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.
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 is inspired daily by the communities that work together to promote growth, equity, and justice in their environment.
Robert P. Sherman
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