Khayriyyah MuhammadSmith is a passionate advocate for gender justice, sexual reproductive education and rights, and decolonizing philanthropy. Working in the non-profit sector for over a decade, she works alongside clients to conduct landscape analyses across various interest area, develop their strategic giving portfolios, and facilitate collaborative opportunities with grantees and other funders. With experience working with grassroots organizations, NGOs, and other social impact organizations across the globe, Khayriyyah brings an intersectional and grantee-centered approach to her work.
Starting her journey in youth participatory philanthropy at community foundations, Khayriyyah has advised family foundations, and also supported multi-million-dollar grant portfolios throughout her career. Khayriyyah strives to consider how racial and gender inequality may affect policies and what can be done to improve outcomes for women and girls. She takes great pride working in the social impact space and sharing her philanthropic ecosystem knowledge with girl-focused organizations based in the global South.
In addition to her professional experience, Khayriyyah is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London where she earned her MA in Human Rights, Culture, and Social Justice. There her research focused on girls’ education and the cross-cultural exchange between girls in the global North and South.
What brings you joy?
My niece! It’s been so fun watching her grow into her own person and experience the world through the eyes of someone with so much new wonder.
How many countries have you visited?
Who or what has inspired you to do the work you do?
My time spent as a youth grantmaker through my local community foundation allowed me to take a close look at the issues that were affecting my peers and who was showing up to solve those issues. Serving as a resource mobilizer through philanthropy to support young people who looked like me was the catalyst to my desire for exploring how else philanthropy could empower marginalized communities and ultimately my career in philanthropy.