The Andrus Family Fund (AFF), a fund of the Surdna Foundation, today announced Mishi Faruqee as its new director. A recognized leader in youth and criminal justice advocacy, Mishi will begin on November 1, 2022.
Mishi will oversee an over $4 million grantmaking portfolio supporting the self-determination, power, and liberation of Black, Brown, AAPI, and Indigenous youth impacted by the youth justice, child welfare, and other disruptive systems.
She will collaborate with AFF’s staff, board, Movement Partner Advisory Council, and grantees to implement AFF’s recently refreshed strategy, prioritizing youth-led organizing, advocacy, and power-building. AFF’s goal is to abolish the juvenile justice and child welfare systems that reinforce structural racism and diminish the well-being of the young people in them. Instead, AFF seeds and supports community-driven approaches that help youth flourish at home with their families, in school, in their communities, and in life.
Mishi will also spearhead shared learning for AFF’s board, composed of eight Andrus family members and six non-family community members. As an anchor partner of the Visionary Freedom Fund, she will work hand-in-hand with a collective of youth and other movement leaders and funders to promote learning about and catalyze long-term investment in BIPOC youth-led organizing in the youth justice field.
She succeeds Katayoon Majd and Nyoka Acevedo, who served as Interim Director after AFF’s longtime Director Manuela Arciniegas moved to the Ford Foundation earlier this year.
“Mishi is perfectly poised to lead AFF and flow funding to the experiments, policies, and programs for a world without youth prisons and other disruptive systems,” said C’Ardiss “CC” Gardner Gleser, board chair of the Andrus Family Fund. “Mishi has a strong track record of building coalitions, putting youth at the forefront of lasting social change, and making a real difference in people’s lives. We’re lucky to have her on our team.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Mishi to the Andrus Family Fund,” said Kaitlin Miles, vice chair of the Andrus Family Fund and 5th generation Andrus family member. “I look forward to learning and working with her to bring about racial and social justice and positive change — in ourselves, in our board rooms, and in our communities.”
Most recently, Mishi served as president of Youth First Initiative, an AFF grantee partner and national campaign to end youth incarceration and invest in community-based supports, services, and opportunities for youth. In this role, she supported state-based juvenile justice campaigns and secured widespread policy changes. Prior to Youth First, Mishi worked with the ACLU, the Correctional Association of New York, the Children’s Defense Fund-NY, and as a special assistant to the Commissioner at the New York City Department of Probation.
“I’m honored to join the Andrus Family Fund, especially after collaborating with many of AFF’s staff, board, grantees, and movement partners while at the Youth First Initiative,” said Mishi Faruqee. “I look forward to rolling up our sleeves to uplift the visions and solutions to end the criminalization of BIPOC, LGBTQI, disabled, and immigrant youth and families and create caring, community-driven approaches that promote well-being, education, and prosperity.”
“Mishi brings a wealth of experience, imagination, and commitment to youth justice and the Andrus Family Fund’s mission,” said Don Chen, president of the Surdna Foundation. “All of us at AFF and Surdna are thrilled that she will lead AFF into its next chapter of impactful, innovative grantmaking.”