Chanae Wilson, Vice Chair
How long have you been a member of YNPN leadership? What have your roles been?
I've been on the board since the end of 2018. I was the programming co-chair until the end of 2020 and I am now the Vice Chair.
What draws you to the nonprofit sector?
Nonprofits strengthen communities by meeting the need/people where they are at. The sector plays a vital role in building and working with communities to provide critical services that contribute to economic stability and mobility. I am committed to ensuring everyone in North Carolina has the opportunity to live healthy and prosperous lives.
What drew you to join the YNPN Board of Directors?
I had been interacting with YNPN through their national conference and programming events. I received an email from the newsletter and thought, "why not". I was looking for ways to build my knowledge in the Nonprofit sector and grow as a leader.
Why is Black leadership in the nonprofit sector so important?
Nonprofits often work in communities that are facing issues rooted in systemic racism. Each employee should have a foundational knowledge of the challenges these communities face. When you look at Nonprofit organizations, their staff typically does not reflect the community and experiences of the people they hope to serve. We need all kinds of people to move the work forward, but the people directly impacted often do not rise as the leaders who drive the strategy to solve these pressing issues. If the current leaders have never faced the kind of challenges that come with being BIPOC in an impoverished community, how can they pave the way for change in these same communities? It is essential to have leaders from the BIPOC community to drive the change the sector hopes to see.
What's it been like leading a nonprofit throughout 2020 to today? Do you think there is anything positive, for you personally/professionally or for the industry at large, that's come out of the struggle of the last 13 months?
At times it can be scary and uncomfortable, but mostly it has been an experience of amazing growth and constant learning. I don't think any of us could have anticipated 2020 would have looked the way it did, but my team was gracious, adaptable, and up for the challenge. We took things one day at a time.
When your time on the YNPN BoD has come to a close, what do you want your legacy to be?
The group of folks I've worked with have been so intentional in creating a healthy culture where voices are heard and everyone feels included. We also set a solid foundation for the organization's long term sustainability.