Jennifer Racho

Program Officer
Joined Northwest Area Foundation: June 2015

“I approach my work with both my heart and mind, because I believe a lack of empathy and a lack of understanding are what perpetuates the growing social and economic inequalities.”

Jen (she/her/hers) strives to cultivate an attitude of optimism, humility, and patience. In her role, she partners with nonprofit and community leaders as a listener, translator, connector, and advocate.

An important aspect of her work is using a systems change framework to promote social justice and break down institutional policies and dominant narratives. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.”

Jen proudly identifies as a queer second-generation Filipino-American.

She has experience in the private sector in technology, financial management, and recruiting fields. Prior to joining the Foundation, she managed workforce and human services programs at a nonprofit that works with immigrants and refugees. She received a bachelor’s in English and economics from the University of Rochester in New York. She earned a master’s in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Outside of work, she can be found dribbling on a basketball court, sitting in a meditation hall, or soaking in Minnesota’s great outdoors.