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Jess Garz

Development Consultant

Jess’s primary goal is to support groups, large and small, emerging and established, to create policies, practices and cultures that take an active position towards social and racial justice.

As the founder and director of RAE Consulting, Jess’s practice is informed by a decade of work as a grantmaker—first, with the New Orleans-based, artist-focused Transforma Projects and then as a Senior Program Officer in the arts and culture program at the Surdna Foundation—and deeply influenced by a brilliant and generous set of colleagues, peers and friends. Recognizing that individuals and groups must embody their values to truly realize social and racial justice outcomes, Jess leads and facilitates processes such that group culture is built and nurtured alongside the development of strategies and programs. She draws expertise from the diverse roles she’s played over the years in private spaces like offices, classrooms and yoga studios, and in the public realm of community meetings, conference stages and editorial pages.

After decades of moving around the country, Jess now lives in the neighborhood where she was raised in Philadelphia.