We've got a brand new program...and a brand new office, too!
TEA Fund got started in 2005 in Denton, Texas. We were founded by a professor at the University of North Texas, Gretchen Dyer, and some of her students. From those beginnings, we grew to welcome our first full-time executive director in 2011, and about 3 years ago we welcomed a second staff position with the grassroots organizer. We've never had an official office -- all the TEA Fund swag was housed in our executive director's garage, much to their spouse's occasional annoyance. And we've long wanted to more deeply engage and build relationships with the people who call our hotline for funding -- building power means centering the experiences and voices of the people most impacted by abortion access restrictions.
Well GUESS WHAT?!?!
Announcing the New Client Engagement Program
In the fall, TEA Fund and our partners at another Texas abortion fund, Lilith Fund, received funding to start a client engagement program. In order to really live our values of centering our callers and building real, transformational not transactional relationships with our clients, we've expanded our TEAm to include a social worker! A new grassroots organizer has joined the TEAm, and the program will be coordinated between our organizations and other partners by our new jointly-managed statewide coordinator!
Nikiya Natale, Client Engagement Statewide Coordinator
Nikiya is a licensed attorney with an extensive background in the areas of civil rights and immigration. Prior to joining the TEA Fund and Lilith Fund, she ran the legal department at a civil rights and advocacy organization, where she fought to protect the civil liberties of the Muslim community in North Texas. She has also previously managed the immigration legal program at a local refugee resettlement agency. Nikiya earned her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Nikiya, a former Lilith Fund client, is excited to use her advocacy, management, and organizing experience to advance reproductive justice in Texas.
Ke'Yonna Hall, Grassroots Organizer
Dallas native Ke'Yonna Hall earned her dual B.A. in Sociology and B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas (UNT). As a Legislative Intern in Congress, Hall realized her unwavering love for volunteering her time to causes that promote access and opportunity for marginalized communities. She is excited to join the Texas Equal Access Fund as the Grassroots Organizer.
Briana McLennan, Social Worker
Welcome Briana McLennan to TEA Fund! She has recently joined TEA Fund as a Social Worker to assist with our new Client Engagement Program. Briana studied at University of Texas at Arlington where she achieved a bachelor's degree in Social Work. She has many years of experience working with women who have experienced social justice issues and to further her career to work with individuals on a micro and macro level, she felt TEA Fund would be a great fit! She believes in what TEA Fund stands for and is committed to supporting the fight within the reproductive justice movement.
Together with our friends at Lilith Fund, this TEAm is going to be building power for abortion access in Texas, and we couldn't be more excited to see how this transforms our work!
Our New Office!
If we're going to be engaging with our callers on a deeper level, we need a place to do it! In the fall we also secured a grant to cover office space for our growing organization. We're all moved in, and it feels so great to have a place of our very own where we can work on building power for abortion access!
Wanna stop by and meet the TEAm sometime? Just reach out to Nan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about how you can get involved!
And don't worry -- abortion funding is still our first and foremost priority. But we believe that without building power, we're not truly working toward the world we want to live in -- a world where all people have access to reproductive freedom no matter where they live or who they are.