Afua Atta-MensahExecutive Director of Community Voices Heard Brooklyn, NY Award Year: 2022
Afua Atta-Mensah is Executive Director of Community Voices Heard, a multi-racial nonprofit led by women of color and low-income families in New York CIty who are building power to secure racial, social and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Throughout her career, Atta-Mensah has demonstrated a willingness to fight for what she believes in, dating back to her time as a Fulbright Scholar in Ghana where she advocated on behalf of indigent women. There, she worked with lawyers to draft legislation to criminalize marital rape and served as a visiting university lecturer. From her work in West Africa to urban centers across America, Atta-Mensah has improved fair and equitable housing, defended racial and social justice initiatives, and galvanized support for programs benefiting low-income families, including immigrants. Atta-Mensah previously served as the nonprofit Urban Justice Center’s director of litigation for the Safety Net Project. Successes there included prompting mayoral candidates to spend a night in public housing to experience the conditions residents live with on a daily basis.