The Third Space Foundation grew out of The Third Space, a coworking and community-building environment in Norman, Oklahoma. Dr. Suzette Grillot founded The Third Space in the summer of 2019. Our mission was to create an empowering and supportive third place where all individuals would feel welcomed and safe.
Unfortunately, the pandemic led us to shut down our coworking space, but we did not stop striving to address systemic inequity. We saw a need for fiscal sponsorship among visionaries who run small organizations. Forming a 501(c)(3) is not always possible for these organizations, but they cannot positively impact their communities without the ability to receive donations and other funding. By transitioning to serve as a fiscal sponsor and community foundation, we are continuing to work to level the playing field.
board of directors
Kimberly Statum-Francisco is the mother of three adult children and grandmother of three: 2 granddaughters and one grandson. Her life work has encompassed working with families to navigate systems that aren’t structured to receive their family unit authentically. She has worked strategically within educational systems to assure anti-racist and culturally responsive curriculum and environments were implemented. Her work experience has spanned the public and private sector and she presently serves as Manager of Ralph Ellison Library of the Metropolitan Library System. She's served on various non-profit Boards, always looking for opportunities to extend social justice/equity/inclusion to marginalized communities. Her education includes a BS from OSU Journalism and a MEd from OCU Early Childhood Education. Kimberly is proud to be Northeast Oklahoma City born and reared and resides presently by choice with her life partner of 30+ years, Anthony Francisco.
Board Member | they/she
Lexi Hill is a proud member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and descendant of the Kiowa, Comanche, and Ottawa (Little River Band) Nations. Lexi is a council member of the Youth Advisory Subcommittee and a board member of the Third Space Foundation. They currently work as an Events Coordinator at the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board. They currently attend the University of Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma City Community College. Lexi is passionate about creating opportunities for Indigenous communities, by growing connections and partnerships that provide solutions-based approaches to health outcomes. Lexi specifically focuses on youth leadership and uplifting youth voices, substance abuse destigmatization and prevention, food sovereignty, and mental wellness. They continue to look for new opportunities that strike passion and effect change. They strive to approach all issues from an intersectional, decolonial, abolitionist, disability, and community-based proactive lens so that, together, we can start to change narratives and create healthier communities that truly work for all.
Vice Chair | she/her
Sarah Adams is an advocate for Native American culture, education and rights. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Sarah co-created an intertribal, empowerment organization called Matriarch that serves Indigenous women in central and NE Oklahoma. She worked alongside other Native advocates to see Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognized in OKC. Sarah is a board member of the ACLU of Oklahoma, The Auntie Project, Not Your Mascot, Nappy Roots Books, the Third Space Foundation, is a proud member of Central Oklahoma Two Spirit Society, and has served two terms as Activist in Residence at the University of Oklahoma. Sarah also co-created a support group for 2SLGBTQ Indigenous youth called, Cousins. Sarah has worked alongside other advocates to eliminate Land Run Reenactments and a Native mascot in OKC Public Schools and co-created a program called Oklahoma History Day, a diverse and accurate account of Oklahoma history through statehood. She was named 2020 Indian Educator of the Year by the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education and 2021 Community Service Award by the National Indian Education Association. She attended Cottey College and the University of Oklahoma and has two children, Bella and Daniel. Sarah works for her parent’s company, RedLand Sheet Metal and lives in Moore.
Board Member | she/her
Norma Lilia Ruiz Cruz has been a board member of the Third Space Foundation since 2020. She recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma with dual degrees - a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Management Information Technologies. Prior to her academic achievements, she served as a Postsecondary Education Fellow at ImpactTulsa, following the completion of her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama with an emphasis in Dramaturgy. Passionate about education, arts, and making a positive impact on the world, Norma strives to learn and share her knowledge with those around her.
The values that motivate The Third Space Foundation are:
equitable and respectful inclusion
hopeful and bold action
We are committed to being honest and trustworthy.
We are committed to promoting a spirit of openness in all that we do.
We are passionate about creating and cultivating an inclusive community.
We are committed to serving all of humanity in a respectful and equitable manner.
We believe in learning, growing and developing throughout life,
which involves engaging in open discussions and listening to others.
We are committed to collaborative work that facilitates the collective good and the joint promotion of our common interests.
We are passionate about maintaining positive and hopeful perspectives as a basis for bold and energetic action in our community.
Executive Director & Founder | she/her
Dr. Suzette Grillot is the owner of and head brewer for Equity Brewing Company in Norman, Oklahoma – the first and, so far, only all-women owned and operated craft brewery in the state. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Third Space Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting small community projects as their 501c3 fiscal sponsor. And, she is a professor of international studies at the University of Oklahoma, where she has served in various capacities for 25 years.
Finances & Bookkeeping | she/her
Jennifer Winfrey serves as the accountant for The Third Space Foundation. She has over 20 years’ experience in government and nonprofit sectors. Jennifer’s specialty is nonprofit accounting and grant management. She focuses on organized, efficient, and accountable practices to enhance the mission of your organization and uphold donor confidence. She is a Certified Grants Management Specialist, credentialed by the National Grants Management Association (NGMA) and a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional. These credentials recognize her master level knowledge and demonstrate her dedication to the nonprofit sector.
Thank you for your interest in The Third Space Foundation. We are available to answer any additional questions about our operations, partner organizations, what being a fiscal sponsor means, or how your tax-deductible donation will positively impact the community. We look forward to hearing from you.