Dwayne Marshall serves as Senior Director of Programs & Partnerships at Atlanta-based regional association Southeastern Council of Foundations. That he works in support of an entire network of mission-minded grantmakers is unsurprising given his many passions. He touches on many of them in this Q&A, including voting rights, eliminating injustice in all of its forms, and building up the next generation of leaders to improve our world. He’ll be joining us in Los Angeles in two weeks for Upswell. Check out the responses he shared with us in advance of our November gathering of changemakers from across the country!
Q: What drives you, what are you working on, and why are you inspired to make the world a better place?
DM: My name is Dwayne Marshall. I’m driven by a sincere desire to improve the lives of others. I currently work at Southeastern Council of Foundations, where we support a network of foundations in an effort to advance their philanthropic missions. I’m inspired to make the world a better place because I believe we all as global citizens have that collective responsibility.
Q: Who are your three favorite changemakers in history (living or deceased) and why?
DM: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Booker T. Washington, and Jackie Robinson because of their leadership, vision and the sacrifice they made to improve the lives of others.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the physical space you work in?
DM: It’s arranged intentionally to be a collaborative environment.
Q: What’s your favorite way to relax?
DM: By watching educational documentaries as well as personal meditation.
Q: What’s your favorite Sunday morning activity?
DM: Attending a spiritual service.
Q: What’s the last issue you personally advocated for – and why?
DM: Restorative voting rights because it’s important to me for every citizen’s voice to be heard and for people to not feel disenfranchised.
Q: If income weren’t a consideration and you could do anything, what would you do – and why?
DM: I would be focused on storytelling by telling the profiles of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve the lives of others.
Q: What does “changemaker” mean to you?
DM: Someone who is committed to disrupting the status quo to improve the outcomes for people who are currently being marginalized.
Q: In your view, what would it look like to “advance the common good”?
DM: For everyone regardless of their status, position or locale to see the value and importance for making a better world.
Q: Who or what are you inspired by right now – and why?
DM: My mom because she is a humble and tireless worker who always puts others before self.
Q: What drew you to a career in the social sector?
DM: The opportunity to make a difference and hopefully motivate and inspire others along the way.
Q: If there were one social issue you could solve today, what would it be – and why?
DM: Racism and economic/educational injustice
Q: What’s the one resource that would really help your community thrive?
DM: Effective leadership
Q: If you could put together a “dream team” of five changemakers to advance your mission, who would they be – and why?
DM: Oprah Winfrey, Geoffrey Canada, Darren Walker, Shawn Dove, Mark Zuckerberg – because they all would have insight, experience, resources, and platforms that would aid me in achieving my goal of inspiring the next generation of leaders around the globe.
Q: What’s one thing you’d like to see in the conversation that doesn’t get enough national attention?
DM: The need for philanthropy to identify and think of ways in which can be more effective as well as better collaborate with the public and private sector.
Q: If you could invite any group or individual to Upswell, who would it be – and why?
DM: I would invite a group of local social justice advocates and change agents so that philanthropic leaders can be better informed of the challenges and needs “on the ground.