Sonya Shields + Brooklyn Community Services
A social justice activist and creative spirit, Sonya Shields is driven by her passion for human rights. She intersects marketing, fundraising and communication strategies to help build and strengthen the work of progressive nonprofit organizations. Sonya currently sits as the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement at Brooklyn Community Services (BCS), which is a $30 million agency serving over 13,000 Brooklynites living in poor and low-income neighborhoods. When she's not grinding for BCS, she loves to write, decorate, dance, entertain, travel, shop, check out art and movies, work out and hang with friends.
Why do you do what you do?
Creativity and justice. I am constantly creating. My creative juices are always flowing and so is my desire to make an impact around the causes that are important to me. Whether it’s issues related to poverty. Supporting programs and activities that will empower and educate children and youth of color who attend low performing schools in New York City. Addressing issues impacting women, like reproductive justice, working with organizations on immigration reform or LGBT rights. These are just some of the issues that I care passionately about.
What is the best compliment you've ever received?
“It’s beautiful the way that you truly want the best for your friends.”
Where do you thrive?
When I go inside I can tap into a creative space.
What's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
I don't know if it's a bad habit, but it has been consistent and sometimes not for the best – I fall in love.
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
My friend Michaela angela Davis has collaborated with actor Gbenga Akinnagbe to produce a t-shirt with the slogan “Patriarchy is a Bitch.” The t-shirt is part of a larger campaign that will honor the revolutionary work done by Black women across America.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
Always honor and protect my mind, body and spirit.
You can follow Sonya on Instagram @SonyaShields