Crystal Crawford, The California Wellness Foundation

TITLE: Program Director

FUNDING AREAS: Diversity in healthcare, women's health

CONTACT: ccrawford@tcwf.org, (818) 702-1900

PROFILE: Crystal Crawford is Program Director for The California Wellness Foundation, joining the foundation in this role in September 2012. Here's an excerpt of the press release at the time of her appointment:

Crawford oversees the Foundation's grantmaking related to the issues of diversity in the health professions and women's health. Her responsibilities include reviewing letters of interest and grant proposals and making funding recommendations related to these issues. Before joining TCWF, she served for seven years as CEO of the California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP), the only statewide organization solely devoted to improving the health of California's black women and girls through policy, advocacy, education and outreach. Previously, she was CABWHP's director of public policy for five years.

Throughout her career, Crawford has combined policy and legal approaches to many social justice and civil rights issues and causes. Before working in the nonprofit, public interest sector, she was an associate with corporate law firms in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, as well as a public school teacher. Originally from Harlem, N.Y., Crawford earned her bachelor's in history from Dartmouth College and her law degree from New York University School of Law. Among her many recognitions are the Advocates' Award from Western Center on Law and Poverty and the PowerPAC Award from the Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee. She is admitted to the bar in California, New York and New Jersey.

"I bring to TCWF a passion for promoting unity across racial and ethnic communities and social justice causes as we work together to improve health outcomes for all of our communities," Crawford said. "It is a tremendous privilege to join the Foundation as we continue to advance its stellar commitment to improving the health of Californians, including low-income individuals, women and communities of color." 

Crawford's official bio reads as follows:

Crystal Crawford is currently program director for the California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). In this capacity, she oversees the Foundation's grantmaking related to the issues of diversity in the health professions and women's health. Before joining TCWF, she was Chief Executive Officer of the California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP), the only statewide organization solely devoted to improving the health of California’s Black women and girls through policy, advocacy, education and outreach. Prior to joining CABWHP in 2000 as the organization’s first Director of Public Policy, Ms. Crawford gained advocacy experience as an associate with premier corporate law firms in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. After spending several years as a litigator with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, she decided to transition to the non-profit, public interest sector. She served as Legal Director of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, where she had been a volunteer attorney during her law firm years. In that capacity, each year Ms. Crawford provided legal services for hundreds of South Los Angeles children and families impacted by poverty on issues including foster care, special education, and access to healthcare. Under Ms. Crawford’s leadership, CABWHP: (1) hosted more than 25 town hall meetings; (2) published more than 30 Issue Guides on key health issues impacting black women and girls; (3) convened annual Policy Summits in Sacramento; (4) created a Black Women’s Mental Health PSA that airs regularly on network television in Los Angeles; (5) developed a Young Women’s Initiative; and (6) trained more than 150 health policy advocates through the innovative Advocate Training Program.

A native of Harlem, New York, during her years at New York University School of Law Ms. Crawford received the Moot Court Advocacy Award and Chancellor’s Service Award. She also served as a staff editor of the Journal of International Law & Politics, a Hays Civil Liberties Fellow, and Chairperson of the Black Law Students Association. She is admitted to the bar in California, New York, and New Jersey. In 2009, Ms. Crawford received the Advocates’ Award from the Western Center on Law & Poverty, California’s leading advocacy organization fighting for statewide systemic change for low-income Californians. Ms. Crawford received her A.B. from Dartmouth College (1987) and J.D. from New York University School of Law (1992).