Renata is an Independent Consultant & Philanthropy Advisor who has been working in European philanthropy for 11 years, supporting individuals, organisations and movements fighting inequality and discrimination. Currently, she is working with a group of European donors to encourage conversations around the impact that structural racism has on social inequalities and to move funds towards significantly under-resourced racial justice movements in Europe. She is also working with the Othering & Belonging Institute on deepening the understanding of racial othering specific to Europe.
Renata spent 11 years working for Open Society Foundations. Most recently as a Senior Program Specialist at the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), she worked on supporting initiatives that created systems that citizens could use to reshape institutional democracy, making it more responsive, transparent, inclusive, and accountable. Within OSIFE, Renata established the Effective Activism Fellowship, which supports individuals exploring new models of citizen participation in institutional decision-making and governance. She also served as a gender focal point for OSIFE, promoting gender equality internally and externally, and coordinating OSIFE’s efforts to develop a strong gender perspective in grant making.
Renata first joined Open Society Foundations in 2011 as a Program Coordinator for the Emergency Fund for Croatia, a fund established in 2009 to address some of the most pressing social and economic issues arising from the financial crisis. Before that, she worked for a Croatian women’s rights organisation BaBe, focusing on gender-based violence, and in particular sexual violence, by fighting stereotypes surrounding victims and advocating for fair trials. In Croatia, she has been involved in different reconciliation initiatives, such as the Women’s Court for countries of former Yugoslavia, initiative started in 2010 to provide space for women’s voices and testimonies on their experience of violence during the war and in post-war period, as well as organised resistance to the violence.
She holds a BA and an MA in Sociology and Phonetics from the University of Zagreb, and an MA in Human Rights and Democracy in Southeast Europe, which is a joint degree from the University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna.
My childhood was influenced by the war in former Yugoslavia. Coming from a so called (ethnically) 'mixed marriage', I experienced ‘othering’ based on ethnicity very early in my life and that left a mark. Perhaps that is a reason I always felt strongly about fighting injustice.