#blackwomensparkchange

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Marilyn Lacy

Marilyn Lacy Turned Trauma into Powerful Advocacy and Ministry

By Spark Point | October 21, 2020

Through her church- and community-based work, Marilyn has helped countless women and girls impacted by sexual abuse  Trauma was a central theme to Marilyn Lacy’s early years. Sexually abused by her stepfather, Marilyn found herself in “a world of bad choices and wrong decisions,” including a long-term relationship with another abuser while in her teens. …

Karen Venable-Croft’s Innovative Charter School Elevates the Next Generation of Innovators & Entrepreneurs

By Spark Point | October 14, 2020

This passionate educator took a leap of faith and created a truly unique learning environment for young women  For more than two decades, math teacher Karen Venable-Croft was focused on bringing big ideas and unique paths to learning to her students. Then, two years ago, she and her partner took the ultimate leap, founding Girls…

Valerie Rochester

Valerie Rochester’s Passion for Public Health Helps Thousands Gain Understanding and Support

By Spark Point | October 7, 2020

AIDS United’s VP shares her personal journey from a decades-long career in public health Indiana native Valerie L. Rochester has always been committed to service. “I actually had a very circuitous route to get to where I am today,” she says. “I had no idea I’d wind up in the nonprofit world because that was…

Koube Ngaaje

For Koube Ngaaje, helping others is in her DNA

By Spark Point | September 30, 2020

Battling double pandemics—COVID-19 and the resulting increase in domestic violence—has tested the mettle of this Executive Director and the organization she leads. Since taking the reins of District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH) in 2017—10 years after the ground-breaking organization launched—35-year-old Executive Director Koube Ngaaje has doubled the organization’s capacity to shelter victims of domestic…

Academy of Hope’s Joy Bentley Phillips Drives Meaningful Change Through Adult Education

By Spark Point | September 24, 2020

This dynamic young executive has built an unparalleled fundraising program from the ground up  Trying to keep our families and friends safe and healthy while balancing our personal and professional lives—in 2020, this became an almost impossible task for many. Despite these obstacles, though, Joy Bentley Phillips, Chief Advancement Officer at the Academy of Hope…

Stephanie Sneed

With Every Budget, Stephanie Sneed Fights for Change

By Spark Point | September 16, 2020

By democratizing budget and program information and allocations, Fair Budget Coalition gives constituents a voice in the most important conversations After college, Stephanie Sneed dove right into an accelerated teaching program, taking over her own classroom just months later. “I didn’t feel prepared at all,” she says. “These schools required a lot—and not a single…

Wanda Steptoe Follows Her Heart & Her Lifelong Passion to Help Those in Need

By Spark Point | September 10, 2020

Since she was a child, Wanda Steptoe knew she wanted to help people.  “I grew up in a very large, very close-knit, loving family,” Wanda says. “One of my cousins had Down’s Syndrome — and life for people with developmental differences wasn’t like it is today. They recommended putting him in an institution — but…

LaKendra McNair Sparks Change

By Spark Point | September 2, 2020

LaKendra McNair Empowers & Accelerates Minority and Women-Owned Businesses We’re thrilled to officially launch our #BlackWomenSparkChange campaign with LaKendra McNair. LaKendra is a Vice President at M&T Bank who focuses on serving underrepresented business leaders and entrepreneurs in the greater D.C. area. Her “purpose-driven” approach defies traditional banking and lending, empowering women- and minority-owned organizations…

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