Social Innovation Speaker Series: Zahirah Mann

Zahirah Mann, President and CEO of SLATE-Z, joined the Social Innovation Speaker Series. SLATE-Z is a place-based initiative and collective impact effort whose mission is to revitalize South Los Angeles by moving residents to economic opportunity.  In this role, Zahirah leads a backbone team that coordinates the goals, principles, and activities of the South Los Angeles Promise Zone, which has around 100 local partners and is part of a 22-member Promise Zone Network that addresses systemic poverty in select urban, rural, and tribal communities across the nation.

Prior to joining SLATE-Z, Zahirah split her career between philanthropy and law. Most recently, Zahirah was a Senior Program Officer at The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation where she oversaw a diverse portfolio of grants that supported vulnerable children and families and led a strategic initiative focused on child welfare and wellbeing. Within that work, she helped launch and lead Foster Together Network, a collective impact effort aimed at addressing child welfare concerns throughout LA County, engaging hundreds of stakeholders who represented county departments, elected officials, foundations, non-profits, faith communities, caregivers, and youth. Zahirah also held program staff positions at the Annenberg Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Before entering philanthropy, Zahirah worked as a public interest attorney, representing and advising for-profit and non-profit entities, coalitions, and governmental agencies on large-scale, systemic issues that impacted families, youth, and businesses.

In her broader civic life, Zahirah serves as an alternate commissioner on the California Coastal Commission. She also chairs the executive committee of the Black Equity Collective and serves on the board of the Center for Nonprofit Management.  Zahirah earned an A.B. in Political Science from Vassar College and a J.D. with a specialization in environmental law from Tulane University Law School.


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