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Meet Natalia Vallés Skinner: A Q&A with the New Senior Grant Writer

Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?

I wanted to work at Thousand Currents to learn more about the philanthropic intermediary space after spending nearly a decade in the nonprofit sector in international and national NGO spaces. I had a hunger to find belonging in an organization with a deep history and commitment to the transformational possibilities that emerge when power shifts away from the status quo in the Global North towards grassroots communities and movements in the Global South. 

It was important to me that movements are resourced with praxis rooted in justice and liberation, where agency for those who are manifesting real transformational systems change for people and planet isn’t denied or diluted. I knew this was the place I wanted to be after meeting a staff member and learning about all the ways that different streams of knowing, kinship, and financial capital converge with a vision of the world where our humanity and relation to Mother Earth is interdependent, loving, equitable, and just. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m here!

What will be your new role at Thousand Currents?

I’ll be supporting the philanthropic partnerships team with grant writing, internal grantseeking systems development, and institutional philanthropic partner engagement to help grow Thousand Current’s resources. I hope that my work better enables our partners and the larger movement ecosystem to have increasing access to both the capital and collective knowledge to continue building systems change that is led by Black, Indigenous, women, youth, and gender-oppressed grassroots communities and movements. 

What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?

I really enjoy applying problem solving, strategy development, workflow design, and project planning to the grant lifecycle process. I am so humbled to be able to offer these gifts to help scaffold our grantseeking strategy and internal processes to support our ambitious goals and scale up so that we can manifest abundance and grow the resources needed to affect systems change more expansively.

What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?

I hope that my work at Thousand Currents makes it possible to widen the circle so that even more communities and movements in the Global South are able to access the financial and intellectual resources they desire to build just, loving, and equitable futures for people and planet.

What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?

When I’m not working, you can find me reading, gaming, doing my best to cultivate my tres hermanas garden, or enjoying some quality time with my family.

  • Lake view from atop the Inca Stairs, Yumani, Isla del Sol, Lago Titi'kaka, Bolivia
  • Hiking Huayna Picchu (formerly known as Macchu Picchu) in Peru
  • Natalia hiking Huayna Picchu (formerly known as Macchu Picchu) in Peru
  • Natalia climbing the Inca Stairs in Yumani, Isla del Sol, Lago Titi'kaka, Bolivia
  • Natalia riding the Mi Teleférico gondolas on the way to El Alto, Bolivia
  • Natalia's Photo of a Market stall in La Paz, Bolivia
  • Natalia at Sacsayhuamán, outskirts of Cusco, Peru