Proteus Fund Welcomes New Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative Director and Program Officer

Proteus Fund Welcomes New Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative Director and Program Officer - Proteus Fund


Proteus Fund is excited to announce two new additions to the Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative (RFDC) team. Julia Reticker-Flynn will serve as RFDC’s new director, and Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe will join the staff as RFDC’s first program officer.

The Rights, Faith & Democracy Collaborative has been a core program of the Proteus Fund since 2016. White Christian nationalists are increasingly weaponizing the concept of religious freedom to advance a radical agenda that is eroding basic American rights and liberties while undermining this country’s core principle of separation of church and state. RFDC works to reclaim religious freedom as an inclusive value and vehicle for advancing civil rights and representative democracy. Working at the intersection of the racial, queer and reproductive justice movements, RFDC grantees lead work to advance democratic protections; disrupt and defeat repressive state measures; rally stakeholders; accelerate faith organizing in LGBTQ and reproductive justice communities and develop a unifying narrative that situates reproductive justice, LGBTQ liberation, and religious freedom as democratic values.

RFDC’s new Director, Julia Reticker-Flynn, first came to Proteus Fund in 2019, as the program officer for Piper Fund’s Right to Protest initiative. In this role, she mobilized philanthropic resources to support state and local organizations protecting protest rights; convened a national table representing 70 organizations united in defense of the freedom of assembly; and partnered with communications consultants to strengthen the field’s narrative frame and communications infrastructure. During this period, she was also able to help nearly double the grantmaking capacity of the program, increase the support for directly impacted communities, pilot a series of wellness and resilience grants, and expand Piper Fund’s support for litigation efforts to protect protest rights. Prior to joining Proteus Fund, Julia spent almost a decade at Advocates for Youth, where she worked alongside organizers, policy wonks, and young leaders boldly championing young people’s sexual health and rights.

Rev. Kenyetta Chinwe brings faith-based leadership, arts, and management skills to their new role at RFDC. For the last four years, they have strived to advance the work of reproductive justice and LGBTQ freedom as the faith advocacy coordinator for SisterSong, the national, women of color reproductive justice collective. At SisterSong, Kenyetta led successful work to organize faith voices in support of reproductive justice and trans rights. They were a founding member of the Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity(SACReD) which works to shift culture through congregation and community education on reproductive dignity.

Julia and Kenyetta’s unique backgrounds and expertise will bring new energy and fresh perspective to RFDC’s work at a critical time for the donor collaborative’s impact and in our nation.