Meet Terence Lester – Our 2020 American Express NGen Leadership Award Winner

After more than 80 nominations, a rigorous review of the submissions by IS staff and our Selection Committee, and careful deliberation – it’s our pleasure to announce that Terence Lester is the winner of the 2020 American Express NGen Leadership Award!


Terence Lester,
founder and executive director of Love Beyond Walls, is a speaker, activist, author, and thought leader in the realm of systemic poverty. He’s known for nationwide campaigns that bring awareness to issues surrounding homelessness, poverty, and economic inequality. As winner, Terence will receive an honorarium intended to support his work and/or further his leadership development. All of the award finalists will be featured during the Upswell Summit, October 14-16, and Terence will be featured on Thursday, October 15 at 2:00 pm ET during the Main Stage 2020 Leadership Awards.

Terence joins the ranks of exceptional changemakers age 40 and under to be honored with the American Express NGen Leadership Award, presented by Independent Sector annually to an emerging leader whose creative and collaborative work is accelerating transformative social change to an intractable community issue.

Founded by Terence in 2013, Love Beyond Walls is a nonprofit that provides dignity to the homeless and poor by offering a voice, visibility, shelter, community, and grooming and support services to achieve self-sufficiency in Atlanta and beyond. In 2019 Terence also launched Dignity Museum, the first traveling museum in the U.S. that represents homelessness out of a shipping container, using interactive technology, research, storytelling, exhibits, and thought-provoking questions that help visitors confront their ideas of homelessness and challenges of escaping it.

In addition to Terence, the group of award finalists included:

Types: Blog
Global Topics: IS Member, Leadership Development, Organizational Relationships, Upswell