Joy Messinger is a queer, disabled, femme organizer of spreadsheets, funding, and people to build sustainability, healing, wellness, and power for reproductive justice, queer and trans liberation, and disabled, migrant, and POC communities. Based on Neshnabé / Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi) land (Chicago, Illinois) for the past decade, she was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in semi-rural Western New York. She comes to Funders for Justice (FFJ) with more than 15 years experience in the areas of social justice philanthropy, behavioral public health, reproductive and birth justice, mental health and disability justice, youth development and organizing, LGBTQ/QTPOC advocacy, Asian American community building, immigration justice, HIV/AIDS prevention and support, facilitation and curriculum development, higher education and student affairs, grassroots fundraising, and nonprofit management. In her role as Director of Training and Leadership Development, she will oversee the expansion of the network’s fellowship program, political education, and funder training strategies.
Most recently, Joy spent five and a half years as a Program Officer at Third Wave Fund, a national funder of youth-led intersectional gender justice activism, where she supported the relaunch of the organization’s rapid response, multi-year, and participatory grantmaking strategies. During her time with Third Wave, she also advised dozens of grantmakers, donors, and funder networks on rapid response, participatory, youth-focused, and cross-movement grantmaking practices and served as both Co-Lead of FFJ’s Healing Justice Strategy Group and Co-Chair of the Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE) Youth Leadership & Engagement Working Group. In addition, Joy was a Rockwood Leadership Institute Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Fellow and holds graduate degrees in public health and social work from the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Joy is a board member of Youth Empowerment Performance Project (YEPP), which uses creative arts, healing justice, and youth leadership development to address LGBTQ youth homelessness, and organizes with her neighbors to imagine and create a world beyond policing and prisons. She also loves the WNBA, the Shonda Rhimes one-hour drama, noodles and dumplings of all kinds, and her cat Kimchi Lox, who you may be lucky enough to virtually meet over Zoom someday.