WFMN Interns and Fellows
Interns and Fellows

Funding the Pipeline for Women of Color in Philanthropy

Philanthropy, nonprofits, and communities benefit when women of color are represented in leadership. Recognizing the need for more women of color in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership and development, WFMN launched its Fellowship and Internship Program in 2002. The Reatha Clark King Fellowship and the Wenda Weekes Moore Internship Program are our innovative initiatives to build a pipeline of women of color leaders in philanthropy.

About the Program

Through the program to date, WFMN has engaged 34 women of color in all aspects of its operations, including evaluation, fundraising, grantmaking, and administration. The program also provides rigorous training and professional development opportunities. Interns and Fellows receive one-on-one mentoring and professional coaching; attend workshops on emotional intelligence, executive presence, and action planning; and attend seminars and local and national philanthropy conferences.

Reatha Clark King and Wenda Weekes Moore
Reatha Clark King and Wenda Weekes Moore
Wenda Weekes Moore Internship

As part of the year-long Wenda Weekes Moore Internship, each intern spends four weeks in the summer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, MI, where Wenda served on the board for 26 years. This opportunity allows the intern to gain mentoring, knowledge, and learning experience from a large, private, family foundation.

Reatha Clark King Fellowship

The Reatha Clark King Fellowship, a two-year paid fellowship, plays a central role in the coordination and management of the Women’s Foundation’s Young Women’s Initiative MN (YWI MN). Named for Reatha Clark King in 2007, the fellow works both independently and collaboratively with Foundation staff and other key partners to plan, manage, and implement activities in program development, research and evaluation, meeting design and coordination, grant and contract management, grant and report writing, and publications and materials development.

Investing in Leadership

Interns & Fellows Graphic
As a result of this program, a majority of our Interns and Fellows have gone on to leadership careers in the nonprofit (64%), philanthropic (9%), and corporate (27%) sectors in the United States and abroad. Seven program participants have also been hired and promoted as WFMN staff.
Cynthia J. Zapata
Meet the 2018 Wenda Weekes Moore Intern

Cynthia J. Zapata

Cynthia J. Zapata graduated from St. Olaf College in 2016 as a double major in English and race and ethnic studies. Since graduating, Zapata has worked at Centro Tyrone Guzman in south Minneapolis, and helped manage Jovenes Latinas al Poder!, a group focused on advancing policy, advocacy, and healthy peer-to-peer relationships with young Latinas. In January 2018, she began working in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton as the Correspondence Coordinator. She is a 2016-2017 Amherst Wilder Community Equity Pipeline cohort member, 2017 finalist for the St. Paul Youth Poet Laureate, a WFMN Innovator, and Vice President and Communications Director of WePod. In 2018, she began a master of arts program in creative writing and publishing at the University of St. Thomas.

“As a grantee-partner for two years, and now as a WFMN Innovator, my involvement with the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota has opened more opportunities I ever could have could dreamed. I am at a pivotal point in my young career, and the Wenda Weekes Moore Internship will refine and add depth to the skills I have already acquired. I am excited about this year of growth and work with an organization that I admire.”
Jamara Cheek
Meet the Reatha Clark King Fellow

Jamara Cheek

Jamara Cheek joined the Foundation as Reatha Clark King Fellow | YWI MN Program Manager in June, 2018. She first joined the Foundation in January 2017 as office manager. She has an extensive career as a government contract consultant to Minnesota businesses. Previously, she worked at Metropolitan Economic Development Association for seven years within the Procurement Technical Assistance Center program. During that time, she assisted business owners with pursuing and winning long-term federal contracts. Prior to that, she was an equal opportunity consultant at the Metropolitan Council. Cheek enjoys Minnesota’s natural resources, especially walking near the Mississippi River.

“Timing is everything, and a phrase that I appreciate more as my life journey unfolds. The Reatha Clark King Fellowship is right on time for me! I’m excited to work at WFMN during a critical time in our nation’s history. Women are speaking up for themselves and charting the course for their lives in new ways. I want to be where the action is. WFMN is a place where I can contribute positively to communities I care about and develop as a leader.”