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About Us
Who is JBRF?

Grounded in the legacy of the United Methodist Church, the Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation (JBRF) is committed to advancing the health and overall livelihood of Black women living East of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. and is devoted to reducing racial, health, and economic disparities.

The foundation funds initiatives by utilizing trust-based philanthropy, which is a philanthropy that supports community-centered organizations working to improve underlying systemic issues. We believe those with lived expertise have the best understanding of their needs and can design the finest solutions that catalyze change. Our role is to assist in, rather than direct, the discovery of those solutions and to support and encourage partners to turn those intentions into outcomes.

JBRF’s mission is to serve Black women living East of the Anacostia River, and we partner with any organization that aligns with our mission, no matter the religious affiliation. Grant awards are not based on any specific religious affiliation, and funded programs do not have to be faith-based in order to qualify for funding.

JBRF funds workforce development, cancer navigation, and overall health and well-being initiatives for Black women who live East of the River.


The Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation is committed to reducing the disparities in health and economic opportunity that disproportionately affect Black women living East of the River.

Our Values

We believe community members hold power, which is why they guide our investments in cancer-navigation and workforce-development systems. They have a holistic understanding of their communities that allows them to identify the most pressing challenges and to develop the solutions to those challenges.
We prioritize the voices of community members who live and serve in neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River. Their expressed needs are what guide our philanthropic investments, and we partner with them to provide the solutions their communities need the most.
We believe that trust-based philanthropy, as well as a community-driven approach, is the best way to activate lasting change. We accomplish this by forming connections with community partners, listening and learning from them so that we can respond in a way that drives long-term impact.
We are committed to improving the livelihoods of Black women living East of the Anacostia River by reducing the health and economic inequities that affect them. This commitment to the health of an entire community is reflected in JBRF’s DNA and guides our current and future investments.
Racial equity is central to our mission. The foundation is committed to ensuring that historically marginalized groups, such as Black women living East of the Anacostia River, have decision-making authority and access to resources that improve their health and economic outcomes.
Our responsive philanthropy shifts power and resources to existing leaders and community members East of the River. The foundation believes that innovative thinking is a catalyst for change and that the funding of such ideas is true philanthropy.

Our Story


The Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation was created in 2010 as a legacy of commitment to the Methodist Church. It was named in honor of Jane Bancroft Robinson, the founding secretary of the Deaconess Bureau and later president of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1890 Jane Bancroft Robinson was instrumental in the founding of the Lucy Webb Hayes Memorial Home and Training School which was the forerunner of Sibley Memorial Hospital. The purpose of the school was to train deaconesses and missionaries to care for the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the underserved. As the deaconesses performed their work to alleviate suffering they soon realized the need for training in nursing techniques which could only be secured in a hospital. In 1894 William J. Sibley donated the funds necessary to build the hospital which became an integral part of the training school. In May of 1933 the training school was closed as a result of the Great Depression. Sibley Memorial Hospital continued to prosper. Today, JBRF is committed to continuing the work that Jane Bancroft Robinson began, with the goal of championing change and improving the lives of Black women living East of the Anacostia River.

Our Team

Lori Jackson
President and CEO

Lori has over 20 years of experience in philanthropy. At the Jane Bancroft Robinson Foundation (JBRF), she is committed to its strategic vision to transform the health, workforce opportunities, and economic mobility of Black women who live and work in the communities East of the Anacostia River. Lori knows that if the world is to become a better place, it is vital that communities build their power and that funders aid communities by sharing their philanthropic power.

Kara Blankner
Director of Programs

Kara has served as a public health professional for more than 20 years in a variety of roles at the national and local levels. Since 2015, she has developed in-depth knowledge of and experience with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan nonprofit community. Through her commitment to respect, knowledge sharing, and accountable relationships with partners in marginalized communities, Kara has proven her ability to build coalitions that affect meaningful change.

Manon Matchett
Director of Strategic Partnerships

Manon has spent the last 20 years living, working, and serving Washington, D.C., both professionally and personally. She is a skilled grant maker and program manager and currently lives East of the River. She is dedicated to helping the community grow and thrive.

