Join the Urban Learning Community to hear about Dr. Akilah Watkins’ experiences working in community development and centering racial equity in her work. Dr. Watkins is the President and CEO for the Center for Community Progress, America’s non-profit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.” A 25-year national thought leader, conference speaker, and non-profit executive, Dr. Watkins’ work began at the age of 14 when she led efforts to convert a vacant lot and abandoned home into a community center in Roosevelt, New York. Since then, she’s served as executive leader for non-profits and community development initiatives which include work the Obama administration, NeighborWorks America, the Ford Foundation, and hundreds of municipalities throughout the U.S.
Today, Dr. Watkins leadership includes championing work in more than 300 communities in 48 states at Community Progress. Collaboratively, Community Progress works to grow strong, equitable communities where vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties are transformed into assets for neighbors and neighborhoods. Dr. Watkins also serves on the Boards of Directors with the Grounded Solutions Network and the Up for Growth Action. You can connect with her by following @DrAkilahWB on Twitter and LinkedIn.