American Express NGen Leadership Award

Meet the 2020 American Express NGen Award Recipient

Each year Independent Sector presents the American Express NGen Leadership Award to one emerging leader age 40 and under whose creative and collaborative leadership is accelerating transformative social and community change. We are proud to announce that our 2020 award winner is Terence Lester, speaker, activist, author, systemic poverty thought leader, and founder and executive director of Love Beyond Walls.

In 2013, Terence founded Love Beyond Walls, 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 he 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.

Terence was among a pool of more than 80 nominees considered by IS staff and our Selection Committee. In addition to Terence, the group of finalists included. As the recipient of the award, Terence will receive an honorarium intended to support his work and/or further his leadership development. He and the other award finalists will deliver remarks on the Main Stage at Upswell 2020.

2020 Finalists

The process began in May with more than 80 nominations. IS staff and our outstanding Selection Committee conducted a rigorous review of the submissions. And after careful deliberation, we’re proud to present the six exceptional finalists for the 2020 American Express NGen Leadership Award!

You’ll get to meet these talented emerging changemakers and learn about their work to accelerate transformative change in communities across the country this fall during the Upswell Summit, October 14-16.

In the meantime, get to know our finalists during a special Twitter Town Hall, Wednesday, September 23, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ET. They’ll introduce themselves, and answer your questions about what inspires their collaborative work to make a significant impact in an intractable community or social issue area.

Brandon Anderson
Founder & Executive Director
Raheem

Chanel Hampton
Founder and CEO
Strategic Community Partners

Laxmi Parthasarathy
Chief Operating Officer
Global Press

Niya White
Principal
Congress Heights Campus of Center City Public Charter Schools

Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss
Founder
Tribal Adaptive Organization

Terence Lester
Founder & Executive Director
Love Beyond Walls

Selection Committee

It takes an amazing group of sector leaders to carefully consider an outstanding group of emerging leaders working to accelerate transformative change in communities across the country, whittle that group down to six amazing finalists — and then one extraordinary winner of the 2020 American Express NGen Leadership Award.

We are honored to have found such a group, and thank the members of our Selection Committee, shown below, who dedicated their time and consideration to identifying the six award finalists.

C. Diane Wallace Booker, Esq.
Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President
U.S. Dream Academy, Inc.

Mary V. Bordeaux
Vice President of Operations & Programs
First Peoples Fund

Carly Bad Heart Bull
Executive Director
Native Ways Federation

Paul D. Daugherty
President & CEO
Philanthropy West Virginia

Rebecca English
Senior Manager of Governance and Membership
Hispanics in Philanthropy

Lauren Gilbert
Chief Executive Officer
BellXcel

Jonathan Hayden
Director Of Operations
Leadership Foundation’s Colangelo Carpenter Innovation Center

Megan Jacobs, MPH
Managing Director, Product, Innovations
Truth Initiative®

Barbara Johnson
Senior Director of Race and Gender Equity
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

Kelley Kuhn
Vice President
Michigan Nonprofit Association

John Miller
President & CEO
Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs

Ciara Myers
Strategic Communications Manager
Meyer Foundation

Donald M. Ragona
Director of Development/House Counsel
Native American Rights Fund

Darlene Slaughter
Vice President & Chief People Officer
March of Dimes

Jacques Steinberg
Author of The Gatekeepers and The College Conversation

Jim Taylor
Vice President of Leadership Initiatives
BoardSource

Past Recipients

2019
Megan Jacobs
Truth Initiative

2018
Stacy Stout
City of Grand Rapids

2017
Sarah Eagle Heart
Native Americans in Philanthropy

2016
Diana Nambatya Nsubuga
Global Health Corps

2015
Julieta Garibay
United We Dream

2014
Sarah Kastelic
National Indian Child Welfare Association

2013
Sarah Johnson
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music

2012
Jeff Edmondson
StriveTogether

2011
Ai-jen Poo
National Domestic Workers Alliance

2010
Darell Hammond
KaBOOM!

The American Express NGen Leadership Award is supported by