing gender equitable policies in New York City, particularly for young women of color. Her work contributed to the development of She Will Be, a 144-page report of recommendations from stakeholders across New York City, including but not limited to community-based organizations, advocates, policy experts, and young women themselves.

A graduate of Howard University School of Law, Rukia clerked for the Juvenile Rights Division of the Washington, DC, Public Defender Service where she represented children and collected data on human rights violations at the former Oak Hill Youth Detention Center, one of the nation’s worst juvenile facilities. The data was included in a report that contributed to the closing of the facility. She was program director of Parents Watch, Inc., a Washington-based nonprofit that assists parents in advocating for their detained child’s release. During her tenure, she helped launch the first parent resource center housed within a detention facility. She served on the board of directors of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, an association of lawyers, activists and legal workers who defend human rights and expose the criminal justice disparities for people of color. She served as national coordinator of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a membership-based organization dedicated to promoting human rights and self-determination. She co-founded Katrina on the Ground, an initiative that organized over 700 college students to participate in post-Katrina relief efforts in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. She launched the Community Aid and Development Day Camp, an education and cultural enrichment program for over 200 children ages 6-16 in Jackson, Mississippi.

Rukia currently co-chairs the People’s Assembly process in Jackson, Mississippi which works to (1) increase community access to city government and (2) to institutionalize People’s Assemblies as community governing models that enable a deep democratic participation of people in their own governance. She was selected as one of the brightest and most promising women of color by New York University Wagner School of Public Service and she is a 2011 Youth for Justice Leadership Fellow for the National Juvenile Justice Network.

Rukia holds family very dear and is most proud of being a wonderful mother to her son Qadir. She was instrumental in the successful and revolutionary mayoral campaigns of her father and brother. Her assistance to elect her brother, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, as mayor of Jackson united people across generations and cities, moving as brilliantly among the grassroots as it did among the grasstops.

Rukia holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis in international relations from Tougaloo College in Mississippi. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. and has studied law and politics in South Africa at the University of Forte Hare and the University of the Western Cape.

Wesley Morris

Wesley Morris is a community organizer, facilitator, and Senior Pastor of Faith Community Church in Greensboro, NC. His work centers on addressing the interlocking injustices of systemic racism and systemic poverty. Wesley currently serves as Vice President of the Pulpit Forum and as Associate Director for Southern Vision Alliance (SVA) where he works with emergent social justice organizations to develop racial, economic, and environmental justice solutions for collective liberation in the US South.

Prior to joining SVA, Wesley served as an Intern chaplain at Harlem Hospital and worked for more than a decade as a community organizer with the Beloved Community Center, home to the nation’s first Community Truth and Reconciliation Process.

Through his solidarity projects in Cuba, Barbados, and Brazil he has supported opening cultural and spiritual pathways to bridge the gap between Black, indigenous people of color and the African Diaspora. Wesley acknowledges the pain caused by systems of oppression and has committed his efforts towards achieving a more just and equitable world. Wesley has been a strong supporter and active participant in the national Poor People’s Campaign – a relaunch of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s nonviolent civil disobedience protest in over 40 states addressing voter suppression laws, mass incarceration, and livable wages led by Dr. William Barber.

Wesley earned a B.A. degree from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He enjoys traveling, listening to his vinyl record collection, and reading.

Program Eligibility

Curriculum + Time Commitment

Participants attend three 3-day convenings, one virtual convening, individual coaching sessions with a professional coach or peer-to-peer, and applied practice work between convenings.

  • October 10-12, 2023, in Jackson, MS
  • March 2024 (dates and location TBD)
  • July/August 2024 (virtual)
  • September 2024 (dates and location TBD)


Tuition is $2,500 for GSP members, and $3,000 for non-GSP members. Scholarships are available.

Apply to be a Fellow


Applications are open from May 1 – May 19, 2023. We will reach out to applicants about the status of their applications in July. If you would like to express interest in the program or connect with GSP staff prior to the application period, please use the contact form below.


Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to view our FAQ and to watch our Info Session recording.


FSP Questions

Reach out to our Program Team with your questions about Fellows for Southern Progress using the form below.













Click here to download our sponsorship packet.