The Sister Fund welcomed Violet L.D. Lee, Ph.D., as the new Executive Director and Laura Risimini, as the new Office and Grant Administrator.
Both bring to The Sister Fund a number of years working on behalf of various social justice and humanitarian causes, in addition to a strong commitment to the advancement of women and girls.
Violet L.D. Lee comes to The Sister Fund after serving The Abyssinian Baptist Church for nearly 16 years in various capacities, most recently as Assistant Pastor, and previously as Assistant Minister for Social Ministries and Dean of The Abyssinian Institute for Christian Education. She helped to direct and coordinate a number of education and social outreach ministries, in addition to working with the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a community development organization, as the VP of Family Services. Prior to that, Lee held positions in various social work capacities, primarily addressing the needs of men and women living with HIV/AIDS. Lee's longstanding commitment to social justice finds dynamic expression in her holistic approach to pastoral ministry.
Lee holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Winthrop University in South Carolina, a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. She received a Ph.D. from Fordham University in Religious Education in 2012, and has completed coursework toward the Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work at New York University.
Lee serves on the Board of Directors for the American Baptist Churches, Metropolitan New York and as adjunct faculty at The Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.
Prior to joining The Sister Fund Laura Risimini worked for three years with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University, where she was responsible for coordinating international training programs for humanitarian aid workers. She has also worked with humanitarian consultants in addition to internships with the Development Department of Concern Worldwide, U.S., Inc. and the NGO Department of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Risimini currently volunteers with IMPACT Leadership 21, a movement and platform committed to transforming women's global leadership, and LifeWay Network, an anti-human trafficking organization.
Risimini received her Bachelor's Degree Cum Laude in International Studies, with Departmental Honors, from Fordham University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Fordham University.