Anthony J. Simmons has two decades of experience in community-centered work, with a commitment to supporting people in marginalized communities and disrupting the systems which marginalize them. Currently, Anthony serves as the Director of Philanthropic Advising Services at ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities. ABFE is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. The Racial Equity Grantmaking Program (REGP), commonly known as ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities (RPBC), focuses on the drivers of poor and disparate outcomes in Black communities—and other communities of color—and provides support and tools for leading community change efforts, particularly in places where there has been a long history of racial inequity.
Prior to joining ABFE, Anthony served as the Senior Adviser for the New York City Mayor’s Office Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), a public-private partnership created to address racialized disparities for the City’s youth of color in personal/community safety, economic security and mobility, education, and health and well-being. During his tenure at the YMI, he managed the YMI’s Equity Committee—a multi-agency advisory board with the mission toward reducing those disparities. The committee was established to promote cross-agency thinking and collaboration to increase awareness of racialized disparities and their root causes, as well as identify best practices to alleviate them. Anthony’s career in philanthropy began at the Schott Foundation for Public Education where his work focused on developing and supporting equitable funding and policy strategies, which seek to close the racialized educational opportunity gap and the school-to-prison pipeline. He has also worked in the fields of foster care social work and youth development.
Anthony is a member of the board of advisors for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), a national network of changemakers who strive for excellence and equity in the practice of philanthropy. He is a former co-chair of New York Blacks in Philanthropy, a local membership-based organization of Black professionals, particularly representing people of the African Diaspora, committed to strengthening networks, addressing collective challenges and fostering opportunities within the philanthropic sector.
A native New Yorker, Anthony attended Trinity and Brooklyn colleges. In his free time, he is an experienced deejay and music collector.