A black and white image of philanthropist Janiece Evans-Page against an NPQ background.

Janiece Evans-Page always knew that she wanted a career that centered on justice. Before embarking on a career in philanthropy, she worked in Silicon Valley, where she was particularly interested in the power of technology to support the Black community. Though she did not know exactly where her path would lead, she dreamed of eventually starting her own foundation—not for her own gain, to uplift the needs of the most marginalized communities. 

Now, Evans-Page is the CEO of  Tides, a California-based nonprofit and philanthropic organization that funnels resources into marginalized communities. The organization aims to advance social justice by providing fiscal sponsorship, donor-advised funds (DAFs), impact investing, and other grantmaking solutions.  

As a Black woman in philanthropy, Evans-Page understands that her role and desire to use it to combat social injustice in society is critical. On just her third day as the CEO, people all over the country witnessed insurrectionists storm the nation’s capital in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election.  

For Evans-Page, this was a wake-up call and a reminder of why Tides needed to double down on its commitment to shifting resources and power to historically underresourced communities. 

When Evans-Page came into leadership at the beginning of 2021, the organization was experiencing a period of growth as donations poured in to support its work. Leaders at the organization were having ongoing conversations about democracy, the pandemic, and the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. They knew that, as a philanthropy organization committed to social justice, it was time to think more deeply about its vision and mission, which the organization recently updated to further showcase its commitment to doing work to support people on the margins. 

“It was in my parents’ generation that we got the right to vote. We’ve had less time in the country to vote than we were enslaved.”

Most recently, the organization funneled $200 million to fund democracy work in critical electoral states like Florida, North Carolina, and Texas. The organization has also been deeply committed to working on climate and reproductive justice. As Evans-Page noted, a big part of the new vision and mission focuses on how the organization’s resources can truly be used to address power imbalances plaguing marginalized communities.  

“It’s not enough just to move the money,” she said in an interview with NPQ. “But how do we do it in a way to make sure we’re not exacerbating some of the problems contributing to these injustices?”  

Evans-Page recognizes that Tides often works to challenge systems that were not meant to be inclusive. However, the organization itself is also a system, and through working with its partners, it can create a new path forward. 

For Evans-Page, this work is personal. She has deep roots in the South and would often visit there as a child after her parents moved to California, seeking a better life.    

One of her grandmothers was a domestic worker who cleaned White people’s homes. As Evans-Page noted, a memorable moment in her life was when she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and received a gift from an alumnus who knew her grandmother because she used to clean his house and care for him. This was a reminder of how far Evans-Page’s family, and many Black families, had come and why there is so much ongoing work left to be done. 

“It was in my parents’ generation that we got the right to vote. We’ve had less time in the country to vote than we were enslaved,” she said.  

As she leads Tides now, Evans-Page often thinks of her elders who were denied the same opportunities she now utilizes to open doors for others.  

She believes that her lived experience—being a Black woman with deep roots in the South—gives her a superpower that she channels in her work. At a time when Black women’s leadership is under attack, Evans-Page is intentional about surrounding herself with a community of Black women leaders—her sister-friends, as she calls them—who are also seeking to use their positions to bring about change. They recognize the challenges each other faces but also seek to give each other strength.  

As a leader herself, Evans-Page says she is intentional about opening the doors for others. She believes in leaning into inclusive leadership and welcoming different perspectives when strategizing and making decisions. Evans-Page also says that she thrives on change and is an impact-driven leader, always thinking about the impact that Tides is making.  

“I’m always going to challenge us at Tides about not just what we do,” she said, “but also how we do it, and ensuring that on the other side of that, we’re holding ourselves accountable in regard to truly sustainable impact.”