Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet WGSD Member: Morgan Justice-Black

In her professional life, Ms. Justice Black – a native of San Diego - is the Director of Development & Marketing at I Love A Clean San Diego (ILACSD). She is responsible for all marketing efforts related to ILACSD programs and events, oversight of all development at the organization including contract renewals, corporate sponsorships, and grants as well as leader of all grant writing activities and outreach to potential funders.

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara with degrees in Environmental Studies and Global Studies, Morgan moved back to San Diego and wanted to get involved in her hometown community – returning to her roots.

“Growing up in San Diego, you naturally develop environmental stewardship whether you like it or not because our activities revolve around the outdoors. The beach has always been something I wanted to protect. Throughout my schooling I was able to learn about the humanitarian and anthropological side of the environment.”

When she first came on board at ILACSD, five years ago, there were only five staff members and now there are twelve. The organization has had the opportunity to grow and tends to promote internally by tasking current staff members with more responsibilities if they are up to the challenge. Morgan worked her way up from Volunteer & Event Coordinator to Outreach Director. During a restructure, a year and half ago, Morgan moved over from the program side to development and marketing where she created the department from scratch. No small feat.

When it comes to volunteering in the community, Morgan just can’t say “no”. Through the encouragement of her high school friends including fellow Women Give member, Sasha Clines, she joined the Junior League of San Diego. At first, she was more of an observer, but quickly gained her confidence and got involved. She joined the Growing Healthy Students Committee and ended up chairing the Sponsorship Committee.

“I wanted to get back to San Diego to engage with movers and shakers that will help me find my career path and open a door to work in environmentalism – something I was interested in doing as a professional career.”

Today, she chairs the Community Partners and Advocacy Committee. The Committee is dedicated to discovering how Junior League can better serve the community as well as advocate for issues on the local and statewide level. This committee has grown from an intimate group of just a few to 20 women.

Morgan joined Women Give San Diego in 2011 – once again through the influence of her civic-minded girlfriends. Megan Lim, a Women Give and Junior League member, encouraged her to attend a membership recruitment event. At the time, Morgan was looking to further connect with women doing good things; she wanted to identify with her fellow members as well as find women mentors.

“I love being a part of the Junior League, but there has always been a little something missing. At Women Give, everyone is on an equal playing field. As a member, I can connect with the President of the organization on the first day. I like that Women Give is really open to meeting and engaging with individuals from all ages and sectors of the community.”

She recently joined the Women Give Grants Committee.

“It was really neat to read through all the applications from the nonprofits. Normally I am the one completing the grants.”

On the Committee, she enjoys utilizing her background of grant writing to better evaluate the grant proposals submitted. She finds it exciting to identify the organizations that are going to make the biggest and best impact in the focus area. In her short membership, she has excelled at getting involved and connecting with the different members.

“Becoming a member of Women Give has given me additional confidence in pursuing leadership. I’m currently going through LEAD San Diego’s Impact San Diego program; something I wouldn’t have considered before meeting Jan and other Women Give members.”

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