Trish Abalo

Research Associate

Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

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Trish Abalo joined the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy as a research associate in September 2020. In this role, she supports data collection, analysis, and storytelling for the Community Data and Research Lab (CDRL). Trish also serves on the diversity, equity, and inclusion team and has worked on projects focused on the history of U.S.-based philanthropy, equitable economies, and diversity in nonprofit leadership.

Raised in Mid-Michigan by second-generation immigrants from the Philippines, Trish is passionate about racial justice and social equity. Previously, she was an Emerson National Hunger Fellow through the Congressional Hunger Center in Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C., focused on local and national approaches to ending the root causes of hunger in America. Before that, she completed a year of service with Cherry Health AmeriCorps to advance health equity in Grand Rapids, and was the first Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology D-Lab in Northeastern Thailand.

Trish holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary social sciences from Michigan State University. She currently volunteers for the Grand Rapids participatory budgeting initiative. Outside work, Trish enjoys hiking West Michigan shorelines, movie nights, and volunteering at her neighborhood farm and local garden.

Related Articles
Tue April 26
Institutional philanthropy is starting to recognize the strengths, challenges, and needs that Indigenous people bring to many of our sector’s most pressing areas of work.
Tue August 17
Trish Abalo reflects on the research and initiatives led by Juan Olivarez during his term as the Johnson Center's Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as her own experience working alongside him.