Akilah Watkins-Butler

Akilah Watkins-Butler
Location: Bowie, Maryland Cohort Start Year: 2017 Populations Served: African-American/Black, Children and Families, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, Low-Income Communities, Urban Communities
Opportunity Institute

My focus area is place and its impacts on social and economic opportunities, race equity and inclusionary policies, place-based antipoverty strategies, and community-driven community development and neighborhood revitalization.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Study & Share: How Inclusive Communities Are Forming Today
Our project will include three elements. The first is to visit communities outside of the U.S. that are primarily created in response to suffering and that are working to create inclusivity. The second element is to create video and written documentation of each community and provide insight on the differences between these communities and thought in the United States. The third element is to disseminate our experiences and findings to lend to the greater body of thinking around inclusive communities. We plan to visit communities in Rwanda, Northern Ireland, and Chile.

I bring a deep knowledge base about the importance of place—that is, neighborhoods and how they impact social mobility for vulnerable children and families. I also bring a deep commitment to restoring opportunity for all, no matter where they were born, and creating on-ramps for social and economic integration.