Mission & History.
Doris and Howard Conant Sr. believed in the ideals of freedom and equality. Throughout their lives, they worked in and supported movements for peace, gender equity and racial justice.
In 2015, the year Doris celebrated her 90th birthday, she transitioned the Conant Family Foundation to include three generations of the Conant family.
Always in learning mode, the Conant Family Foundation is continually experimenting with new models to shift power dynamics in grantmaking.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925, Doris Conant was a feminist, a sculptor, a civic worker, a real estate developer, a philanthropist, a mother, and a grandmother.
The Chicago Foundation for Women presented Doris with the Founders Impact Award in 2016. Doris became Chicago Public Media’s first Life Trustee in 2017.
She served on several boards and gave to countless organizations in Chicago, with an eye towards increasing the limited funds directed specifically to women’s issues.
A civil rights organizer in Chicago in the 1960’s, Doris worked with women and families in public housing. She took her son, Howard Jr., to the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, and marched with Martin Luther King in Chicago.
Doris started Urban Innovations in 1979. The real estate focused on preserving the low-rise buildings in the Near North/River North area, some of which were in danger of being torn down as blighted buildings or to make way for high-rise construction.
Doris was included in the book, “Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975” Barbara J. Love, editor, University of Illinois Press, 2006.
Doris Conant passed away in June 2017.
Board & Staff.
The names of board members used to be listed here.
They have been removed for their personal safety and security, because the Conant Family Foundation has and will continue to fund abortion access. A list of board members is available upon request.
Executive Director: Leslie Ramyk
Leslie brings over 25 years of philanthropy experience to her work at Conant Family Foundation, having worked with public, private, corporate, and health care conversion foundations.
She considers her work leading the Chicago Community Organizing Capacity Building Initiative (2000 - 2007) as the most transformative, because community organizers taught her how to organize people and money.
Since joining CFF, Leslie co-created the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund and facilitates a bi-monthly Racial Justice & Family Philanthropy discussion group. She was a Chicago United for Equity (CUE) Fellow 2018 - 2019.
IRS Forms 990.
The Conant Family Foundation strives to maintain the highest standards of ethics, transparency, and accountability.
All foundations submit IRS Forms 990-PF on an annual basis. These documents detail all expenditures and investments, including grant recipients and amounts. You can find 990-PFs from other foundations at Guidestar.org.