Sharon Bissell is a feminist grantmaker and human rights strategist. Through her work with Mexican civil society organizations and for twenty years at the Mexico office of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Sharon has helped facilitate access to millions of dollars for Mexican human rights, migration, and feminist organizations. She became involved in the Mexican pro-choice movement in the 1990s and in philanthropy in 2001. Her work helped to increase recognition of young people’s sexual rights, advance abortion rights, and shift attention toward the need for women-centered reproductive health care at the hands of traditional indigenous and formally trained midwives. Her human rights work has focused on improved criminal investigations, enforced disappearances and femicide, access to justice, and the historic criminal justice reform process.
Sharon is skilled at bridging – and helping others bridge – political and sectoral cultures, from private to public, US to Latin American, literal to literary, and grassroots to international. She is a founding strategist for the 2020 creation of Mexico’s social justice fund, Acento: Acción Local and of the Repository of Documentation on Disappearances in Mexico. She is Board Secretary at Fondo Semillas, Mexico’s feminist fund, and former Board Chair of Funders for Reproductive Equity. She lives in Mexico City, is bilingual, bicultural, and binational US-Mx, holds an MA in postcolonial literature, post-graduate courses in human rights and reproductive health, and is a candidate for an MFA in creative writing at Antioch University Los Angeles.