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#BlackWomenSparkChange: Celebrating the First Year

By Spark Point / November 4, 2021

Inspired by the racial justice uprisings of 2020, the inequity laid bare by the pandemic, and our commitment to anti-racism, we started the #BlackWomenSparkChange campaign in August of 2020. Our goal has always been to celebrate the stories, voices, and leadership of Black women in the nonprofit sector.  Not only did the social climate of…

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Oakland Literacy Coalition’s Sia Magadan is Creating Equity and Social Capital

By Spark Point / January 27, 2021

An educator and development leader, Sia is leveling the playing field for California learners  “I always say that I am a proud first-generation American. My parents came to the DC area from Sierra Leone in West Africa,” says Sia Magadan, Development Manager for the Oakland Literacy Coalition. “My mother finished high school but my father…

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Indira Henard Finds Her Calling Far From Her Political Path

By Spark Point / January 13, 2021

With an eye on politics and policy, Indira took a major detour — and never looked back  Indira Henard has spent the last 20 years in Washington, D.C. — and, for most of those years, she was focused on a career in politics. “My first love is policy and politics,” she says. “I worked for…

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Dr. Judy Lubin is Promoting a CURE for Racial Health Inequities

By Spark Point / January 8, 2021

As founder and president of the Center for Urban and Racial Equity (CURE), Dr. Lubin is transforming how organizations think about equity “I’ve always felt called towards racial equity and antiracism work,” says Judy Lubin, PhD, MPH, a sociologist, policy analyst, racial justice advocate and founder and president of the Center for Urban and Racial…

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One House, One School, One Mission

By Spark Point / November 11, 2020

Shannon Hodge’s Passion for Education Reform Impacts Thousands of Students When she was in first grade, Shannon moved into a new neighborhood and her interest in education was sparked. Shannon’s parents chose the house because it fed into a stronger high school than another house they had considered.  With that choice, they knew Shannon would…

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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. …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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