Laurin Stamps
Project Manager

Laurin has over 12 years of diverse experience across the public and private sectors in project/program management, health care/public health, communications, process improvement, consulting, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion and health equity. Laurin is committed to JBRF’s vision and is passionate about supporting the work that bridges gaps in equity in all the facets in which it occurs.

JBRF - Domonique
Domonique Hamilton
Project Coordinator

Domonique has spent the last 3 years working as a quality analyst, where she gained knowledge and skills in quality management, client relations, data analytics, and project management. Domonique was raised and currently resides in the Washington metropolitan area, where she has witnessed the disparities of those living in underserved communities and how these communities are affected. These experiences drive her commitment to supporting JBRF’s mission and vision of improving the lives of Black women East of the Anacostia River.

Shilpa Kothari
Program Officer

Shilpa has over a decade of experience in nonprofits and philanthropy in the United States and internationally. Through her work, she has developed deep partnerships with community members to advance health equity on their own terms. At the JBRF, she is dedicated to putting the community first and supporting them in driving change.

Timothy Levens
Executive Administrator

Tim is a seasoned administrative professional with over 20 years of corporate, legal, and health system experience. He joined JBRF to support the mission and vision of its founder.

Board of Trustees

Ted Miller Jr.

Ted Miller has been active in real estate for the past 40 years and founded the Miller Real Estate Investment. Miller is currently chairman of JBRF and serves on the boards of various other organizations and foundations, such as the Children’s Hospital’s Foundation Executive Committee, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Ieesha M. Gillis

Ieesha Gillis currently works on litigation support projects and began with a desire to work with startups and nonprofit organizations on the life cycle of their intellectual property needs. She is a member of the United Women in Faith and a former member of the Committee on Nominations of the Baltimore-Washington Conference United Women in Faith and serves as secretary on JBRF’s board of trustees.

Bishop Latrelle Miller Easterling

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has worked as a human resources manager and director and a prosecuting attorney, all while dedicating her life to serve in ministry. Throughout her life, Bishop Easterling has had many distinguishable titles, including pastor, deacon, elder, author, and poet. Bishop Easterling has served on a number of boards and committees, including JBRF’s board of trustees.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Wesley Johnson

Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson worked as an engineer for over 15 years. During this time, he was active in various ministries. Pastor Johnson is a passionate social justice advocate and is dedicated to promoting change, especially among at-risk youth. He currently serves on JBRF’s board of trustees and his church partners with JBRF in the Black Women Thriving East of the River Initiative.

Alexandra McPherron

Alexandra McPherron was once a biomedical researcher and is currently a medical writer. She serves as church council secretary for the National United Methodist Church and is an active member of United Methodist Women at National. Along with being on JBRF’s board of trustees, she has served as president of the church’s United Methodist Women unit and is currently their communications coordinator.

Marissa McKeever

Marissa McKeever joined Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2015 as the director of government and community affairs for Sibley Memorial Hospital. She currently serves on the board of trustees for JBRF, the board of directors for the DC Chamber of Commerce, and is the chief of staff and senior advisor to the interim dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Joan Lewis

Joan Lewis has been retired from a 40-year career in health care where she focused her efforts on vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the disabled, those who are uninsured, and those who require Medicaid/Medicare. Since then, she has served as regional executive for the American Hospital Association and is currently the chair of the board of trustees of Sibley Memorial Hospital and serves on JBRF’s board of trustees.

Dawnn Leary

Dawn Leary spent her career working with organizations — including Black Women Thriving East of the River — dedicated to bringing equity to underserved populations, specifically in Wards 5, 7, and 8. While on the board of trustees for JBRF, she also currently serves as chief program officer at the Greater Washington Community Foundation and also staffs and leads the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative.

Dr. Hasan A. Zia
Vice Chair

Dr. Hasan A. Zia is currently president and chief executive officer of Sibley Memorial Hospital. Dr. Zia has served in numerous administrative capacities, including patient safety officer and medical director for quality and patient safety, and has led the implementation of the Epic electronic medical record. In addition, Dr. Zia has received his Master of Business Administration in health care management and is currently on the board of trustees for JBRF.