Media release

Angela Bannerman Ankoma named vice president, director of the Equity Leadership Initiative at Rhode Island Foundation

The Initiative is one aspect of the Foundation’s broad, three-year $8.5 million plan to promote racial equity and inclusion

Angela Bannerman Ankoma has been appointed a vice president of the Rhode Island Foundation. The Providence resident will lead the Equity Leadership Initiative, which is one aspect of the Foundation's broad, 3-year, $8.5 million plan to eliminate inequality and racial disparities and promote inclusion and diversity. Ankoma will also serve as a member of the Foundation’s leadership team.

“Angela will work across and within departments at the Foundation to maximize this effort’s impact, and will recruit and steward a community advisory committee to assist in developing the Equity Leadership Initiative,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation. “One effort of the Equity Leadership Initiative will be to identify, cultivate, mentor and seek access and opportunity for individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous and Asian, from across sectors, to help build a pipeline of future leaders in established positions of influence throughout the state.”

Ankoma has nearly 25 years of public policy and health policy experience. Most recently, she was Executive Vice President, Director of Community Investment, at the United Way of R.I., where she served as a member of the executive team and led the organization’s grant-making, public policy, government relations, research and evaluation activities.

Previous to the United Way, Ankoma was Chief of the Office of Minority Health at the state Department of Health (DOH), where she implemented the Minority Health Plan for Action; and was Co-Director of DOH’s Health Equity Institute.

“I am pleased to join the Foundation’s team and lead this effort. Community foundations have a rich history of community leadership. I am enthusiastic about the Foundation’s leadership in advancing racial equity by addressing the underlying, long-standing structures and systems that perpetuate racism and injustice. I am excited to support the next generation of industry leaders – bank presidents, hospital CEOs, and leaders in academia and K-12 education; corporate executives, policy-makers, judges and more – who are people of color.”

- Angela Bannerman Ankoma

Ankoma has a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Science in public health from Columbia University and a BA in Africana Studies and Psychology from Connecticut College.

She joins the Foundation as it comes off a year of record fundraising and grant-making. Over the past five years, the Foundation has awarded more than $230 million in grants to thousands of nonprofits.

The Foundation focuses on three strategic priorities: educational success, economic security and healthy lives. In addition, it also supports arts and culture, basic human needs, the environment and housing among other sectors through its responsive grants program.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $47 million and awarded $56 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2019. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.