Meet The Arabella Team

Makkah Ali

Senior Director, Equity and Belonging

Makkah Ali is the senior director for the firm’s Equity and Belonging team, where she focuses on developing, implementing, and overseeing strategies to continuously improve employee engagement and support ongoing equity and belonging initiatives across Arabella.

Makkah draws upon nearly 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. She has worked to unlock resources for chronically underfunded communities and has transformed institutions from the inside out to enable them to more collaboratively and equitably meet the needs of the people they aim to serve. Prior to joining Arabella, Makkah served as the director of racial equity initiatives at Borealis Philanthropy, grants manager at the El-Hibri Foundation, and as a mediator and strategy facilitator at the Meridian Institute.

Makkah serves on the board of directors for the Crossroads Fund, a public foundation that funds racial, social, and economic justice movements in the Chicago area. She is a member of the South Side Giving Circle, which mobilizes the philanthropic resources of women on Chicago’s South Side to invest in the political power of Black women and girls in Chicago. Makkah also volunteers with Marketbox, a mutual aid effort that sources food from small farms and distributes it for free to neighbors across the South Side of Chicago.

Makkah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in peace and justice studies from Wellesley College and a Master of Science in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University. For five years, she co-hosted and produced the critically acclaimed Identity Politics podcast, which featured new stories at the intersection of race, gender, and Muslim life in America.

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