JustLeadershipUSA mourns the passing of Tony Funchess, a member of the organization’s 2017 Leading with Conviction cohort. Tony was an accomplished community leader based in Portland, OR, with a history of advocating for marginalized communities. As a college student, Tony helped organize numerous impactful events and conferences. In December 2015, he was a driving force behind a Students Of Color Speakout at Portland State University, which had a major impact on the institution. In the words of the college president, “The Students of Color Speak Out has transformed our pedagogy of instruction and curriculum development.”
Tony’s community leadership included executive roles in both the local Portland NAACP as well as the Urban League of Portland’s Young Professional Network. He was a long-time advocate, member, and leader in a host of other organizations representing LGBTQ rights, public safety, criminal justice, and student rights.
Tony also worked as a consultant with arts organizations in his state. His work elevated the conversation around diversity, social justice, and community engagement in arenas that tend to be exclusive and lacking in diverse representation. This work allowed Tony to marry his passions for justice, art, leadership development, and community engagement.
From JLUSA’s Executive Vice President, Ronald Simpson-Bey: “We at JustLeadershipUSA extend our deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of Tony Funchess. As a graduate of our 2017 Leading with Conviction Leadership Program, we hold Tony in high regard and hold the family in our hearts during this time of bereavement.”