Sam Phillips, Education Resource Coordinator

Native Americans in Philanthropy Team Member Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips (Cherokee Nation), Education Resource Coordinator

Sam Phillips, They/Them, is a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a Marine Corps veteran born and raised in Tahlequah, OK. Their life and work are rooted in family, culture, and service. They bring more than 15 years of professional experience in management, analysis, and training/development for adult learners serving both private companies and tribal governments. 

Sam takes great pride in volunteerism, advocating for equity, education, and tribal sovereignty. Prior to joining Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP), they have held various roles serving Native American and LGBTQ+ non-profits throughout their life, contributing directly to language revitalization, heirloom seed and plant development, food sovereignty, and much more. In 2020 this volunteer work led to Sam founding ᏕᏣᏓᎵᎨᏅᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ(detsadaligenvdisgesdi), named for the Cherokee teaching “you all take responsibility for one another’s wellbeing.” The organization is a community-based non-profit focused on food security and equity for Native American college students and young adult professionals. In recognition of their community and tribally focused work, Sam was named a Cobell Scholar for 2020-2021, and subsequently inducted into the Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, OK) Hall of Fame for the class of 2021. Most recently, Sam was named the Inaugural Mentee for the Tribal Affairs Task Force Scholars Program lead by Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP.  

Sam holds a BS in Legal Studies, and a BA in American Indian Studies with a concentration in Sovereignty, Health and Current Issues from Northeastern State University. They are currently working toward obtaining their Juris Doctor and plan to specialize in equity and policy work across Indian Country. 

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