Today, Tes talks with Shanequa Levin. Shanequa is an award-winning social justice leader, motivational speaker, and author. She is also a registered ordained wedding officiant. Shanequa published a memoir titled Poverty’s Phoenix, which is about surviving childhood poverty. She is the founder and CEO of the Women’s Diversity Network, a social movement organization practicing transformative justice processes based on group leadership where marginalized lives are centered. The mission of the WDN is to connect and mobilize women of different backgrounds to create positive change through collective work and a unified sisterhood. Through WDN, she has created the Health Equity Task Force, which focuses on addressing Maternal Mortality. She’s created a yearly summit that brings diverse people together to learn about social justice issues and celebrate cultures.
In 2020 she convened a Black-led, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational coalition of organizations, activists, and community members who are working to ensure genuine public safety for all Long Island communities called LI United to Transform Policing & Community Safety. LI United’s mission is to transform public safety by divesting from policing and investing in our communities.
Shanequa also founded the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms, a support group for mothers of color, and is the former director of Every Child Matters in NY, an advocacy and electoral engagement organization on behalf of kids. She is a member of The State of Black Long Island Equity Council through the Urban League of Long Island, a community advisor for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, a Co-Chair for the Long Island Million Women Community, a Community Advisor for Hofstra University’s Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, and the creator of culturally relevant Facebook groups. She has also been instrumental in advocating policy changes to Early Care and Learning, Raise The Age, Paid Family Leave Insurance, Bail Reform, and more. As a survivor of childhood poverty, drug-addicted parents, an incarcerated father, and a teen mom, she uses her voice to help others break negative generational cycles.
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