Our Mission, Vision, & Values

“We have the power to change things. It doesn’t take much to start a revolution of thought and spirit. It takes one person and then another. When it works, it’s a work of art.”
– Lenny Zakim, Founder

The Lenny Zakim Fund works to develop deep relationships and builds bridges among people and communities to advance social, economic, and racial justice. Our mission is to listen to those most impacted by inequity and provide the funding, essential resources, and support they need to create lasting change. We envision a more just and equitable world where communities thrive because of the contributions and leadership of grassroots organizations.

Values Statements

The work of the Lenny Zakim Fund is guided by the following principles:

Social Justice: Everything we do is based in our deeply held belief that social justice is equity and that the fundamental rights, well-being, and dignity of all people must be recognized, upheld, and celebrated.

Grassroots leadership: LZF is inspired by and respects the power and ability of those most impacted by injustice to bring about change.

Diversity and belonging: We embrace a culture of inclusion and belonging, one that seeks out and welcomes the voices of those with diverse life experiences and intersectional identities.

Learning: We firmly believe that continuous, active, and reciprocal learning is critical to promoting awareness and creating a solid foundation for change.

Bridge Building: We are committed to bridging real and perceived differences, and to creating strong and lasting relationships that are fundamental to progress.

Responsiveness: Emerging challenges often impact those we serve, and we knowingly accept the risk required to adapt and respond as rapidly as possible.

Love: Love is at the heart of philanthropy. Love and compassion motivate and sustain the spirit of those who partner with LZF and remain dedicated to justice for all.

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Trusted Partnerships with Grassroots Organizations and Their Leaders.

We honor his memory, not by this beautiful bridge… but by continuing on in his fight for social justice.

Bruce Springsteen

Inspired by his courage

and determination

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 public 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Fund is run by a highly talented and professional staff, who are supported in their work by an active and dedicated Board of
Directors and numerous volunteers who help with grant allocation, management assistance, and more. LZF also receives pro bono office space and donated services such as communications, design, and printing.

Allison Picott

Executive Director


Aditi Dholakia

Deputy Director

ShaWanda Manuel

Administrative Assistant

Finn Seifert

Program and Development Intern


Lenny Zakim


Tim James


Michael Eckton


Josh Zakim

Joa Ahern-Seronde

Nick Bates

Mo Castillo

Ben Echevarria

Felicia Heywood

Mark Irvings


Randy Miller

Emmanuel Owusu

Erika Rodriguez

Deborah Seidel

Rob Sherman

Jill Snider

Loren Van Allen

Aprylle Wallace

Deena Zakim

Joyce Zakim

Shari Zakim-Yacouby

The Bridge Builders honors and recognizes contributions from our most exemplary, superstar supporters because of their long-term commitment to The Lenny Zakim Fund.

Mahesh Aditya 

Susan Barry 

Hehershe Buseuego 

Richard Caturano 

Alan Chebot 

Debby Cherry 

Armand Coleman

Elizabeth DeLima 

Toni Elka

Jamie Farrell 

Dan Gelbtuch 

Josie Greene

Ellen Heller 

Kalman Heller 

Barbara Howard 

Drew Hyman 

Elisabeth Jackson 

Suzi Kaitz

Carol Kanin 

Douglas Krupp 

Liana Krupp 

Gabriella Mora 

Maria Mulkeen 

Charlayne Murrell-Smith

Rory Neuner

Neha Rayamajhi 

Ruth Rollins

Carlos Saavedra

Bobby Sager 

Sharon Sankey 

Sheryl Sellers 

Amy Shulman Weinberg 

Ellie Starr 

Steve Tompkins, Suffolk County Sheriff

Robert Weinberg 

Jerry Wishnow

Emeritus Board members are those who have shown outstanding leadership, commitment, and generosity while serving on The Lenny Zakim Fund Board.

Miki Akimoto

Jennifer Winn Aronson

Amy Belkin Monfenson

Mary Carty, Former Executive Director

Clementina Chery

Joseph Chery

Gregg Croteau

Yasmin Cruz Ferrine

Lilee Dethchan

Beth Dill

Janice Ditchek

Asmaa Donahue

Eric Esteves, Former Executive Director


Donna Latson Gittens

Joseph Goodman

Jude Goldman, Former Executive Director

Lisa Gordon

Steve Grossman

Jon Jennings

Angela Johnson

Suzi Kaitz

Caren Keller

Judi Krupp

Richard Krupp

Celeste Reid Lee

Sofia Lingos-Papaliodis

Ron Marlow


Peter Meade

Charlayne Murrell-Smith

Kevin O’Malley

Joe Rodio

Gabriela Romanow

Michael Ross

Glenn Rothman

Susan Rothman

Elaine Sager

Harold Schwartz

Michael Schwartz

Sam Slater

Mark Sokoll

Ellie Starr


Financial Statements

2021 | 2022