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POVERTY DISRUPTOR, OPPORTUNITY CREATOR, CHANGEMAKER

As someone who has never shied away from a challenge, my aim has always been not just to work to the best of my ability but also to empower others to reach their full potential. That lifelong goal has shaped my personal and professional mission to dismantle systems of injustice that marginalize people and communities.

 

Asa first-generation college graduate, I returned from the University of California at Berkeley determined to make sure that students at underinvested-in public schools in Atlanta, like the one I attended, would graduate high school and be prepared to thrive in institutions of higher learning.

 

Today, I’m living a new “first” as Atlanta’s Chief Equity Officer. Leading the city’s first-ever Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, our team works to develop social justice policies and programs that confront equity, diversity, and inclusion issues, particularly surrounding workforce mobility, housing affordability, health, education, youth engagement, and LGBTQ affairs.

 

Before this role, I spent 17 years at the Future Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to disrupting the cycle of poverty by helping students at underinvested-in public schools pursue higher education. As CEO, I worked with our team to increase the organization’s revenue by 432%, expand staff from two to fifty, and maintain a 100% graduation rate among participating students.

 

My range of experience—from earning my MBA at Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business to launching a start-up, or serving as an Air Force Reservist, board member, or CEO—informs my work as a changemaker and activist.

 

I now tell my story to audiences ranging from students to CEOs and share a blueprint for, as an executive who heard me speak said, “being an action-oriented DEI advocate, rather than just talking about it.” And I shine a light on other activists who perform “courageous acts of unity.”

 

As a Black woman in a groundbreaking leadership role, I work to make sure others have the opportunities to become trailblazers. I believe each of us has a role to play in empowering voices that go unheard, leading with dignity, and uniting to chart the path to a better tomorrow.