Voting is open for the 2018 NGen Leadership Award winner through Thursday, September 20 at 11:59pm PDT.
All six finalists have amazing track records of collaboration and making a significant impact in the communities they serve. And they’re pretty incredible individuals, too!
We’re giving each finalist the opportunity to tell you a bit more about themselves and what’s important to them.
So here’s your chance to get to know KeAndra Cylear Dodds with the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles – who recently started a new position, and has a long-standing commitment to addressing issues related to housing insecurity.
Q: Who or what most inspires you – and why?
KCD: As a single mother working two, and sometimes three jobs to take care of her two girls, my mother has always inspired me with her passion, love, and drive to do whatever it took for us to have a chance at a successful life. While we moved a lot, she made sure we always had a safe place to rest at night; our plight taught me the value of a safe, stable home and inspired me to fight for housing justice.
Q: What does changemaker mean to you?
KCD: A changemaker is a problem solver who does not accept the status quo and is committed to making a positive social impact. She is action-oriented, and has the skills, passion, and drive to facilitate the process and partnerships to find the right solutions.
Q: Other than the announcement of the winner of the NGen Leadership Award, what are you most looking forward to at Upswell?
KCD: I’m looking forward to the community dinners and the opportunity to connect with and be inspired by other changemakers.
Q: What is the most personally meaningful action/protest/campaign that you have participated in?
KCD: One of my most personally meaningful actions was helping a group of homeless and low-income street vendors work with the LA Metro to create a community market at a Metro station, where they could vend without the threat of tickets or arrest. We had a narrow window of time to organize a solution that would work for Metro and the current vendors and create a fair process for allowing other vendors the opportunity to make a living at the station.
Q: In one sentence, how would you capture your core values?
KCD: Fighting for justice, human rights, and access to opportunity; supported by community and empowered by knowledge.