Jalonne White-Newsome

HEFN Position: 
Steering Committee Member

Jalonne White-Newsome is senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation, responsible for the Environment Program’s grant portfolio on sustainable water resources management in a changing climate. Jalonne also leads the foundation’s work addressing the intersection of climate change and public health.

Before joining Kresge in early 2016, Jalonne served as director of federal policy at West Harlem Environmental Action Inc. (WE ACT), where she was involved with leading national campaigns and a 42-member national coalition of environmental justice organizations. Her work helped ensure that the concerns of low-income communities of color were integrated into federal policy, particularly on clean air, climate change and health issues. She is a lecturer at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct professor at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. She continues to engage in research on climate, health and equity.

A native of Detroit, Jalonne earned a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health; a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Southern Methodist University; and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University. She currently serves on the board of US Climate Action Network and was recognized by Grist Magazine as “The 50 People You'll Be Talking About in 2016.”

My Grantmaking Focus Is On: 

Promoting equitable and sustainable water resources management in a changing climate; and addressing the health implications of climate change.

What Drew Me Into HEFN Leadership: 

As a new funder, it's important to engage and learn from like-minded funders that recognize 'bad health' is a product of the environment we live in.  And most often, the environments for low income communities, and communities of color, are failing to meet the basic human health standards to promote a good livelihood.  In the time that I've known HEFN, the leadership has been working to expand the knowledge and resources of the philanthropic sector to support this work around health and environment - jointly, and not in silos. This is extremely important and I hope to support this work with my talents and time.

I See the HEFN Community Making a Difference: 

By continuing to be bold, unapologetic, and creating a new normal in the philanthropic sector by encouraging funders and the philanthropic institutions to do grantmaking that could be unfamiliar and risky but high in reward for communities and cities that are in need of resources to reduce environmental insults and unfair health burdens. 

When I'm Not at Work You Might Find Me: 

 Roller skating with my two daughters, or in the theatre. 

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