Linda Stout, President
Linda Stout joined the Solidago Board of Directors in 2004. She is the Director of Spirit in Action, which she founded in January 2000; to seek out transformative tools, models, and resources for building a powerful and visionary progressive movement. She has been a grassroots organizer and activist for almost two decades. As a thirteenth-generation Quaker born to a tenant-farming family, Linda founded a successful grassroots organization in 1985, the Piedmont Peace Project. PPP attracted national attention for its success in drawing leadership from within a working-class community, actively encouraging diversity, and empowering people who never had a voice in policy decisions to speak up for their own interests. In order to work at the national level, Linda Stout accepted the Executive Director position at The Peace Development Fund (PDF) in 1995. Under Linda’s leadership, PDF tripled its grant making capacity and initiated several groundbreaking projects, including the Community Media Organizing Project, the Southeast Training for Trainers Program, and the National Listening Project.
Linda is the author of Bridging the Class Divide, published by Beacon Press in 1997. Her awards include a Public Policy Fellowship from Harvard’s Radcliff College and the Freedom Fighter Award of the Equal Rights Congress. Studs Turkle profiled her life in his new book, Hope Dies Last.
Connie Fitzgerald, Treasurer
Connie Fitzgerald, has worked with non-profits in finance and administration since the early 1980’s both as a staff member, a volunteer and a board member. She lives in the Northampton area where Solidago is located. In the start-up years of Solidago she was asked for her input regarding everything from personnel policies, accountants, databases, insurance brokers, and the like. In 2005 she was asked to serve on the Solidago Board of Directors as treasurer.
Rev. John Vaughn, Director
Rev. John Vaughn learned about the Solidago Foundation when he served as the Executive Director of the Peace Development Fund from 2000 to 2003. He felt that the Solidago Foundation is truly committed to investing in a range of grassroots organizing efforts and methodologies. In 2015, Rev. Vaughn was invited to join the Solidago Foundation’s Board as a result of his experience in social change and public philanthropy. Rev. John Vaughn currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Auburn Seminary, a 200-year-old institution devoted to equipping bold and resilient leaders with the tools and resources they need to bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice and heal the world.
Previously, Rev. Vaughn was the program director for the Twenty-First Century Foundation, advancing strategic investments in Black community change. He led the Foundation’s signature initiatives including “Black Men and Boys,” and “Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding.” Rev. Vaughn also served as the executive director of the Peace Development Fund; minister for education and social justice at the historic Riverside Church in New York City; the director for community development at the Community Training and Assistance Center in Boston and executive director of East Harlem Interfaith in New York City.