June Breakfast Event

“Ensuring the Freedom for All to Live Safely,
Openly, and Genuinely”

Featuring Kris Hermanns, CEO of Pride Foundation       

When: June 9, 2016  -  7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.   (Get Breakfast Pricing)  

Where:  Women's University Club   (Get Location Details)

While many develop resilience and confidence from adversity, Kris Hermanns was lucky to learn these important life skills from the support and unconditional love of her family. Raised in a family of dairy farmers in Wisconsin, she was allowed, and even encouraged, to be her authentic self from an early age. Working on the farm, she did not have to conform to anyone’s expectations about what a girl should be or look like—she got to decide what it meant to be a girl for herself.

It wasn’t until her environment expanded beyond the comfort of her family life that she began to feel the pressure of pre-established gender norms, and gain a sense of the difference between safe self-expression and being different in a way that people did not understand. The former was generated from a place of happiness and internal sense of integrity and authenticity, while the latter was based in fear and the unknown.

Growing up, she learned to be successful in many different social groups. Being both academic and athletic, she was able to build bridges into both communities. Learning to connect with people from different walks of life and perspectives, contributed to the many skills that made her successful at Harvard and continue on in her roles as activist, leader, and community builder.  

In her current role as CEO of the Pride Foundation, Kris’s primary work continues to be, at its core, about building community. While her focus, right now, is on the LGBTQ community, the benefits of her work expand beyond this community. In recent years, significant progress has been made in achieving legal support for the LGBTQ community to have equal rights, but there is still much progress to be made to ensure every LGBTQ person can live safely and openly in the communities they call home.

Legal and social challenges are abundant and the fight for full lived equality for LGBTQ people is far from over, just as it is for many other communities formed around race, religion, or gender, for example. Achieving equality for any single one of these groups, is intricately enmeshed with the equality of all the others. While it may not always be clear how the struggles of others have an effect on us, it is often from them that we can gather the strength to define ourselves free from pressure and external expectations.

Join us for breakfast on June 9, as Kris takes us on a journey into her world, helping us see the bigger picture and our role in creating a safe place for everyone to reach their full potential in communities of compassion and care.

Kris has been working for more than 25 years as a nonprofit strategist, fundraiser, and executive. She developed a strong work ethic and sense of optimism from her early life working on a farm in rural Wisconsin, and brings these core values to all of her endeavors.

She has currently found a calling that bridges two of her passions, advocating for equity and social justice and the field of philanthropy. As the CEO of Pride Foundation, a regional community foundation committed to expanding opportunities and advancing full equality for LGBTQ people and their families across the Northwest, Kris connects with local, grassroots leaders and organizations carrying out this work, engages in national LGBTQ movement efforts, and mobilizes individual and institutional resources to affect real change in the lives of people who are impacted most by injustice.

Before joining Pride Foundation, Kris was the deputy director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she provided day-to-day internal management of the organization, led the development department, and advised on strategic direction. Prior to that, she was a program officer with The Rhode Island Foundation, where she created Equity Action, a field-of-interest fund for LGBTQ concerns, and developed the grant making program for the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island.

Kris also has worked for Brown University’s Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service, which builds links between the university and the local nonprofits by developing partnerships that address community-identified needs. She earned a Masters of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Mona Das


Mona Das is the founder of MOXY Money, a minority woman-owned mortgage company.


Read more about Mona Das


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