2018 Pat Asch Recipient, Nadine Marsh Carter

2018 Pat Asch Fellowship recipient Nadine Marsh-Carter’s interest in social justice work began in her earliest memories of childhood. She says she was fortunate to be around people who cared so much for social justice. Her father, Henry Marsh, tackled his first cases were where Nadine saw the necessity of equity first hand. “ [Equity] is scary to some folks, intimidating, but when implemented well, it benefits everyone.”

Seeing her father’s work around social justice is what drove Nadine herself to go to law school. She studied general practice and began searching for the same feeling she knew her Dad had experienced over the years. As she practiced, she realized that the way to drive equity now looked different. Nadine then started volunteering as a court-appointed child advocate and with Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) as a way to use her advocacy skills for a population that she felt was very undeserved. When Nadine became an adoptive mom herself, she became involved with Children’s Home Society of Virginia (CHS), where she now serves as CEO.

Nadine has always had an interest in philanthropy outside of being a nonprofit leader. She was a part of a group of local executive directors who met up once a month. After her husband’s passing, she had taken some time to regroup and the very first meeting she came back to was where, Cheryl Groce-Wright, 2015 Pat Asch recipient, came to talk about the fellowship. Hearing Cheryl speak encouraged her to attend YWCA Richmond’s information session to learn more and she decided to apply. Nadine says even simply attending the information session led her to meet some amazing women. “It felt like bonding and connectedness,” shared Nadine.

Nadine says her fellowship has really allowed her to morph what she already knew and bring it all together. Education is key to achieving change, and this is why Nadine is traveling across the country to speak with and learn from folks within the nonprofit sector and within roles of philanthropy to see what’s working for the rest of the nation. Nadine has already begun working to ensure her own agency has been embracing equity, most recently through board recruitment, and making sure equity is part of CHS’s philosophy and practice.

When asked how she’s seen practices of equity in philanthropy transform since she began work in social justice, Nadine shares that she does not remember equity being a part of the conversation at all. “It’s really refreshing that the philanthropic community is seeing this now because philanthropy is a shining example that equity can work.” Nadine will begin her travels in August and plans to speak with individuals everywhere from the west coast to Washington D.C and will bring back what she’s learned to implement in Richmond.

YWCA Richmond is honored to have Nadine as our 2018 Pat Asch recipient, and we look forward to seeing growth within our community through her knowledge of increasing equity.