Meet Felogene Anumo : A Q&A with the New Regional Director for Africa
Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?
As a feminist, I have my discomforts with the philanthropic sector, especially when charitable aid has been deployed to preserve wealth rather than to redistribute it. Through my lived experiences I have witnessed first-hand the charitable violence when rich people, through their foundations, used their power over governments to pursue their interests at all costs in education, agriculture and health—with devastating impacts on people, communities, and the environment. I was excited to apply to the organization because I was inspired by the vision and commitment of Thousand Currents to build loving, just and equitable futures. Thousand Currents funds work that dismantles and creates alternatives to the structures and systems that have led to the oppression and marginalization of the Global South. The organization TRUSTS that partners know what they need to bring about lasting change. As such, it encourages bold and courageous experiments by providing long-term core support to movements and organizations because systemic change doesn’t happen overnight. The organizational values of humility, experimentation, creative collaboration, courage and interdependence are reflected in Thousand Currents relationship-building approaches, long-term partnerships, analysis and cultural products. Not only are the organizational values deeply aligned with my personal values but they are also central to my political beliefs on Doing Money Differently. For me, what we do is just as important as how we do it.
What will be your new role at Thousand Currents?
As Regional Director for Africa, I lead the programmatic work that Thousand Currents does in Africa including deepening and strengthening Thousand Currents’ funding of movement formations in Africa working on our thematic areas. Additionally, I am responsible for building alliances for Thousand Currents within relevant networks within Africa as well as providing leadership for our Africans in the Diaspora program. I look forward to developing and nurturing strong relationships based on mutual respect and integrity with movement partners, allies and networks in Africa and sharing learnings about our work.
What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?
My experience in grassroots organizing, campaigning, and advocacy in Africa and globally, have built my capacities in strategic thinking and implementation, facilitation and co-creating processes. I also bring with me integrity, adaptability, a sense of humor, empathy, and a learning spirit. My previous experience has sharpened my political analysis on the structural, political and interconnected drivers of injustice. This has strengthened my desire to work in service of movements particularly through moving funding that is core and longer term and through philanthropic advocacy for the purpose of creating a more enabling environment for the work that movements and movement support organizations are doing. I hope to use my role to move financial resources for social justice actors and movement organizing who are working to advance systemic change with the aim to ultimately create thriving, just economies and ecologies.
What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?
Diverse communities in Africa and the diaspora have always been firmly rooted in visions for a better world. They have not only held these visions but also waged resistance strategies to fiercely guard them. We see this, for example, in the recent success by our partners, Amadiba Crisis Committee, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance and Abahlali baseMjondolo mobilization to stop Shell from continuing its sonar blasting in the ocean outside the Wild Coast. As Africa faces multiple challenges brought about by a global health pandemic, financial crisis, debt distress and climate change, we turn to solutions offered by African, Afrodescendant and Black peoples liberatory economic practices. Through the work that I am doing with Thousand Currents, I hope we can continue to move critical financial resources to frontline communities so that they always feel supported and connected to thrive and to win. My hope is that our partners realize their visions for freedom, self-determination, and genuine and total liberation. For, victory is certain!
What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?
I love the outdoors and appreciate this even more so today after a difficult pandemic period. When I am not working at Thousand Currents you can find me chasing sunsets, star gazing, dancing at festivals, hiking, at street protests and spending time with family, friends and community. I am also a fitness enthusiast and I never miss an opportunity to explore the world with and through the lens of my 8-year-old daughter.