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Angela Glover Blackwell    

Founder & Former CEO, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder in Residence, started PolicyLink in 1999 with a mission of advancing racial and economic equity for all. Through her writing, speaking, and leadership, Angela has helped to grow and define a national equity movement focused on innovating and improving public policy with a wide range of partners to ensure access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color – particularly in the areas of building an equitable economy, health, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and arts and culture. Prior to founding PolicyLink, Angela served as Senior Vice President at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s Domestic and Cultural programs. A lawyer by training, she gained national recognition as founder of the Oakland (CA) Urban Strategies Council, where she pioneered new approaches to neighborhood revitalization. From 1977 to 1987, she was a partner at Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm.

As a leading voice in the movement for equity in America, Angela is a frequent commentator for some of the nation’s top news organizations, including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Salon, and CNN, and was most recently published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She has appeared regularly on such programs as public radio’s Marketplace, The Tavis Smiley Show, Nightline and PBS’s Now. Angela has also been a guest on the PBS series Moyers & Company and PBS’s NewsHour. She appeared in the sixth and final segment of the PBS six-part series The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and in Bob Herbert’s Chasing the Dream: The Fight for A Black Middle Class.

Angela was the 2018 recipient of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award, presented by the Independent Sector. In 2017, she received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California, Berkeley. A co-author of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), Angela also contributed to What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and CFED, 2015), Worlds Apart: Poverty and Politics in Rural America (Yale University Press, 2014, second edition), and Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream (The New Press, 2007), among others. In 2013, Angela and PolicyLink collaborated with the Center for American Progress to produce All-In Nation: An America that Works for All.

Angela serves on numerous boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, the U.S. Water Alliance, Pitzer College, and FSG. She also advises the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve as one of 15 members of its Community Advisory Council. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Howard University, and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Oakland attorney Angela Glover Blackwell wages fight for equity

Nearly 40 years ago, when San Francisco’s struggling Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood was losing yet another business to hard times — in this case, a grocery store — one attorney had seen enough.

ESSENCE And PolicyLink Join Forces To Highlight Black Women Mayors

Last Friday, ESSENCE kicked off the partnership by holding our first of many roundtables that included Mayors LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, La., Sharon Weston Broome, Baton Rouge, La., Catherine Pugh, Baltimore, Md., London Breed, San Francisco, Ca., Karen Weaver, Flint, Mi., and Vi Lyles, Charlotte, NC. The discussion was spearheaded by PolicyLink founder-in-residence Angela Glover Blackwell and Judy Reese Morse, President and CEO of The Urban League of Louisiana.

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