The idea for Represented Foundation was born in South Africa in 2008. That year our founder, Noel, interned at an NGO committed to rehabilitating street children, in Cape Town, South Africa. There he witnessed the organization serve a population comprised of 100% people of color, while the only non-White employee in the company was the van driver. Noel wondered how program participants were supposed to learn to become leaders, without the opportunity to see what themselves reflected as one. He would return to the US - motivated to find a real community for leaders of color in the social impact field.
Over the next 10 years, Noel worked in Human Resources at high-performing charities in New York, while growing his own network of diverse leaders in the field. In the fall of 2017, Noel decided to use his experience in leadership development to create Represented Foundation, a community network where emerging social entrepreneurs of color could see themselves reflected as leaders, before stepping confidently into the role, themselves.
The more we grow, the more I see a need to educate. I don’t believe that the same solutions work for all communities, but I do know that pretending that Black issues aren’t Queer issues aren’t Trans issues aren’t Latinx issues aren’t Low-income issues is how we all lose, and at Represented Foundation, we play to win.
Founder & Executive Director