Celebrating 25 Years of Growing the Grassroots
We honor his memory, not by this beautiful bridge… but by continuing on in his fight for social justice.
Inspired by his courage
Leonard P. Zakim (1953-1999)
Lenny Zakim believed that one person can change the world. As exemplified by the iconic bridge that bears his name, his dedication to building connections and coalitions between people of different faiths, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds continues to have impact today, around Greater Boston and far beyond. For twenty years, as a civil rights leader, Lenny fought tirelessly to put an end to racism, anti-Semitism, civil rights violations, and hatred of all kinds.
The Lenny Zakim Fund is only one example of Lenny’s profound ability to promote change.
In 1995, shortly after being diagnosed with a rare cancer, Lenny worked with friends and other generous donors to establish The Lenny Fund ™. With a deep personal belief that extraordinary social change could be created at the grassroots level by advocating personal empowerment and community partnership, the mission was clear: They have the will. They have the creativity, but they lack the means. We give them the means. Today, The Lenny Zakim Fund continues to symbolize the work of an exceptional man who dedicated his life toward shaping a better society, one in which justice prevails and human differences are celebrated.
The Lenny Zakim Fund was launched by Lenny, not as a family foundation, but as a 501c3 public charity. With a highly efficient and talented three-person staff, LZF receives pro bono office space, accounting and audit, administrative and IT support, as well as donated services for communications, design, and printing. Grant allocation, management assistance, fundraising, and more are accomplished through the active, hands-on engagement of a volunteer Board of Directors.
A philanthropist, educator, artist, community advocate, and technologist, Executive Director Eric Esteves previously served as Director of the Social Innovation Fund at The Boston Foundation. He also served as a consultant for Root Cause, Harvard Business School’s Interpersonal Skills Development Lab, and the Boston Impact Initiative. In 2019, he co-directed LeadBoston, an experiential professional development program focused on socially responsible leadership, based at YW Boston. Eric received both his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and his graduate degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University. A resident of Roxbury, he spent the early part of his career in educational technology, including leadership roles at Lesley University and Boston Public Schools. Eric gets excited about the usual things; trivia, hip-hop, kayaking, genealogy, politics, social justice, photography, poetry, sweet potato pie, and to-do lists.
Director of Development
A seasoned development professional, Allison comes to the Lenny Zakim Fund from the Social Innovation Forum where she served as Director of Development. Her work experience includes positions as a frontline fundraiser for Phillips Academy Andover, the Walnut Hill School and Boston College Law School, a development consultant with the Wayland Group, and founder and principal of Advancement Advisers. A graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Trinity College, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Allison began as a law clerk with the Massachusetts Superior Court and a lawyer with Nixon Peabody and Prince Lobel Tye. Allison currently serves as a director of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and vice president of the Empire Loan Charitable Foundation. She has the proud distinction of being the youngest recipient of Andover’s Distinguish Service Award and the first African American alumna to serve on Andover’s Board of Trustees. A long-time resident of Boston’s South End, Allison enjoys walks with her dogs, cooking, traveling, and boxing.
Program and Office Administrator
Dominique Cortes-Ramos joined the Lenny Zakim Fund in 2019, inspired by LZF’s grassroots-oriented mission. Born in Texas to immigrant parents, Dominique has called Boston and Western Mass. home since the age of 5. Dominique holds an MA in Sustainable International Development and an MS in Global Health Policy and Management from the Heller School at Brandeis University in addition to completing a fellowship with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Dominique can be found playing horror video games, taking long meditative walks, or hopping from pastry shop to pastry shop.
Loren Van Allen
The Bridge Builders honors and recognizes contributions from our most exemplary, superstar supporters because of their long-term commitment to The Lenny Zakim Fund
In memoriam: Richard Balzer, Gill Fishman, Christina Caturano Ryan, and Jonathan Samen
Amy Shulman Weinberg
Board members emeritus honors those who have shown outstanding leadership, commitment, and generosity while serving on the Lenny Zakim Fund board.
Jennifer Winn Aronson
Jude Goldman, Former Executive Director
Amy Belkin Mofenson