Our People

Janelle Choi

Program Officer, Midwest

“If you give me a fish, you have fed me for a day. If you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shoreline seized for development. But if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenges, I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.”
Ricardo Levins Morales

I believe in the empowerment of the human spirit and in strengthening communities so they can define their own solutions. I am inspired by Marguerite Casey Foundation’s support of bottom-up community organizing, so that low–income families have a stronger voice in policy decisions that affect their lives, and by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of a Poor People’s Campaign that unites people to address the structural roots of poverty.

Prior to working at Marguerite Casey Foundation, I was the founding executive director of the Slingshot Development Fund, which supports grassroots organizations in eastern Burma and Thailand. I spent seven years building locally–driven nonprofit infrastructure with indigenous, displaced and migrant communities.

I joined the team in 2015.