About Eric K. Ward

A long time civil rights strategist, Eric Ward is the incoming Executive Director at Western States Center. He has worked extensively in community, regional, and national organizing, as well as in philanthropy. From 2011-2017, Eric served as a Ford Foundation Program Officer for Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice, and as a Program Executive for The Atlantic Philanthropies, U.S. Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme. Eric began his civil rights career at a time when the White nationalist movement was engaged in violent paramilitary activity that sought to undermine democratic governance. As an organizer with Community Alliance of Lane County, field director of the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, and national field director of the Center for New Community, Eric designed campaigns to expose and counter hate groups and respond to bigoted violence. During this period, he was one of a handful of prominent leaders of color working to counter this new manifestation of organized hate. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), a nonprofit agency that provides artists with strategy and support for their activism and philanthropy