Meet Alyssa Codamon
Until Feb. 1, 2023, we were Group Health Foundation. This post was written under our former identity. To learn more about our new name, read our announcement here.
With over a decade of experience in multimedia, marketing, and communications, Alyssa Codamon is excited to join Group Health Foundation as a communications associate and do what they love and do best: storytelling. Their career began as a filmmaker in the entertainment industry in New York, eventually making their way to the Bay Area where they first entered the nonprofit sector doing marketing and communications. Alyssa moved to Seattle in 2019, where she currently resides, to work with an organization providing art classes to people who have experienced trauma.
Alyssa’s intersectional identity as a transgender, first-generation Filipinx immigrant, and DREAMer shapes their approach to storytelling. Throughout her life, Alyssa has experienced how language can be used to create harm, including being forced to take “accent reduction” classes in elementary school and constantly being misgendered.
“I got to a place where I could be comfortable with language, where I could use it to express myself and not be afraid of it,” reflects Alyssa. “I eventually felt comfortable calling myself a writer and thinking my writing was good. I now see clearly how language can be used as a tool of white supremacy, to silence and control communities.”
As a communications associate, Alyssa will be supporting various communications efforts across the foundation. “I’m really looking forward to connecting to communities that I have not been previously connected to, learning about them, honoring their truth, and using my skills to help bring their stories to life,” they say. In a recent project, Alyssa had the opportunity to share the stories of four Washington-based Black artists in a short documentary film, a piece that they found particularly meaningful and proud of. “As a storyteller, I want to be held accountable to authenticity.”
When Alyssa first learned about GHF, what drew his attention was the foundation’s majority people-of-color team, and more specifically, the number of people of color in leadership positions. As someone who has worked in the nonprofit sector for several years, Alyssa says she has learned to look beyond mission alignment to also examine an organization’s internal culture. “I’m seeking a place where I can really just bring my whole self, honor my whole self, and not have to compartmentalize anymore; I feel like GHF answered all of those things for me.”
Alyssa is eager to learn more about the philanthropy world. “I am an avid learner. It’s something that I gain a lot of joy from. I’m really looking forward to understanding how all this works,” he says. In addition to learning how philanthropic systems work, they are particularly interested in understanding how it impacts communities in ways both big and small.
Alyssa is also enthusiastic about food and calls herself a serious foodie, partly influenced by the fact that both her mom and sister are chefs. “Food is just a huge part of my identity…I think like 90 percent of my thoughts are consumed with what to eat next, where to go, what restaurants to try,” Alyssa laughs. They are also a fan of the outdoors, though not necessarily in the same way as some “hardcore nature folks” in the Pacific Northwest. If it’s not grilling, lighting the campfire, or fishing on the lake, then it’s cheering on their team, Manchester United, at a local beer garden.