A lifelong Waterbury resident, Bilal joined the Foundation’s staff in 2017. His grantmaking portfolio includes community organizing, older adults, cradle to career and the Southbury Community Trust Fund. He also assists the Foundation’s community leadership efforts by providing oversight to Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors (BRASS), local centers that support Waterbury’s older adult population. He serves on the Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership’s community council and equity think tank, and on the leadership team of Supporting Organizing Work-CT, a statewide community organizing collaborative.
Prior to the Foundation, Bilal worked in development (grant writing, donor cultivation) for a nonprofit theater and as an assistant antiquarian bookseller, aiding in the cataloguing and processing of books, ephemera, and art in the areas of Americana, poetry and letters.
In his off hours, Bilal is pursuing a master’s degree in English from Central Connecticut State University, primarily focusing on queer, postcolonial, power theory and LGBTQ literature. He is also an active volunteer for CT Equality, a statewide LGBTQ community organizing group, and serves on the board of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, a regional grantmaker that funds at the intersection of racial equity, environmental justice and community organizing.
Favorite Experience in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills
My favorite experiences are by far the ones I spend with my neighbors and community. Festivals like the Gathering and Make Music Day in Waterbury, the Festival of Rainbows in Naugatuck, or the Mahrajan at the Ehden Lebanese American Club are always yearly highlights!
Ask Bilal about
His favorite dog-related Instagrams, what he loves about his favorite theorists (hint: they are Michel Foucault and Edward Said), how to develop a community engagement strategy, and what equity can mean to your organization, group, or community.