because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Erica Williams

Erica Williams wants to change the world. Based in the Washington, D.C., area (of course), she not only barges into the public sphere on a daily basis, she whirls around in it like a people-powered hurricane of ideas and energy. And she welcomes all comers.

Williams set out on her journey by earning a bachelor's degree in African-American studies and public policy and then graduated from the Women and Political Leadership Training Program at American University. By 2003, she had burst on the scene at the helm of Progress 2050, a project of the Center for American Progress and committed to the idea that a diverse young population belongs at the vortex (as well as the forefront) of an increasingly diverse nation.

Using digital media, popular culture, and creative innovation, Williams led tens of thousands of young people in an initiative called Campus Progress, then parlayed her tech-savvy in-your-facedness into an even larger arena at the Citizen Engagement Lab (responsible for creating before finally founding Society By Design and introducing her latest project, Foolish Life Ventures, an unabashed incubator for social change. Featured in every manifestation of the national media and drawn into confabs at all levels both in and outside of Washington, Williams has been called a "Global Shaper" (by the World Economic Forum), "the future" (by Cornel West), one of the "40 Under 40" (by the NAACP), and a Women Rule Leadership Award winner (by O Magazine). Look out, world! Another in-your-face woman is not only on the horizon, she's right here in your face!

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