Shemeka Frazier SorrellsCo-founder of A Better Glynn Atlanta, GA Award Year: 2020
Shemeka Frazier Sorrells is co-founder of A Better Glynn, a nonprofit that promotes civic engagement to ensure a better Glynn County – one in which everyone has opportunities to thrive. (Glynn County is where Ahmaud Arbery was brutally killed in a hate crime while jogging.) Shemeka registered voters who ultimately ousted the former District Attorney who mishandled the Arbery case. Shemeka also serves as a consultant for Casey Family Programs, where she works to improve foster care cases and ultimately prevent the need for foster care. She helped establish Atlanta’s first supportive housing program for homeless young adults. Shemeka is an active volunteer with United Way, CHRIS 180 and Families First.
- Shemeka used her award to run a community outreach effort that encouraged early voting for the 2020 election as well as voting for Georgia’s Senate runoff in December 2020. This included the distribution of information material regarding candidates and food and was done in partnership with Black Voters Matter.
Shemeka also used her award to secure follow-on support from The Initiative | Advancing Blue & Black Partnership, an organization focused on improving community policing to fund a police chief search for Glynn County in partnership with the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement. Her persistence as well as her organization’s efforts to hold the Glynn County Board of Commissioners accountable ultimately led to the hiring of the first African-American Police Chief in the history of Glynn County.
Shemeka participated in a webinar, Turning Pain to Purpose – Moments to Movements, where she discussed how her organization used tragedy as a catalyst for community and system change.