Tamara Lucas Copeland

Tamara recently retired after twelve years as president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG). In that role, she was the organization’s major thought leader, helping to envision and implement work to meet the needs of the philanthropic sector and of the region. She was the visionary behind WRAG’s nationally-acclaimed work on racial equity entitled Putting Racism on the Table.

She came to WRAG with extensive experience in nonprofit management, policy and children’s issues having led Voices for America’s Children, the National Health & Education Consortium, and the Infant Mortality Initiative of Southern Governors’ Association and the Southern Legislative Conference as well as having been Congressman Bobby Scott’s (D-VA) Legislative Director. In 2017, Tamara was appointed as the Visiting Nielsen Fellow at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy to explore the role of philanthropy in addressing racial equity in the DC region. She continues to co-teach a graduate seminar there on philanthropy and racial justice (2018-present). In 2018, her memoir, Daughters of the Dream: Eight Girls from Richmond who grew up in the Civil Rights Era was published by Inspire, an imprint of Adducent. Every month, she posts a blog, by the same name, to explore some aspect of her racial reality. In 2019, she was named a trustee of the Weissberg Foundation.

Tamara is a walking aficionado, taking what she calls urban hikes all over the region. She also loves to travel having visited all fifty states and countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

She graduated from the College of William and Mary and holds a MSW degree with a concentration in community organizing and social planning from Virginia Commonwealth University.

She can be reached at

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